2,995 Consecutive Trips in 8 Years
A Californian man, Jeff Reitz, has made a world record for the man with the most consecutive visits to the famous children's park, Disneyland.
50-year-old Reitz, who had visited the park in 2012, continued every day for the next eight years, three months, and 13 days until he set a record of 2,995 trips.
He explained that it had all started as a joke between him and his friends after the park announced an "Extra Disney Day" during their Leap Day 24-hour event in 2012. The event meant that people could visit the park for 24 hours every leap year(Feb 29th), so he and his friends who were out of work jokingly resolved to continue the streak.
They became committed to park visits, but Reitz specifically made it a duty to be there even when he had a full-time job. His calendar was in sync with the park's event calendar so he wouldn't miss out on any special event for the year. Reitz would visit with others or make solo trips at other times. He told the Guinness Book of Records that the experience was beneficial as it helped them to go out more and meet new people every time.
"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," he said.
Reitz began documenting each trip on his social media, sharing pictures of something new that fascinates him in the Park.
"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," he explained.
Reitz Shares Notable Experience All Through Visits To The Park
Reitz shares his experience at the park in his interview with the Guinness Book Of Records. He recounted how he sometimes tried out several attractions at the park or focused on a single section that endeared him on some days. He pointed out Matterhorn Bobsleds as his favorite attraction and the only ride in Disneyland, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
Through the daily visits, he met new people and became friendly with most of the staff who worked at the park.
He was offered a gift backpack when he reached day 2000 in 2017. They had also offered him dinner for the completion of the second leap year.
He received a gift basket and a certificate of Honorary citizenship after he visited the park for 366 consecutive days.
Reitz, however, didn't get recognition until a reporter following his social media posts about visits to the park approached him in 2012. The Orange County Register Reporter published a story about him and his then feat of 183 days of visiting and 60th trip to the park. Other publications became interested in the story, and he soon began getting invites from newspapers and radio stations asking for an interview. Visitors at the park would stop him for photos and autographs after hearing the story and seeing his posts on Instagram.
Reitz Looks Forward To Disney's 100th Anniversary
Reitz speaks of the critic's reaction to his incessant visits to the park and how he had refused to be offended every time he asked them to join in, and they turned him down.
"I have always told them 'good luck' and wished them well," he said.
He explained that he'd learned a lot during his visits, time and finance management being one of the greatest lessons he has been able to master because it has helped him to lead a balanced life that affords him to work and still do other things.
Reitz would have reached 3,000 trips, but the Covid-19 pandemic ended his streak in 2020. He says he looks forward to revisiting the park, especially now that he is recognized for his feat globally. Although he hasn't set a return date, he looks forward to visiting the park for its 109th-anniversary celebration this year.
"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," Reitz said, happy to earn the title for the most consecutive visits to the happiest place on Earth.