First Disneyland, Now Disney World Is Getting Sued Over The Reservation System

The Monorail at Epcot
(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

A lot of things have changed at Disneyland And Walt Disney World since the pandemic that fans don’t love. Chief among them is the requirement that in addition to purchasing valid tickets, guests must also make reservations before entering the parks. This system, combined with Annual Passes, has caused some headaches in the past, which ultimately led to a current lawsuit against Disneyland Resort, and now a pair of Florida residents are suing Walt Disney World over the same policy. 

The issue is one regarding the availability of theme park reservations and blockout dates. According to Florida Politics, two residents of the state of Florida who have annual passes to Walt Disney World that are supposed to be valid 365 days a year, are suing because, due to the reservation system, there are dates they cannot enter the park, because reservations for APs are “sold out” despite the fact that reservations for other Disney World ticket holders are still available.

This makes the Disney World lawsuit nearly identical to one that has already been filed against Disneyland Resort for the same reason, a conflict between the reservation system and the Magic Key, the Disneyland version of the annual pass. 

Following the lawsuit, Disneyland stopped selling Magic Keys altogether. While guests who already had the pass are able to renew, there is no longer any Magic Key available with zero blockout dates at any price. Disneyland also changed its terms of service for the Magic Key, requiring any disputes to go through arbitration rather than become part of a lawsuit.

One certainly has to wonder if something similar will happen with Disney World regarding sales. Disney World APs are currently able to renew a pass without blockout dates into the same pass, but that doesn’t mean that ability will last forever. While Disneyland and Disney World are not always in lock step regarding policies, the two resorts are still very different, it would be difficult to be surprised if Disney World did follow suit, especially since they’re now dealing with a lawsuit of their own.

While APs are a solid place for recurring revenue in the parks, Disney has indicated on more than one occasion that guests with passes spend less money overall on food and merchandise inside the parks than a vacationing guest staying for several days. As such, there has been an obvious effort from both Disneyland and Walt DIsney World to cater more toward those guests planning big vacations rather than those that visit the parks more frequently.

The Disneyland lawsuit in California survived an early attempt at dismissal, and so it would seem that both sides will be able to make their legal arguments. The next step in the California case will now be even more important to Disney, as the results there could be a preview of what’s likely to happen in Florida as well. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.