The turnstile clicked for the 100th day in a row Monday for a couple continuing a streak of visiting Disneyland every day in 2012.
Jeff Reitz and Tonya Mickesh met while scuba diving in 2006, and found they shared a love of Disneyland. They got the idea to visit every day in 2012 when the theme park announced it would be open for 24 hours on Leap Day.
"I woke up New Year's Day and decided 'I'm going to take advantage of that' and said we're doing 366 days this year," Mickesh said.
Reitz and Mickesh were at the front of the line on Leap Day and spent the entire 24 hours at the theme park. But many days they are there for just an hour or two, always Disneyland first, with occasional visits to Disney California Adventure.
"We get to experience Disneyland in a whole different way. A lot of the people plan their whole year or life to come to Disneyland, where we get to come here every day," Reitz said.
The daily routine for the annual passholders has them parking for free in the Mickey & Friends parking structure – they've kept the daily parking tickets.
Then they make their way to the hub, where Reitz posts three or more photos to Facebook from their visit. If they start in the morning, Mickesh gets a cup of coffee from the Market House on Main Street, U.S.A., then they go to Frontierland.
"We've been keeping an eye on several of the baby ducklings," Reitz said.
Some days they go on rides. Mickesh likes Pirates of the Caribbean the most; Reitz's favorite is the Matterhorn Bobsleds, which is closed for refurbishment until June 15.
"I can't wait until it re-opens in June to see what's different," he said.
Other days they just walk around and see what has changed, managing to find different things to do every day, rain or shine.
"When it rains it's nice; a lot less crowded," Reitz said.
They also know when to ride certain rides, like Star Tours and Space Mountain, "in the morning before it gets busy," said Reitz.
Sometimes they will eat at one of the restaurants, with corn dogs being Mickesh's favorite and Reitz favoring Pizza Port's pizza, or eat snacks carried in their backpacks.
Because of their frequent visits, they've gotten to know several cast members. Many days they visit with Gene, a cast member at the Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo, or stop by City Hall to visit with Ronnie in Guest Relations.
While they enjoy visiting Disneyland, the two are unemployed and looking for work. Reitz, a veteran, was a supervisor for a health insurance company until he was laid off in February 2010. Mickesh was a project manager. They spend their evening hours looking for jobs online and sending out resumes. They have their smartphones with them in case they get a call for an interview.
"With the economy the way it is, you really want to research your job and make sure the company is going to be around and not be looking for another job in a month or two," said Mickesh.
Reitz said he had a job for a short period last year, but the company was sold and his position was eliminated 29 days after he started.
They are even thinking of applying to work at the Disneyland Resort.
"A lot of the cast members have suggested that we come and apply with all the knowledge that we have of the parks," Reitz said.
Their favorite memory so far this year was watching the flag-raising ceremony at 6 a.m. at the end of the 24-hour Leap Day.
"That's something you never get to see because the flag is all ready up when the park opens each morning," Reitz said.