For a grand total of eight years, three months, and 13 days, Jeff Reitz has been Waltzing through Disneyland.
Since 2012, the 50-year-old annual passholder from Huntington Beach, California, USA, has made 2,995 consecutive visits to the magical Anaheim theme park, earning him the record title for the most consecutive visits to Disneyland.
“It started as a joke between friends when Disneyland announced they were giving an ‘Extra Disney Day’ when they announced the Leap Day 24-hour event in 2012,” said Jeff.
“We decided to use Disneyland as a positive as we were out of work and had annual passes that had been gifted, so it was a source of free entertainment.
“It helped to get us out and put a positive mindset, log exercise with all the steps taken, and always networking since you never knew who you would meet.”
But what started as a joke eventually made Jeff a Disneyland celebrity in his own right.
The Leap Day 24-hour event took place on Jeff’s 60th consecutive visit, where he met a reporter that started following his daily posts.
“Then on 2012 July 1, halfway through the year, the Orange County Register reporter printed a story about making it to Day 183 and then the Associated Press picked-up the story and it became real as I was getting contacted by newspapers and radio stations from around the globe asking for interviews,” recalled Jeff.
“Then I started having guests in the parks stop me for photos and autographs.”
Throughout the years, Jeff even became acquainted with many of Disneyland’s cast members.
“Over the years I visited Disneyland with others and did solo trips,” said Jeff.
“It got to be where my schedule was pretty constant so it depended more on others wanting to come join the fun.”
Jeff’s trips would begin with a check-in on social media.
Once inside the theme park, his next course of action would depend on whether he was meeting anyone else along with any of the special events taking place.
“I would usually take a walk around the park. I enjoy photography so I was always watching for images to capture that I could post to share,” said Jeff.
“Some days I would go on lots of attractions and other times I might focus my attention on a single section of the park.”
But regardless of what his theme park escapades looked like for the day, there was one thing that remained constant.
“There is only one ‘ride’ in Disneyland, being Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” said Jeff.
“But the Matterhorn Bobsleds have always been my favourite attraction.”
After 366 days of visiting the theme park, Disneyland presented Jeff with a gift basket along with proclamation certificates of Honorary Citizenship.
“They also offered me dinner for completion of the second year,” said Jeff.
“Last, they presented a gift backpack when I reached Day 2000, in 2017.”
Although Jeff hoped to reach the 3,000 consecutive visit mark, the coronavirus pandemic stopped his Disneyland streak on 14 March 2020.
However, he doesn’t intend to let this setback stop him from visiting his favourite theme park again, especially with Disney’s 100th anniversary celebration approaching this year.
“I have not set a return date yet, but now I think it would be really fun to return with my Guinness World Records title certificate to get pictures where I earned it — inside Disneyland,” said Jeff.
Jeff also says throughout his time of making his consecutive daily visits to Disneyland, he overheard others speaking about hoping to achieve a record like his.
“I have always told them ‘good luck’ and wished them well,” said Jeff.
“You learn a lot during the time it takes to achieve such a record, like time management and finances in order to be able to have a life and do more than just one thing.
“Even to hold a full-time job required me to keep close tabs on the park calendar along with my own to be sure I could make it into Disneyland before it closed when they had special events.”
Jeff is incredibly proud of his record title and hopes his friends and family will be too.
“So far, I have only told a few people, since it was a surprise to me even, but I believe everyone is going to be very happy and proud that I have earned the recognition that most everyone thought I should have gotten.”
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