Disney Rewards Kid Who Gave Away His Free Trip With Another Vacation, Which He Then Gives Away

It was like a game of Good Samaritan Hot Potato on Good Morning America today, as Disney offered a free vacation to a 9-year-old Massachusetts boy — who had given away his Disney trip to a young girl whose dad was killed in Afghanistan — only to then have the boy say he’d be passing that vacation on to yet another person.

Inspired by that guy who started with a red paperclip and kept trading up until he got a house, the youngster set up a Facebook page in February where he offered to trade his toy soldier, with the ultimate goal of scoring a free Disney trip who could give away to a military family.

Finally, last week, he was able to trade up to an all-expenses trip to Disney. He then put all the names of a number of military families into a hat and pulled out the name of a 2-year-old girl whose father, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, was killed in Afghanistan last August.

But when Disney officials went on GMA this morning to offer the boy a trip of his own, he said thanks, and that he’d pull another name out his hat so that another military family could enjoy some fun in the sun.

“We can’t accept a trip to Disney,” the kid explained, “but we have many more people who would like to have an all-expenses paid [trip]…so we can do another raffle.”

His mom says she was surprised — but at the same time not surprised — by her son’s response.

“Knowing him, in my head, I would think that he would do something like that,” she said. “For a 9-year-old to get that opportunity and to have a response like that, it’s amazing. We say it’s like having a 40-year-old in a 9-year-old’s body. I am very proud.”

Boy Who Donated Disney Trip to Soldier’s Family Wins Vacation of His Own [ABC]

Thanks to Dov for the tip!


Edit Your Comment

  1. chefboyardee says:

    Source is a 404

  2. SerenityDan says:

    Wow, you are raising an amazing kid there. Also yahoo link not working

  3. CrazyEyed says:

    Nice to see Positive stories in here once and a while. Good for that kid.

  4. Vox Republica says:

    Boy, the office sure is dusty today… yep, that must be it…

    • nbs2 says:

      I hate people like this kid. I felt real good about myself for buying the office doughnuts today. Now, I realize that I’ve got a long way to go before I can even pretend to think that I’m charitable.

      Seriously though, here’s hoping that this kid gets his karma paid back to him (even if it sounds like he’d find a way to share that someone else).

  5. FatLynn says:

    I bet this kid really hates his parents, who won’t just let him go to Disneyworld already.

    • sp4rxx says:

      It didn’t say they made him do it – he did it on his own!

      Hats off to the kid! His parents should be proud of him – it’s rare to find kids like that nowadays!

  6. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    When asked why he gave away the other vacation the boy responded,

    “Because F*CK Disney.”

  7. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    Hopefully this next trip goes to an older child who will a) enjoy Disneyworld more than a 2 year old, b) Remember the trip, c) be old enough to be grieving and in need of a diversion like this.

    Not that the boy isn’t doing a great thing, but a 2 year old would get about as much enjoyment by going to ChuckECheese.

    • That guy. says:

      That was my thought. I went to Disney when I was older than that (I don’t recall how old), but I barely remember it. I DO remember I was too little for most of the rights, but just big enough to try and spin the teacups.

      Either way, I was too young to get the most out of being there, or remember 90% of it.

    • VintageLydia says:

      But it would also be a nice diversion for her family. Sure, she probably won’t remember the trip, but her mother and anyone else who goes will.

    • aleck says:

      I took my teenage brother to an amusement park right after our mother died to “create a diversion”. It was a disaster. This was almost ten years ago and I still remember how bad that trip was. Looking at all the happy people just made my state of mind worse.

  8. That guy. says:

    “We say it’s like having a 40-year-old in a 9-year-old’s body”

    The internet has ruined how I inteprut what I read.

  9. El_Fez says:

    Wait – how can I blame the poster for this? Um. . . ah. . . . how dare he shop at Sears! Everyone know that Sears sucks!

    Phooey. I got nothing.

    • 67alecto says:

      I can! As a 9-year old kid, he’s in violation of the facebook terms of service that require you to be at least 13.

    • Stickdude says:

      By giving away a free trip to Disneyland to a 2 year-old, he’s ensuring that there will be at least one more 2 year-old on a plane in the near future.

      And if there’s one thing worse than soldiers dying overseas to the fine commenters here at Consumerist, it’s kids on a plane (or anywhere in public, for that matter).

      See – I admit that it’s harder in this case, but you can still blame the OP. :D

  10. Jane_Gage says:


  11. Blueskylaw says:

    Well done, that decision must have been so hard to make for the boy (even though they made it sound easy). There is hope for our younger generations.

  12. Schildkrote says:

    Damn, I can’t think of anything negative to post on this article at all. I wish Mary Beth had wrote it so I could point out some grammatical or spelling errors. As it is…what a kid. Good on him.

    • CoachTabe says:

      If it makes you feel better, your post had a grammar/spelling error in it (“had wrote” instead of the correct “had written”). :)

      • Blueskylaw says:

        According to The Chicago Manual of Style, Schildkrote should also have typed his three dots (ellipsis) and put a space between them . . . and not …

    • StarKillerX says:

      Well I’m just stunned that Chris wrote it and didn’t make the headline sound like Disney was the cause for all evil in the world, or some such.

  13. BigDragon says:

    This kid must be as bummed out as I am that they’re bringing Avatar to Animal Kingdom and not completing Beastly Kingdom. Very sad decision.

