Reitz received his first annual pass as a gift from a friend and started his habit as a fun way to get out of the house while unemployed. He’s since purchased his own annual passes, he told HuffPost, making visits to the Happiest Place on Earth on weeknights and weekends now that he’s working in optometry.
Reitz poses with Daisy Duck in Main Street’s town square on day 1,999 of his ongoing visit streak.
Sometimes Reitz visits the park alone, and sometimes he goes with his girlfriend or friends, but he says it never gets old. He recently made headlines on June 22, during his 2,000th visit to the park, and documents his visits for thousands of followers on Instagram and Facebook. He’s lost 40 pounds in the last six months from walking around the park with a pedometer, he told Delish.
Needless to say, this man has some major tips for conquering Disneyland. HuffPost asked, Reitz answered, and now the hacks are yours.
Best time of year to go:
“The end of January, February and early March. Then spring break kicks in,” Reitz says. Crowds are also more manageable “after Labor Day but before the end of September, when the Halloween events start.”
Best time of day to go:
Reitz usually hits the park after work, arriving around 5 p.m. If he had his way, though, he’d be there for “rope drop,” the morning ritual in which cast members lead guests into the park ahead of its designated opening time, then drop a rope to let the crowds run wild.
“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,” Reitz said. “You’ll have access to some of the stores on Main Street. At 8 a.m. a voice comes on and gives the spiel... and you go.”
Ultimately, Reitz points out, your group composition should determine when your visit starts: Groups with small children might want to enter the park later in the day, so kids will have the energy to make it till nighttime.
His go-to app:
The Disneyland app not only provides a park map and dining directory, but also availability and return times for Fastpasses, those little tickets that allow visitors to revisit a ride later and wait in a shorter line. Reitz recommends using the app to plan your travels around the park.
Best park meal for the value:
Reitz indulged in pizza and pasta on day 2,005 of his streak.
Most “underrated” park meal:
“For a different treat I like to get the chicken nuggets with honey mustard dipping sauce,” Reitz said. “You can actually get them in four locations: Golden Horseshoe, Stage Door Café, Hungry Bear Restaurant, and Smokejumpers Grill in Disney California Adventure.”
The item he always brings in:
“A portable battery. With so many photo and video opportunities and wanting to stay in contact with friends and family, you can burn through your batteries pretty quick.”
His fireworks hack:
Skip the crowds on Main Street, and “try watching the fireworks from It’s A Small World or over on the Rivers Of America,” Reitz said. “Both locations have projections and views of the main fireworks. 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.”
Reitz climbed Tarzan’s Treehouse on day 2,007.
His ticket trick:
Reitz has an annual pass, so he doesn’t buy tickets regularly. His advice for mere mortals who must? “Plan ahead. Check the Disneyland website or Disneyland app to check schedules and prices. Since they now run on a flex schedule for pricing, it could make a difference if you come during the week versus on the weekend.”
A Fastpass secret:
You needn’t hold on to that paper receipt. “The printed Fastpasses are currently used as a reminder only, as all times are now attached electronically to your [park] ticket or annual pass.”
His number-one mantra:
“Have fun! If you aren’t having a good time, no matter how many rides or characters you see, if makes it harder to enjoy yourself. Take time to chat with a cast member. They have a lot of information to share and are the true source of magic in the parks, from giving directions and times to sharing a joke and a smile.”
We’d guess Reitz would be happy if you said hi to him, too. Enjoy your visit!