What in the world is a Hidden Mickey? It’s an image of Mickey Mouse that is designed by Disney’s Imagineers and artists to blend into its surroundings. The most common Hidden Mickey is an outline of Mickey’s head formed by three intersecting circles (the three-circle or classic Hidden Mickey). However, the hidden image may be a side profile of Mickey’s face, or his full body, or just his shoes or handprints. Even his name or initials in unusual places may qualify as a Hidden Mickey!
Disney encourages the artists to use their imagination when creating a Hidden Mickey, and some images are quite compelling. You’ll find that some Mickey images are more hidden than others, and some images are not hidden at all – we call these décor or decorative Mickey images. And it’s not just Mickeys that are hidden. The term “Hidden Mickey” also applies to hidden images of other popular characters, like Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Tinker Bell and others.
Disney artists and designers began purposefully hiding Mickey in the Disney environment in the early 1980’s, when Epcot was rising up from the Florida landscape. However, in retrospect, Hidden Mickey images existed years before Epcot, in the Magic Kingdom, in Disneyland, California and in Disney movies and cartoons. It’s likely that spontaneous Mickey images (especially the three-circle Mickey) materialized at times from the subconscious creative minds of the artists, animators and designers as they worked.
These days, new Hidden Mickeys appear at a steady rate on Disney properties worldwide, especially during refurbishments and openings of new attractions, shops and other areas. Disney usually doesn’t tell us about new Hidden Images, so your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find new (and old) Hidden Mickeys on (or off!) Disney property. To accomplish this mission, you must remain vigilant at all times when you’re on Disney territory. Marvel in the intricate Disney detail, and you just may spot Mickey hiding! Unfortunately, also be aware that Hidden Mickeys disappear at times :-(
I’d like to introduce you to some cool Hidden Mickeys in the Magic Kingdom and Epcot at Walt Disney World.
1. When I began my Hidden Mickey quest years ago, one of the first ones that awed me is still on display at Snow White’s Scary Adventures in Fantasyland. Below the bird and two flowers on the chimney in the loading area mural, three gray stones form a classic (three-circle) Hidden Mickey.
2. In Tomorrowland, a small classic Mickey is traced in the cement close to a support beam near Astro Orbiter on the side toward Space Mountain, between Cool Ship and The Lunching Pad.
3. In the following video, I highlight a great classic Mickey in Liberty Square, on Madame Leota's merchandise stand:
4. Over in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion, a classic Mickey formed by three rocks is deep inside a hole in a large bush. It’s on the right side of the pavilion, next to the far right sidewalk to the Mitsukoshi store, and near a juniper tree.
5. In the Morocco Pavilion, across from Restaurant Marrakesh, three small classic Mickeys are on a mural on the rear wall of a small room. Aladdin and Jasmine sometimes greet guests in front of this mural. I point out these three images in the following video:
In the following photo, you can spot the tiny black Mickey in an upper doorway on the left middle part of the Morocco mural.
Steve Barrett is the author of the Hidden Mickeys Guide Book Series (Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and the Disney Cruise Ships) available in the Disney Parks and in book stores, Amazon, and on Kindle and other downloadable formats. The WDW and Disneyland Hidden Mickeys Guide books are also offered as iPhone apps.
Steve and his wife Vickie (hiddenmickeygal) are the webmasters of http://www.HiddenMickeyGuy.com, and are on Twitter @hiddenmickeyguy and Facebook as Hidden Mickey Guy Disney's Hidden Mickeys Hunter.