Did you know that there is more to Walt Disney World than meets the eye? If you look closely in many attractions, resorts, and even in the walkways you will find “Hidden Mickeys.” What is a Hidden Mickey you ask? It is usually a combination of three circles that form a Mickey Head, but sometimes it can be a silhouette, a fully drawn Mickey that is disguised or hidden in an unusual location, or even a written reference to Mickey Mouse. Finding Hidden Mickeys can become addicting, and it is a fun way to pass time in a line queue, at your resort or while you are walking through the parks.
Steve Barrett is the Hidden Mickey Guru, and you can find his fun book, Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets at various locations; it is the perfect size to bring along to the parks with you to help you track down all of the Hidden Mickeys. Even more convenient is his mobile App, Hidden Mickeys Walt Disney World that you can play on your mobile device and check off the Mickeys as you find them. Barrett also has versions for Disneyland (book and mobile) and Disney Cruise Line (book). Here is my list of our top 9 Hidden Mickeys (both easy and challenging) that I like to try to find while at Disney World:
9. Flamingo Island, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Animal Kingdom
This is an easy one—as you come around the flamingo island on the safari look at the island itself, it forms a classic three circle Mickey head.
8. Aquarium, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Epcot
Best seen from the upstairs observation decks, this classic three circle Mickey Head is formed on the floor of the aquarium with rocks.
7. Wilderness Lodge
There are many, many Hidden Mickeys at the Wilderness Lodge (and Animal Kingdom Lodge). At Wilderness Lodge you can request a Hidden Mickey hunt paper from the concierge desk to help you spot all of them. My son and I even found a Hidden Mickey made out of pinecones on the walking trail from Wilderness Lodge to Fort Wilderness (right before a deer ran out in front of us). And on one of our stays we had our own personal Hidden Mickey on the pole outside our balcony (that was pretty awesome). But, my favorite Wilderness Lodge Hidden Mickey that everyone can see is hidden in the magnificent fireplace in the lobby.
6. Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin Queue, Magic Kingdom
The walls of the queue for Buzz Lightyear have a lot of fun things to look at to get you ready to battle Zurg, and you can enhance this by searching for the Hidden Mickey. This one is a silhouette—look around for a planet that looks like home to find it.
5. Christmas Scene, Carousel of Progress, Magic Kingdom
Carousel of Progress is a nostalgic must-do for my family every trip, and though it is dated the last scene at Christmas contains a few Hidden Mickeys along with other tributes. Check out the mantle for a Mickey decoration, and look under the tree for a Mickey gift.
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4. Renaissance Painting Scene, Spaceship Earth, Epcot
Again, you will find lots of Hidden Mickeys on Spaceship Earth along with those other tributes. Look around for three circle classic Mickeys, as well as references to Mickey Mouse and Mickey Mouse films—it gives this attraction a lot of re-rideability. My favorite here is located in the Renaissance Art or Painting section. Look to the left of the ride vehicle and you will see where the artist left a classic three circle Mickey head left by one of the artist’s paint cups.
3. The Drop, Splash Mountain, Magic Kingdom
To find this one takes some guts! Splash Mountain is a great Hidden Mickey attraction as they are peppered throughout the ride and queue. The one I am talking about is right as you are about to plunge into the briar patch. As you ascend before the drop look at the left side of the opening—sticking out into the opening is the nose of a profile of Mickey Mouse!
2. Lobby, Hall of Presidents, Magic Kingdom
For this Hidden Mickey you don’t even have to sit through the Hall of Presidents presentation (but I recommend you do it at least once). Enter the lobby or waiting area and take a look at the Presidential exhibits and paintings. Near the entrance to the theater is a large painting that features George Washington standing in the center of a group of Founding Fathers. Look closely at the tip of the sword he is holding.
1. The Ballroom/Dining Room Scene, Haunted Mansion, Magic Kingdom
This one is my favorite because it is easy to find and it is one of the first I found. Beware—it is sometimes moved apart by those tricky ghosts so there is a chance you may not see it. As you go through the ballroom and dining room scene where the ghosts are dancing look carefully at the table: there is a Hidden Mickey made out of the plates! You will find a lot of other Hidden Mickeys in the Haunted Mansion, look closely in the attic there is a lot to see there (even a hidden Jack Skellington). As you are about to exit the graveyard toward the end of the attraction take notice of the Opera Singer in the mausoleum, you may just see one more classic Mickey Head.
What are your favorite Hidden Mickeys to find while at Walt Disney World? Do you have a particularly difficult one to challenge us on our next vacation?