Fun Tips: Finding Hidden Mickeys at Disney World
A Hidden Mickey is an image of Mickey Mouse concealed in the design of a Disney attraction. Hidden Mickeys started out as an inside joke among the Walt Disney Imagineers. It has been said that when EPCOT center began, it was to be for adults, not children, therefore, Mickey was to be left out. But the Imagineers, in a form of quiet rebellion, began adding subtle Hidden Mickeys.
Eventually, the Imagineers included Hidden Mickeys most anywhere — when designing buildings, putting the finishing touches on a new attraction or hotel, hiding silhouettes, profiles, and other images of Mickey Mouse in murals, queue areas, and even golf course sand traps.
The word quickly spread of these subtle tributes to Walt’s famous mouse and soon it became a tradition for Disney fans everywhere to search for Hidden Mickeys in Disney theme parks.
Originally, it took the shape of a head and ears silhouette – one large circle with two smaller circles in the appropriate place on top. But Hidden Mickeys can take on many forms, including Mickey’s profile.
Because new ones are continually being added and older ones removed, the total correct number of Hidden Mickeys will probably never be known. But that doesn’t stop Disney enthusiasts from tracking them down, and rejoicing at each new find.
They’ve been discovered hidden in murals, fences, shows – you name it, you can probably find a Mickey hidden somewhere in it!
The search is fun for the entire family, and adds a sense of adventure to your Disney World Vacation. How involved your search becomes will depend on the ages of your children. And obviously the most serious “searchers” are usually adults. Keep in mind that some Mickeys appear to be hidden and some deliberate. The deliberate ones won’t count if you’re doing a serious Hidden Mickey search.
There are two ways to approach the Hidden Mickey search:
1. Arrive in the Magic Kingdom with no clue as to where to find Hidden Mickeys. Rather, rely only on the observation skills of all family members to discover them. This is the most challenging option. If you decide on this course, be sure to keep score and make a game out of it. Have a prize already decided for the winner which can be given out on the day of departure.
2. The second, easier, method is to do a little research before you go. Read up on where they are located, then you will know exactly where to look for various Hidden Mickeys. An official Walt Disney World list can be obtained by visiting Guest Relations at any of the Walt Disney World theme parks. Not as challenging a search, but still holds the fun of discovery.
Here are a few advance tips:
The Haunted Mansion boasts “999 Happy Haunts,” but it also has one “mouse” – a Hidden Mickey formed by an arrangement of dishes on the table in the attraction’s banquet scene.
A Hidden Mickey enjoys a day on the river in the final scene in Frontierland’s Splash Mountain. A pink cloud floating high above the Zip-A-Dee Lady steamboat looks very much like a profile of Mickey lying on his back.
Mickey goes to Norway, the Gateway to Scandinavia. A Viking dons a pair of Mickey Mouse Ears on the mural above the queue line for Maelstrom, the pavilion’s boat ride attraction.
At Spaceship Earth in Epcot Future World, Mickey is hidden in his own constellation of stars just beyond the attraction’s loading area.
A Hidden Mickey can be found in the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The child actress who vanishes from the Hollywood Tower Hotel one stormy night is clutching a Mickey Mouse doll in the attraction’s pre-show.
Two Hidden Mickeys were placed in the tile floor in the rotunda area of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster attraction.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Look for Mickey in the Pizzafari restaurant in Discovery Island. His silhouette can be found on a wall mural hidden among leopard spots.
The Boneyard in DinoLand U.S.A., in the woolly mammoth dig site, Mickey has been formed with a fan and two hard hats.
There are more than 25 Hidden Mickeys at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. He is hidden in murals, tree trunks and paintings of animals.
The Maharajah Jungle Trek is Hidden Mickey treasure land! There are several in the drawings on the ruins just as you enter the tiger habitat.
Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course presents a Hidden Mickey in the form of a giant sand trap that lies next to the green.
Golfers at Disney’s Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge Golf Courses will notice that Mickey’s head is used as a putting green at the course clubhouse area.
At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, a Hidden Mickey is found on the weather vane atop the convention center.
Unfortunately, no one – not Imagineers nor Cast Members – has ever kept official track of where the Hidden Mickeys were originally placed. Since attractions change or are enhanced throughout the years, Hidden Mickeys can disappear and others appear or reappear for many reasons. Therefore, there is no official count.
Since there’s no chance that all the Hidden Mickeys will ever be found, the search for them goes on and on. So go ahead – jump in and join the fun. Create your own family game and let it simply add to the magic of your Disney World vacation.
Please note: If you see a Disney World guest wielding a magnifying glass, you’ll know you’ve come upon a very dedicated, VERY serious Hidden Mickey fan. You might want to stand back and give that person plenty of room!
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