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WHAT ARE HIDDEN MICKEYS?

 

(Adapted from the Introduction to "Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide To walt Disney World's Best Kept Secrets" by Steven M. Barrett.)

Have you ever marveled at a "Hidden Mickey?" People in the know often shout with glee when they recognize one. Some folks are so involved with discovering them that Hidden Mickeys can be visualized where none actually exist. These outbreaks of Hidden Mickey mania are confusing to the unenlightened. So let’s get enlightened!

Here’s the definition of an official Hidden Mickey: 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. Sharp-eyed visitors have the fun of finding them.

The practice probably started as an inside joke among the Imagineers (the designers and builders of Disney attractions). Then guests and "cast members" (Disney employees) started spotting them and the concept took on a life of its own. Today, Hidden Mickeys are anticipated in any new constuction at Walt Disney World, and Hidden Mickey fans can’t wait to find them.

Hidden Mickeys come in all sizes and many forms. The most common is an outline of Mickey’s head formed by three intersecting circles, one for Mickey’s round head and two for his round ears. Among Hidden Mickey fans, this image has been known as the "classic" Hidden Mickey, a term I will adopt in this book. Other Hidden Mickeys include a side or oblique (usually three-quarter) profile of Mickey’s face and head, a side profile of his entire body, a full-length silhouette of his body seen from the front, a detailed picture of his face or body, or a three-dimensional Mickey Mouse. Sometimes just his gloves, handprints, shoes or ears appear. Even his name or initials in unusual places may qualify as a Hidden Mickey.

And it’s not just Mickeys that are hidden. The term "Hidden Mickey" also applies to hidden images of other popular characters. There are Hidden Minnies, Hidden Donald Ducks, Hidden Goofys, and other Hidden characters in Disney World, and I include some of them in this book.

The sport of finding Hidden Mickeys is catching on and adds even more interest to an already fun-filled Walt Disney World vacation. "Hidden Mickeys" is your "field guide" to nearly 400 Hidden Mickeys in WDW. To add to the fun, instead of just describing them, I’ve organized them into six scavenger hunts, one for each of the major theme parks, one for the Walt Disney World® Resort hotels, and one for all the rest of WDW, the water parks, Downtown Disney, and beyond. The hunts are designed for maximum efficiency so that you can spend your time looking for Mickeys rather than cooling your heels in lines. Follow the Clues and you will find the best Hidden Mickeys WDW has to offer. If you have trouble spotting a particular Hidden Mickey (some are extraordinarily well camouflaged!) you can turn to the Hints at the end of each scavenger hunt.

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