Man breaks World Record by going to Disneyland every day for eight years in a row
An American man has officially set the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive visits to Disneyland.
Jeff Reitz, a 50-year-old annual passholder from Huntington Beach, California, began his 2,995 day odyssey back in 2012, when he and some friends visited Disneyland on New Year’s Eve.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The Leap Day event became Mr Reitz’s 60th official consecutive visit and as the days clocked up, national and international media began to follow his journey.
The Disney fan committed to staying in the park each day for a minimum of one hour and began sharing his experience on social media.
“Sometimes I would just go and walk around and do photography,” he said.
“It wasn’t always about getting on the attractions depending on what was going on. Why not walk around and enjoy the sights and sounds at Disneyland and the fireworks overhead instead of just walking around a track or on a treadmill inside?”
When asked about his favourite ride, Mr Reitz said he liked the Matterhorn, a rollercoaster that ascends 80ft into an icy cave.
“I’ve loved [the Matterhorn] since I was a kid because I was in Boy Scouts and I was into rock climbing,” he said.
Despite his frequent visits, Mr Reitz said he rarely received preferential treatment and had to queue for attractions with other visitors.
“I’ve become friends with a number of cast members, but it is a large corporation with a high turnover, especially on the attraction side,” he told local media outlet SF Gate.
“I have had magic made on occasion, but for the most part, I was just a regular guest that happened to go a little more often.”
However, after 366 days of consecutive visits, Disneyland presented Mr Reitz with a gift basket and certificate of Honorary Citizenship.
“They also offered me dinner for completion of the second year,” he said.
And on reaching day 2,000, he was presented with a gift backpack.
While the Disney superfan hoped to reach the 3,000 day visit mark, the coronavirus pandemic brought a halt to his record-breaking streak on 14 March 2020.
While he hasn’t returned since, he intends to visit his favourite theme park again this year, especially with Disney’s 100th anniversary celebration taking place in 2023.
“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,” he said.
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