On March 25, 2020, a flood of reader searches alerted us to a dubious offer circulating on social media.
A Facebook page using the name "DisneyWorld” posted the following message along with several pictures of what appeared to be Disney-branded boxes:
We here at Disney World are giving EVERYONE who shares and comments 1 box containing a Disney World Holiday for 5 to celebrate our 78th Birthday! Once you have shared and liked our page simply comment that you have completed and we will send your box within the next 24 hours! Participants Must Like Our Page!
Hopefully the 200,000 or so commenters who participated aren’t holding their breath, because we don’t expect that box will arrive anytime soon.
A few red flags we noticed right away:
- This is an unverified Facebook page (on verified Facebook pages for well-known brands or public figures, you should see a little blue check mark next to their name). The page was created on Jan. 3, 2020, and has no other posts except the one listed above. Seems odd that such an established brand like Disney World would make its Facebook debut this year.
- The verified Walt Disney World Facebook page is not making the same offer. Instead, it is focused on, fittingly, communicating information pertaining to the park’s closure in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It’s not totally clear what the photograph shows, but the boxes in the photograph promote the website runDisney.com, which promotes marathon races held at Disney parks. No information about this “box” giveaway appeared on that website, the Disney Park blog, the Disney World website, or other Disney sites we searched.
- Disney World opened in 1971. So unless the giveaway is for tickets for a few decades in the future, it’s unclear why this offer is celebrating the park’s "78th birthday."
Finally, we’re not sure what a “Disney World Holiday Box” is, but it seems odd to mail out a box in order to deliver an ultimately intangible reward of a vacation.