To play Devil's Advocate: Some games need more than just a monthly subscription to stay up and running, especially if they are free. That's why some free online games have advertisements out of the ying-yang, while others rely on those people willing to buy items that do not exisit in any REAL sense to keep the game going.
Some strategies include playing on player's greed my making items you could "buy" limited to either how much you give that month or by the month themselves (which would cause an artificial inflation in their value meaning you could sell them for more than what you bought them for later), as well as the popular "Free zone" and "pay-to-play zone" (which doesn't really go over very well, as it creates a status caste system).
That being said, you pretty much did the exact same thing if you own an AP or bought a ticket for Disneyland or made a reservation to stay on the WDW property just to get a Stitch Travel Set of cards, Pirate Pins with VMK cards, or simply to just turn in your Tomorrowland Quest you printed at home. Because VMK is advertising the parks, part of your park admission should (in an ideal world) go towards their advertising and marketing department. That department would include VMK in one sense or another.
So, the bottom line is this: If you went to the park on your own, if you own an Annual Pass or had to buy a ticket, with the intent of getting that Golden Mickey Hat when you bought your own Golden Mickey Hat, you were paying--at least partly in this case--for a virtual item. All for the sake of keeping VMK's servers from exploding.
Which, if you think that is a scam, you just fell for it through the VMK park quests.
WARNING: Any opinions expressed by this user are wrong.