Disney launch a very unmagical loyalty program: Magic Key.

by | Oct 26, 2021 | Member Benefits, Rewards

The happiest place on earth launch the most beige, overpriced and underwhelming loyalty program on earth.

How on earth is it selling out?

The program:

The Disney Magic Key loyalty program has been long anticipated and last month, it finally launched. The program is based upon being able to purchase one of 4 Magic Keys, the Dream Key, the Believe Key, the Enchant Key, and the Imagine Key. The keys are basically different paid annual subscriptions to access Disneyland benefits. Sounds cool (and love the program name and concept)!

Magic Keys immediately unlock access to the Magic Key Portal on the Disneyland app which allows Key Holders to:

  • Access theme park reservation calendar
  • Make a theme park reservation
  • See news and events
  • View member benefits

Is that it? Access to the app? I hope the benefits are good!

The benefits:

Imagine Key – $399 USD Annually:

  • Only available for Southern California Residents living in zip codes 90000 to 93599
  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks select days of the year.
  • Hold up to 2 theme park reservations at a time
  • 10% off select merchandise
  • 10% off select dining

Enchant Key – $649 USD Annually:

  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks select days of the year.
  • Hold up to 4 theme park reservations at a time
  • 10% off select merchandise
  • 10% off select dining

Believe Key – $949 USD Annually

  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks most days of the year.
  • Hold up to 6 theme park reservations at a time
  • 10% off select merchandise
  • 10% off select dining
  • 50% off standard theme park parking (excluding blockout days)

Dream Key – $1,399 USD Annually (SOLD OUT)

  • Reservation-based admission to one or both theme parks every day of the year.
  • Hold up to 6 theme park reservations at a time
  • Up to 20% off select merchandise
  • Up to 15% off select dining
  • Standard theme park parking included (excluding blockout days)

The analysis

1. Nope, you’re not seeing things. The price points are wildly different (and wildly expensive… annually) but the value of the benefits don’t seem to be increasing incrementally with the price. How is the Dream Key sold out? The only difference is an extra 10% off merchandise, an extra 5% off dining, plus free parking?

2. Paying to access quite small discounts on overpriced (and unhealthy) food doesn’t seem like a magical value equation to me.

3. Is parking really the main benefit in the higher tier keys? This is the least emotional benefit Disney could have ever come up with. Ever. But it’s the primary benefit in the sold out Dream Key membership. They present this program as “four Magic Key pass options to fit your family’s lifestyle” – a can or can’t you be bothered to find a park lifestyle?

4. Disney has a bottomless bag of efficient rewards to draw from which can build positive, memorable experiences that last a lifetime, drive repeat purchase and generate natural advocacy. Where are the money can’t buy experiences? Families want to meet Mickey Mouse, sit in a front row seat in the ‘it’s a small world’ ride, jump the queue and feel like a recognised VIP as they flash their magic keys in front of others.

5. Give your members an actual Magic Key! Physical rewards which have trophy value are something they’ll feel proud of, they’ll get an ego boost from, they’ll display, they’ll show off to their friends and they’ll convince their friends to join.

The only reason I can possibly think of as to why this program works?

  • Money is no issue when it comes to Disney crazed parents & their kids

I think any program would have worked for Disney, but this one is as unmagical as I could have ever imagined. Except for those who love free parking.


Stacey is a loyalty specialist with extensive experience in loyalty, digital marketing, eCommerce, social media and customer service.

Her role as the Loyalty Director of Loyalty & Reward Co involves developing and driving loyalty and marketing initiatives for clients, including loyalty program strategic design, loyalty psychology application, member lifecycle management approaches, ongoing promotional campaign management, digital marketing and social media strategy, market research and investor relations.

Stacey co-created the book Loyalty Programs: The Complete Guide, the most comprehensive book on loyalty program theory and practice available. She also presents a number of modules as part of the Loyalty Programs Masterclass run by Loyalty & Reward Co in conjunction with ADMA.

Stacey runs the Loyalty & Reward Co business website www.rewardco.com.au and regularly contributes her own blog and news articles. Visit us at www.rewardco.com.au.

For interest, Stacey’s personal favourite loyalty program is currently Mecca Beauty Loop.

Let’s connect! LinkedIn, Twitter

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