Since we’ve been to Disney several times over the past few years, sometimes we get to the point of been-there-done-that, which takes away some of the magical feeling we love about Disney. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it most recently happened on a long holiday weekend trip where we didn’t plan our daily itinerary very well and we ended up wandering around aimlessly and left disappointed. When planning our latest vacation, which we had the luxury of staying for 8 days, we knew that we needed to plan some new experiences to keep us excited and engaged in the parks for an entire week. My husband has always wanted to search for hidden Mickeys and we figured that was a good way to see something ‘new’ in the places we’ve seen many times.
So before leaving on our trip we purchased Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets by Steven M. Barrett. I was excited because it was the newest version including the new Fantasyland – little did I know when I bought it, Fantasyland would be where we found the best one!
There are some Mickeys that are not-so-hidden, but others that are really amazing and so hidden that we would never find them on our own. There are hundreds of them, so there was no danger of finishing the book – – I think it would take years and dozens of visits to find all of the Mickeys! In the 8 days we were there, I’d estimate we found about 30 – and even then there was some controversy amongst our family members of what should truly be considered a hidden Mickey. My daughter and I were very lenient, considering any structure with three circles a Mickey, while my husband was much stricter on what he would consider a valid hidden Mickey. Either way, we had fun scouring the parks and resorts as we enjoyed our vacation. There were even times that we were upset that the lines were moving too fast because we didn’t have time to locate what we were looking for. I guess that’s a good problem to have at Disney!
The book is set up as a scavenger hunt with clues – each chapter is for a different park and there’s a chapter on Disney resort hidden Mickeys as well. We weren’t used to stopping and looking so closely at the design of attractions and we kept forgetting to pull out our book. But when we did remember to pull it out we were glad we did!
I was excited to write all about the Mickeys we found…but the thing about a hidden Mickey is – – it blends in! That’s how they’re so well hidden! I kept going through our photos from the trip and could not find the pictures we took of hidden Mickeys. However, eventually I realized that random-looking pictures (the ones where you think ‘why did we take a picture of that?’) are the pictures with the Mickeys.
Here are a few that we really liked:
Journey of the Little Mermaid ride – The lily pads create a Mickey in the pond towards the end of the Little Mermaid ride in the new Fantasyland. This was one line that is normally long and slow, but this time was really fast so we missed a lot of the Mickeys we were looking for in line.
The Maelstrom – This is a really tough one – you can see it if you enlarge the photo. On the viking ship, one of the vikings has Mickey ears on (he’s to the right of the pole holding the sail.) This was a hidden Mickey that we had seen on a previous trip, but only because someone had the book and pointed it out to us!
Living with the Land – This Mickey in the cabbage seems obvious, but we’ve ridden this ride many times and not even noticed that the different colors are creating a Mickey!
My husband brews his own beer so he really liked the Mickey in the hops plant.
Journey of the Little Mermaid (ride exit) – We were looking for this one forever while trying not to block the exit of the Journey of the Little Mermaid ride! We read the description in the book but just could not see what we were looking for – it was the Steamboat Willie character from the old black and white cartoons. A few different rocks made up each part of his body but we just were not seeing it. Fortunately someone exiting the ride noticed us and pointed it out for us – – he actually had a Steamboat Willie tattoo on his forearm that we used for reference!! It was unbelievable! If you still can’t picture him – check him out here. The rock at the top is his hat, then the next one is his face, then his body and closest to the bottom is his foot. There was also a rock that was the steering wheel of the boat, but that big plant is blocking the view.
We had an awesome time looking for Hidden Mickeys. I’d highly recommend it for people who have been to Disney before to add some extra magic at every turn. The book even has instructions on how you can split up in teams to look for Mickeys competitively! You can find more info about it at http://www.hiddenmickeyguy.com
With hundreds of Mickeys left to look for… just another reason to start planning another trip back inside the bubble!
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