Consumers will be refunded $425,000 for season passes, meal plans and other goods
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced she has negotiated a settlement guaranteeing all consumers who purchased season passes, meal plans and associated goods and services at the Western New York theme park Fantasy Island will be fully reimbursed for all advance purchases made for the 2020 season. After the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) issued subpoenas to Fantasy Island’s owner and individuals associated with the company last month, the OAG negotiated an agreement to ensure full restitution for all consumers, totaling nearly $425,000.
“While Western New Yorkers struggle financially with the economic impact of the coronavirus, I’m pleased to announce that we will soon make consumers whole by providing those who prepaid for season passes, meals and associated services at Fantasy Island with nearly $425,000 in financial restitution,” James said. “Our office was able to secure full refunds for all consumers thanks, in large part, to the hundreds of Western New Yorkers who promptly heeded our call to file a complaint with our office. Fantasy Island provided Western New Yorkers with great memories for years, but it’s vitally important that we don’t let that fantasy end with a nightmare.”
Fantasy Island first opened on Grand Island in Western New York in 1961, but announced its closure in mid-February. In just the first day after the news broke, James’ Buffalo regional office received more than 150 complaints from consumers who prepaid for the 2020 season, asking for assistance obtaining refunds. The attorney general immediately took action the next morning, sending a letter to Fantasy Island’s owner – Apex Parks Group LLC in Aliso Viejo, California – demanding refunds be provided to consumers for the 2020 season, otherwise the company would face legal action. In the six weeks since Fantasy Island’s closure was announced, Western New Yorkers have filed more than 500 complaints with the OAG.
As a result of the negotiated settlement, the OAG has received a payment totaling $424,848.07, which the owners of Fantasy Island have represented is sufficient to provide full refunds to all consumers. Consumers do not need to follow up with the OAG or file a complaint if they have yet to do so, as names and contact information for all 2020 season pass purchasers have been shared with the OAG.
The OAG has yet to set a timetable for mailing checks out, but will work expeditiously to do so.
Due to the influx in complaints being filed with the OAG on a number of other issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the office asks consumers to avoid calling the OAG for status updates at this time, so that phone lines can remain open for the reporting of new complaints and scams.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Christopher L. Boyd, under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge of the Buffalo Regional Office Michael Russo, with assistance from Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Upstate New York Joseph Malczewski. The division of regional affairs is led by Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Jill Faber, under the oversight of First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.