One term that you will hear all the time when planning a Walt Disney World vacation is “Hidden Mickey”. What exactly does that mean? It’s simple, a Hidden Mickey is when the shape of the mouse who started it all is worked into a design or pattern that isn’t based on Mickey. Sometimes it will be his silhouette, but most often it is a large circle with two smaller circles at the top for the ears. Hidden Mickeys are snuck in by Imagineers and designers as a fun way to pay tribute to Mickey, and to Walt Disney as well. Some are obvious, while others are more subtle.
Hidden Mickeys are everywhere. You will find them in the parks, in the restaurants, in the shops, and even in the carpet of your room if you’re staying on property. Looking for Hidden Mickeys is a game in some families, they will make lists and take pictures of any that they find.
There is no definitive list of Hidden Mickeys. There is a popular book that contains many of the most famous ones, but that doesn’t have them all. Ask Cast Members where their favorite Hidden Mickeys are, and you might find a few that you wouldn’t have discovered on your own.
If you’re waiting in a long line for a ride, keep your eyes open. Looking for Hidden Mickeys can help to pass the time, and it might also help you to start a conversation with those also in the line, which can make the wait feel shorter. The people around you might know of a few good spots to check that you’ve missed.
There is one thing that I need to warn you about if you decide to look for Hidden Mickeys; it’s difficult to stop. Once you’re back home you will still see them everywhere. You’ll notice that the dishes in the sink are somehow in a familiar pattern, or that the blob of gum on the sidewalk reminds you of a certain mouse. There’s nothing wrong with looking for unofficial Hidden Mickeys at home, especially if they put a smile on your face.