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Disneyland Article
Coronavirus Closure Ends One Mans 2995 Day Streak

Club 33
ID:
TMS-4621
Source:
Orange County Register
Author:
Brady Macdonald
Dateline:
March 17, 2020
Posted:
June 05, 2020
Status:
Current
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Jeff Reitz won’t resume his 2,995 consecutive day streak of visiting Disneyland when the Anaheim theme park reopens after an extended coronavirus closure.

“The streak’s been ended,” Reitz said at Disneyland on the last day before the closure.

Disneyland closed on Friday, March 13 and won’t reopen for the rest of the month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of the park brings to an end an 8-year-plus streak of consecutive days that Reitz visited the Happiest Place on Earth.

“You could look at it that I’m coming as long as the park is open,” said Reitz, 47, of Huntington Beach. “But that’s not the way I’ve looked at. From the beginning, I’ve always looked at it as consecutive days.”

Don’t bother trying to find a loophole that would keep the streak alive. Reitz isn’t changing his mind. The streak is broken.

“The park is closing, but the calendar is not,” Reitz said on Friday. “A lot of people have asked if there’s any way I can continue. This is the last day of it.”

Walking up to the locked gates of the park doesn’t count. Disneyland is closed. The streak is over.

Reitz isn’t planning on continuing the streak when Disneyland reopens or starting a new streak either. He might not even come to the park on the day it reopens.

“I’m still looking forward to coming back and having more fun, but it won’t be that consecutive count anymore,” Reitz said.

The Iron Man of Disneyland has mixed feelings about the end of the run.

“On the negative side, I didn’t get to choose the end,” Reitz said. “But on the positive side, I didn’t have to choose the end.”

Visiting Disneyland every day for more than 8 years was like a part-time job for Reitz, who works full time as a primary care administrator at the Veterans Administration in Long Beach.

“Usually I leave work and I come straight here,” Reitz said.

There have been pros and cons to the streak. He often gets in as many as 20,000 steps a day.

“It’s been good for me as a gym,” he said.

But the streak has been tough on relationships.

“Some people like it,” he said. “Some people think it’s gone overboard.”

The long run that started on New Year’s Eve 2011 has settled into a routine over the years. Regardless of rain, cold, heat or gloom of night.

“I’ve been doing it so long that it’s a natural thing,” Reitz said. “I get off work and I come on over, even if it’s just for an hour. On average, I was coming about three to five hours a day. I’d leave around fireworks time.”

He considered quitting as he passed each milestone: Year one, year two, day 1,000, day 2,000.

“This coming Wednesday would have been day 3,000,’ Reitz said. “I’ve been rattling around in my head, ‘Do I want to wrap it up? Or do I want to keep going?’”

Reitz had decided to keep going. He was having fun. And there were lots of new things to look forward to on the horizon. Ride restorations. Seasonal events. The opening of Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure on July 18.

“Being here every day, one of the neat things is being able to see things change and grow,” he said.

Reitz never came close to missing a day during the streak. He spent at least an hour at the park every day and usually 3 hours or more, he said. It took a global pandemic to finally bring the ride to an end.

Reitz hopes to establish a new Guinness record with his Disneyland streak: Most consecutive days in a single theme park. He’s unaware of anybody who is even close to his mark. Other streaks ended after a year or two.

“I haven’t been able to find any other records,” Reitz said.

He’s not terribly disappointed about falling short of 3,000 consecutive days.

“It would have been a neat number,” he said. “But then, there’s always that next neat number that shows up.”

He was looking forward to celebrating Day 3,333 at Club 33. But that date wasn’t as close as it sounds. The numerically novel milestone would have fallen on Valentine’s Day 2021.

The biggest challenge for Reitz was figuring out how to end the streak.

“There’s always that next day,” he said. “That’s been one of the hardest things for me. What day do I use to call the end? How far do I take this? And so that’s where I say that it’s kind of a load off my shoulders that Disney called it.”

Reitz spent the final day of his streak sharing hugs with Disneyland cast members and snapping photos with friends he’s made over the past 8 years. He’s met a lot of people during the streak — both virtually and in real life — or as real as life gets at Disneyland. He’s documented his journey with more than 9,000 posts on Instagram for his nearly 30,000 followers.

What will Reitz do now that he’s not going to Disneyland every day?

“That’s where I’m still trying to figure things out,” he said.

He’s planning to catch up on some genealogy research and binge-watch movies on Disney+.
 
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