A Huntington Beach man’s love of Disneyland has earned him a spot in history with a feat that may never be matched.
Jeff Reitz was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for visiting Disneyland 2,995 days in a row.
The 50-year-old started his streak when he was unemployed in 2012. His daily park visits were only cut short when the resort shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reitz told Guinness World Records that the journey to become the record holder for most Disneyland visits started as a joke.
“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,” Reitz told the record book. “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 trips to Disneyland made Reitz a park celebrity in his own right once a reporter from the Orange County Register began logging Reitz’s journey on his 183rd visit to the park.
“Then on 2012 July 1, halfway through the year, the Orange County Register reporter printed a story about making it to Day 183,” Reitz told the record book.
“Then the Associated Press picked up the story and it became real as I was contacted by newspapers and radio stations from around the globe asking for interviews.”
Reitz would document his visits to the park with check-ins on social media. In 2017, when he reached the 2,000th visit milestone, Disneyland gave him a gift basket and a certificate recognizing him as an honorary citizen.
With the Disney 100 celebration in full swing, Reitz plans to visit the park again soon.
“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,” Reitz said.