    • Vox Republica says:

      A fifth gate isn’t strictly necessary if they stick with the current script of expanding the existing product. Just taking into account Cars Land in Disney California Adventure and the aforementioned Avatar flight of fancy, that’s two gates seeing an appreciable uptick in marketable attractions without having to plunk down on all-new infrastructure (parking, backstage, maintenance, sewer, etc.).

      The add-a-piece approach did very well re: the Wizarding World of That Other Company, and marched consumers through what was otherwise less attractive company real estate. Disney would be, and is, wise to stick to this model. Also, let me just start this rumor now because it makes boatloads of sense: Star Wars-themed addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You’re welcome, Twitter.

      • BigDragon says:

        Given the way you used the word gate in your post I’m led to the conclusion that you think Beastly Kingdom was supposed to be a separate park at Disney World. Sorry if I’ve come to the wrong conclusion. Beastly Kingdom was actually supposed to be part of Animal Kingdom. The original concept focused around animals that were, animals that are, and animals from fantasy. That’s why there are dinosaurs and lions in the park. The intention was to add a fantasy-themed section of the park bringing guests dragons and unicorns and other mythical animals. That portion of the park was not built. In fact, Disney ticked off enough of the staff that came up with that idea that they jumped ship to Universal to work on Islands of Adventure. Some of the old Animal Kingdom logos remain on T-shirts and park benches. Take note that there’s a dragon at the center very prominently displayed. Disney has been converting all the logos to a giant tree instead following the outright cancellation of the original Beastly Kingdom plan.

        Instead of the original concept of animals that are, were, and exist in myths/legends/fantasy we’re stuck getting the movie property Avatar crammed into Animal Kingdom. I really despise this idea. All of my favorite amusement/theme parks typically add-on, refresh, or open new sections of attractions in their parks to drive up guest attendance. I’m a big fan of this rather than letting existing parks stagnate or opening tiny new new parks that don’t have enough to offer. The old gets mixed with the new. I fully support adding a Star Wars section to Hollywood Studios or even placing the Avatar section there, but I don’t really like the way they’ve been screwing up the excellent original concept for Animal Kingdom.

        • KatieNeptune says:

          And and and at Islands of Adventures the Fire and Ice dragons were originally supposed to be at DAK! (my 2 cents since you seem to have the rest covered:))

  14. rtwest says:

    He’s holding out for Universal Studios, so he can go to Harry Potter world.

  15. JoeTheDragon says:

    Will the IRS make him pay the tax cost of that gift

    • Bsamm09 says:

      Unless that kid has been doing some serious gifting, he won’t have to pay gift tax. It is $5,000,000 for 2012.

      Income tax is a whole different ballgame though. I don’t see a way out of that, depending on the value of the trips.

      • Bsamm09 says:

        Lifetime Exclusion is $5,000,000

      • caj111 says:

        He won’t have to file an income tax return and pay tax if his total annual income is less than a certain amount, somewhere in the $9000 range I think.

        • Bsamm09 says:

          Maybe, maybe not. Is this earned income? SE income? If not, it is unearned income and depending on what stance you want to take, possibly subject to the kiddie tax rules. I’ve heard of a couple ways to treat this depending on parents tax rate, how aggressive a position you want to take and a few others.

          Interesting to say the least.

  16. RandomHookup says:

    “We say it’s like having a 40-year-old in a 9-year-old’s body”

    Concerned bystanders immediately called Child Protective Services to investigate.

  17. rtwest says:
  18. ScandalMgr says:

    Had Phil written this (where is he, anyways?), it would’ve read

    Kid gives Disney trip to
    * 2yo whose father was killed in combat
    * 8yo whose name was drawn from hat

    Trip includes:

  19. josephbloseph says:

    Gee, if I had ever taken a free trip to disney, this little boy’s generous actions would be making me feel crummy for taking it.

    • ScandalMgr says:

      Extrapolating that idea, here is Disney’s 2015 press release:

      Disney World, Florida. The Disney Corporation announced today the closure of its Disney World theme park due to lack of attendance, and in general to keep people from feeling crummy for taking a free trip there that they couldn’t give away to anybody else.

    • That guy. says:

      If everyone gave their Disney vacations away like this kid did, it’d be full of depressed 2 year olds.

  20. lunasdude says:

    Dam, Allergies! SNIIIFFF! dam, wonderful, awesome kid!

  21. Elizabeth B says:

    Nine year old gives away TWO trips to Disney.

    Adults start a fist fight over crab legs….

    Can this kid become the ref for adults? Or, those must have been awesome crab legs..

  22. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Awesome kid!

  23. ecuador says:

    How would a 2-year old appreciate (or even tolerate if it includes a long plane trip) a Disney vacation???

    • Thoreau says:

      Next article on Consumerist. Family kicked off plane on free trip to Disney because 2 year old cries during take off. Then everyone will complain about jerks taking their offspring on planes.

      I’m on this site too much :-(

  24. VHSer says:

    I can’t be the only one that wants to push this ungrateful kid down the stairs, right ?

  25. mornon says:

    I saw this on GMA yesterday, and it was actually pretty awkward/uncomfortable to me. I got the impression that the mom was in the background coaching the boy to decline the trip – the way he declined it just didn’t seem genuine. I went away annoyed and sad for the boy, thinking that the parents were just using their son for the 15 minutes of fame.

    Not trolling, that’s just the impression I got while watching yesterday.

    • W10002 says:

      I saw the clip as well. I was thinking the same. He may not look over excited the whole time, but I always felt actions speak the loudest, and his apathetic reaction doesn’t really diminish the act. I don’t think he feels like he’s missing out, or feel like he disagrees with the situation. Otherwise I think we would get a more… irritated reaction.