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Disney Settles Magic Key Lawsuit for $9.5 Million, Resolving Preliminary Dispute

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Disney Agrees to $9.5 Million Preliminary Settlement in Magic Key Lawsuit

Disney Agrees to $9.5 Million Preliminary Settlement in Magic Key Lawsuit

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, visitors walk toward Sleeping Beauty's Castle in the background at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. A teenage girl traveling from New Zealand to Southern California this month was infectious with highly contagious measles and may have exposed others at Disneyland and a nearby hotel, health officials said Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
A preliminary $9.5-million settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit over the Disneyland Magic Key program. More than 100,000 people would receive payouts. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Walt Disney Co. has tentatively agreed to pay $9.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over the Magic Key pass program at Disneyland.

The Lawsuit

The lawsuit — filed in 2021 by Dream Key pass holder Jenale Nielsen — alleged Disney had advertised that the particular pass, its most expensive offer, would not have any blackout dates.

Restrictions Discovered

Upon buying the $1,399 annual pass in September 2021, Nielsen found she was not able to reserve a ticket for much of November, despite single- and multi-day tickets still being available for the time period. She soon discovered additional restrictions, according to the lawsuit.

Preliminary Agreement

An agreement to settle the suit was initially announced, without specifics, in July. The preliminary agreement unveiled Friday covers 103,435 Dream Key pass holders, all of whom will be automatically enrolled to receive a disbursement from the $9.5-million fund unless they request to be excluded.

Read more: Disney reaches class-wide settlement in lawsuit over Magic Key annual pass program

Disbursement and Fees

The total amount to be disbursed will be determined after several deductions, including attorneys’ fees for both parties, a service award for Nielsen, and an estimated $147,547 in administrative costs for the settlement administrator.

The preliminary agreement estimates each class member will receive about $67.41, though there could be a second round of payments depending on how much remains after initial distribution and fees.

Finalization of Settlement

The settlement is due to be finalized in federal court on Oct. 7.

Times staff writer Keri Blakinger contributed to this report.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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