This Man Has Been on His Favorite Disneyland Ride 10,000 Times
No one loves the thrill of the chase as much as this man.
Jon Hale finds the Radiator Springs Racers ride, a Cars-themed attraction at Disneyland's California Adventure, so much fun he has ridden it 10,000 times as of November 13.
Hale’s journey to becoming the king of Radiator Springs began in 2012, just after the ride opened, according to his blog and YouTube channel. The first day he discovered it, he rode the ride seven times. Within six months, he had racked up a total of 56 rides.
But it wasn’t until he was on his 300th ride that the operators of the ride — the pit crew, as they’re called — noticed Hale. On this ride, he held up a sign that said “300.” As soon as the car pulled up at the end of the ride, he was greeted with cheers.
After that, Hale got to know all the Disneyland pit crew members like they were his own family; some even invited him to their weddings. They joined him for milestone rides 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, and so on.
Hale even once rode the ride 30 times in one day to achieve 2,400 rides by the end of 2014.
He’s also a meticulous record keeper, making notes of every car he rides, the license plates, and whether or not he “wins.” The winning cars are totally random, but he keeps the record regardless. Who knows, if you look at his books, you might even be able to figure out an algorithm from them, but we’re just guessing.
At this point, you might be wondering why someone would put so much effort into riding a ride. Well, to Hale, it’s much more than that.
In 2010, before the ride even opened, Hale’s choice of activity on any day off from work was coming to Disneyland. However, moving around was often difficult, as he weighed 405 pounds and suffered incredible pain in his knees.
Hale couldn’t stand for more than an hour, so in order to come to the park, he had to rent a scooter. After a while, he tried to get knee replacements, but before he could do that, he needed to lose weight.
After a gastric bypass surgery and a liquid diet, Hale lost 150 pounds and finally was able to have surgery, but recovery wasn’t easy. Walking around Disneyland and riding rides can have an effect on a person’s knees.
Then, he discovered Radiator Springs, which had just the right fit so he could sit comfortably and still enjoy a thrilling ride.
According to Hale’s blog post on November 14, he rode the ride two more times after reaching his goal of 10,000.
“We will see what the rest of the year holds for me. I know I need to reach 10,101 on December 8th,” he wrote. And so, the saga continues.