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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

How Disneyland passholders can get their share of $9.5 million Magic Key settlement

A statue of Walt Disney with Mickey Mouse is seen at the end of Main Street in Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.  (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
By Brady MacDonald Orange County Register

Disneyland annual passholders can finally get their share of the $9.5 million class -action lawsuit that found the Anaheim, California, theme park misled and deceived its most loyal fans by artificially limiting capacity and restricting reservations.

Disneyland has sent email notices to eligible passholders who are entitled to a payment of $65.67 from the Dream Key settlement.

Passholders who received a settlement email have until Sept. 12 to claim their digital payment via Venmo, Paypal or direct deposit into their banking account – which may take up to 72 hours to appear in the account. Dream Keyholders can also opt to get paid by check through snail mail – which takes six to 10 weeks.

Passholders who did not opt for digital payment should automatically receive a check at their last known mailing address.

The settlement includes everyone who purchased a Disneyland Dream Key between Aug. 25, 2021, and Oct. 25, 2021.

The deadline has passed for passholders who want to exclude themselves from the settlement.

Passholders can get more information at the Dream Key settlement website, by calling 877-894-4029 or emailing

U.S. District Court Judge David Carter issued a final judgment and order in March in a case filed by Disneyland Magic Key annual passholder Jenale Nielsen of Santa Clara County.

Disney agreed in September to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that annual passholders who purchased the $1,399 Dream Key in 2021 were unable to make theme park reservations at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure despite the promise of “no blockout dates.” Disney has denied all wrongdoing or liability in the case.

As a result of the class action suit, each of the 103,431 Dream Key annual passholders will get $65.67 – which works out to about 5% of the total cost of the Dream Key.

The biggest winners in the $9.5 million Magic Key class action lawsuit weren’t Disneyland annual passholders, but rather the plaintiff, the settlement administration firm and the lawyers.

Magic Key passholders get about $7 million of the $9.5 million settlement. The other $2.5 million will go to fees related to the case.

Magic Key passholder and plaintiff Nielsen will get $5,000 – 75 times what each of the other keyholders get as an “incentive award” for her time, effort and service.

The class-action lawyers representing Nielsen requested $2.375 million – or 25% of the $9.5 million settlement.

Disney is out $9.5 million plus attorney fees as a result of the Magic Key lawsuit – but it could have been much worse.

Nielsen’s lawyers had sought $39 million in the class action suit – or about $379 per Dream Key annual passholders, according to court documents. The settlement saved Disney nearly $30 million in potential damages.