Courtesy of Jeff Reitz
For 44-year-old Air Force veteran Jeff Reitz, Disneyland is certainly the “Happiest Place on Earth.” After all, he’s gone to the California theme park every day since 2012, racking up more than 2,025 consecutive visits in a row.
Why does he do it? It all started when Reitz found himself unemployed. He and a friend — also without work — began visiting the park daily as a way to lift their spirits. A habit was formed, one that continued even after he found a job.
Today he says he loves the exercise he gets walking around Disney — he told Delish, a recipe and trending food news website, that he’s shed 40 pounds in the last six months — and also enjoys taking pictures and getting to know other guests and cast members.
Reitz says he will continue to treat himself to the daily Disneyland visits “for as long as he can,” according to a Disney press release.
“I’m still having fun with it. That’s the only reason I’m still doing this,” said the Huntington Beach, Calif., resident. “It wasn’t about going for records or anything like that. That’s been a bonus.”
After trying every ride and restaurant, he says his favorite ride is the Matterhorn Bobsleds, which he first rode when he was 2. His favorite place to eat? Pizza Port in Tomorrowland. The food there, he says, is very affordable, with pasta dishes starting at $9.49.
He also advises tourists to get the Disneyland app for their smartphone in order to stay on top of wait times and ride closures. To reserve times for the more popular attractions, make use of the FastPass+ system.
With so many trips under his belt, Reitz has plenty of other tips for those visiting Disney for the first time, according to HuffPost. Here are just a few:
Best time of year to go: The end of January, February and early March. Or sometime between Labor Day and mid-September, before the start of Halloween-related attractions.
Best time of day to go: Although Reitz doesn’t usually visit the park until after 5 p.m. in order to accommodate his day job at VA Long Beach Healthcare System, the annual pass holder advises others to arrive for the “rope drop,” or the morning ritual in which cast members lead guests a little way into the park, ahead of its designated opening time. If the park opens at 8 a.m., for example, you can be on Main Street at 7:30 and hang out until the rope drops, thereby getting a head start on the crowds, he told HuffPost.
Best place to see fireworks: Forgo Main Street and watch from either the It’s A Small World ride or over at the Rivers of America in Frontierland. “Both locations have projections and views of the main fireworks,” he told HuffPost. “I also enjoy watching from other places that may not have the full show, but just views to see the big bombs go off, like Tarzan’s Treehouse, Critter Country or Big Thunder Trail.”
For the rest of his tips, go here.