Saturday, April 16, 2011

31. Hidden Mickey

Hidden Mickey is the definitive, "unofficial" source for Hidden Mickeys. Some of you are probably saying, "What's a Hidden Mickey?"  A Hidden Mickey is a representation or likeness of Mickey Mouse that has been inserted into an attraction or other location on Disney property.  They are usually created by Imagineers or designers during initial construction and are sometimes very difficult to spot.  The most common "classic" hidden Mickeys consist of three circles representing his head and adjoining round ears.  They come in all shapes and sizes, and more than 800 can be found all around the Walt Disney World resort.

The Walt Disney Company has never published a complete list of all of the "known" Hidden Mickeys, but an author and Disney World enthusiast named Steve Barrett is certainly an expert on the subject.  He has written several Disney related books including "Hidden Mickeys, A Field Guide to Walt Disney World's Best Kept Secrets."  Along with this book, he has created and hosts  Steve does a wonderful job at maintaining a catalog of Hidden Mickeys on the site.  They are from Walt Disney World as well as from other Disney Parks around the world.  He even features Hidden Mickeys from the Disney Cruise Line as well as from Disney movies.  In addition to detailed descriptions, Steve also provides pictures of most of the Hidden Mickeys on the website.

Steve explains the history of the Hidden Mickey on his site.  He says that they started appearing in the late 1980's in Epcot as an inside joke among the Imagineers.  When Epcot was being built, Disney management felt that the characters only belonged in the Magic Kingdom.  The Imagineers didn't agree and began placing Hidden Mickeys into Epcot.  Because of the their popularity, Imagineers are now encouraged to place Hidden Mickeys in new construction.
Hidden Mickeys in the rug at the Beach Club Resort
Occasionally spotting a Hidden Mickey in Walt Disney World is alot of fun, but actually using the Hidden Mickeys Field Guide and website can add a whole other dimension to your vacation. On a recent trip I found myself looking at on my iPhone while waiting in most of the queues. In keeping up with modern technology, Steve now has an actual Hidden Mickey's Guide app that is available for the iPhone.  It is a challenge to see how many Hidden Mickeys you can spot on each attraction.  Some are rather obvious while there are others that actually require the flash of your camera to see!  An example of this is the cuckoo clock located in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Hidden Mickey on the door of the cuckoo clock
New Hidden Mickeys often pop up around Disney World during refurbishments as well as when something new is built.  There is a section on the website to submit a Hidden Mickey if you think you have discovered one.  Steve will evaluate it and often ask the website visitors to vote on whether they think it was "purposely" put there by the Imagineers.  He may actually include your discovery in the next edition of his book. If you are looking for a great new way to enjoy the magic of Walt Disney World, I highly suggest visiting It is also a good idea to pick up one of Steve's Hidden Mickeys Field Guides prior to your next vacation.  You can purchase them right from his website.

Have a Disneyriffic day and remember to keep moving forward.  See ya real soon!

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