Everything you want to know about Hidden Mickey’s
At first glance it appears that the picture above is merely a decorative piece showing Mr. Potato Head, Slinky Dog, and Bullseye on the loading dock of Hollywood Studio’s Toy Story Mania. However if you look closer there is a secret picture hidden inside, placed there by Imagineers. Take another look here (I have outlined it in yellow):
It’s a Mickey Head! Hidden Mickey’s are a tradition that began back in the 1970s when the higher ups at Disney wanted to restrict Mickey and Minnie to the Magic Kingdom. More specifically it began when Imagineers were creating Epcot. Epcot was designed to be more of an adult park that would include selling alcohol and Disney characters and alcohol weren’t exactly the most appropriate of combinations. Through the design “limitation” Imagineers birthed the “Hidden Mickey” and to this day any Disney construction will unquestionably have a few concealed Mickeys laying around. Finding Hidden Mickey’s has become a game entire families enjoy while visiting Disney parks. The official definition of a Hidden Mickey per Steven M. Barrett’s 4th edition of “Hidden Mickeys” is “A partial or complete image of Mickey Mouse that has been hidden by Disney’s Imagineers and artists in the designs of Disney attractions, hotels, restaurants, and other areas. These images are designed to blend into their surroundings.”
Did you know that Mickey isn’t the only character hidden around the parks? In fact you can find Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and many other characters hidden around Disney’s theme parks. Unlike Donald, Goofy and Minnie some Hidden Mickey’s you find may not actually be a Hidden Mickey and instead a happy accident of 3 circles that look like a Mickey Head. While there is no master list of “official” Hidden Mickey’s one way to tell if you’ve found one placed by an Imagineer is to look at the proportions of the circles. An “official” Hidden Mickey’s head circle will be larger than his ears circle and the ears will be touching the head in perfect proportion.
Another key factor to keep in mind when trying to point out a Hidden Mickey is the difference between a decorative Mickey and a Hidden Mickey. Decorative Mickey’s are in plain view- as in they are not in the least bit concealed, rather they boost the decor a bit. Contrarily some Hidden Mickeys are so concealed that they can only been seen at certain times or from specific vantage points, like on a ride. This is why finding them is so entertaining, it’s like finding easter eggs left behind by the Disney version of the Easter Bunny.
Hidden Mickey’s can be found at every Disney park including Disney Springs. Check out a few from each park below:
SPOILER ALERT!! I am about to share a Hidden Mickey from each park!
Disney SpringsStep inside Once Upon A Toy at Disney Springs and head to where you can design your own Mr. Potato Head, you should see two black classic Mickeys on his blue sandals.
Animal KingdomNext time you're shopping at Mombasa Marketplace be sure to look for this clever Hidden Mickey.
Hollywood StudiosAt the end of the right wall in the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" room, a hieroglyphic classic Mickey is at the right lower part of the first full pane above the stones on the floor. It's to the right of the lower leg of a standing figure etched in the pane.
Magic KingdomInside Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, you can find this Hidden Mickey planet repeated several times in the queuing area as well as in the ride.
EpcotAs you enter the Les Vins de France bakery in France at Epcot's World Showcase be sure to check out the molding on the columns.
So whats all the hullabaloo with Hidden Mickeys? The answer to that question may be different for everyone. However for me it sums up how intricate the Disney company truly is and it showcases the passion, genius, and uniqueness of the Disney Imagineers. It is no secret that Disney does everything to a world class standard, Hidden Mickey’s are another way they make the parks enjoyable and show that they pay attention to detail. So all in all you don’t win a prize for finding the most Hidden Mickey’s, however when you find one and are able to point it out its as if you are a part of a secret not everyone knows about and that is a pretty cool thing!