A hero can be anyone. It can be a fireman who runs back into a burning home to save a beloved childhood pet (toad). It can be a teacher who stays after school to help a student struggling with math. It can be a long Italian-style sandwich filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, and seasonings.
A hero can even be two unemployed people who make it their mission to go to Disneyland every day even though some days you just don't feel like going to Disneyland.
Two such heroes were recognized recently in Anaheim for their brave commitment to doing whatever.
Tonya Mickesh, 45, explained to the OC Register that she and Jeff Reitz, 40, first came up with the idea of visiting Disneyland every single day for a year "as a way to keep ourselves occupied because we didn't have jobs" – an interesting strategy when one is looking for work.
Armed with the annual passes they had received as gifts, the couple set out to prove that it really is a small world after all, particularly when your entire world is contained within the boundaries of the Disneyland theme park.
While the intrepid explorers started off strong, coordinating visits eventually became tricky. Mickesh landed a full-time second-shift job in April, which meant she could only go in the mornings. Reitz found work in September, further limiting their availability. Yet every day, come 80 degree weather, or 65 degree weather, light breeze, or mild breeze, they went.
Over the course of their yearlong journey, the duo learned many of the park's most intriguing secrets, like:
- the bathroom behind Big Thunder Ranch BBQ has hot water
- the cream-cheese pretzels sold out of carts are a good snack
On the couple's 366th straight day of Disney wonder, they were made honorary citizens of the Free Republic of Disneyland (this can technically happen to any visitor; you get a little gift certificate and a pin) and rewarded with a free night in the park's Dream Suite, located above the entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in a fake version of New Orleans.
All told, the price of admission per day for the couple worked out to $1.77 per person, thanks to their annual passes.
The couple kicked off 2013 with a visit to the Disneyland theme park, a place they had never been.