What began as an inside joke among Walt Disney Imagineers, the artists and engineers who design Disney parks and attractions, has become a passion with many Walt Disney World Resort guests. "Hidden Mickeys" are not the life-sized, two-legged, and four-fingered variety, but silhouettes and abstract images of Mickey Mouse cleverly hidden by Disney Imagineers throughout the 47-square-mile Vacation Kingdom.
Imagineers include Hidden Mickeys when designing, building, or putting the finishing touches on a new attraction or hotel, hiding silhouettes, profiles, and other images of Mickey Mouse in murals, queue areas, and even golf course sand traps. As word spread of these subtle tributes to Walt's famous mouse, guest sought to find them all.
Where the next Hidden Mickey will appear is anyone's guess. Here are some hints to start your quest for Hidden Mickeys at Walt Disney World Resort:
· While the Haunted Mansion boasts "999 Happy Haunts," it also has one "mouse" – a Hidden Mickey formed by an arrangement of dishes ont he table in the attraction's banquet scene.
· A Hidden Mickey enjoys a lazy day on the river in the final scene in Frontierland's Splash Mountain. A pink cloud floating high above the "Zip-A-Dee Lady" paddlewheeler bears a striking resemblance to a profile of Mickey lying on his back.
· Mickey goes around the world in Norway, Gateway to Scandinavia. A burly Viking sports a pair of Mickey Mouse Ears on the mural above the queue line for Maelstrom, the pavilion's boat ride attraction.
· Mickey Mouse has always been the brightest of starts. And at Spaceship Earth in Epcot Future World, Mickey is actually hidden in his own constellation just beyond the attraction's loading area.
· A subtle Hidden Mickey can be found in the supernatural realm of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The Young child actress who vanishes from the Hollywood Tower Hotel one stormy night is clutching a Mickey Mouse doll in the attraction's pre-show.
· Mickey rocks his way into Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. Two Hidden Mickeys were placed in the tile floor in the attraction's rotunda area.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
· Mickey can be "spotted" in the Pizzafari restaurant in the park's Discovery Island. His silhouette can be found on a wall mural, cleverly hidden among leopard spots.
· Mickey really digs The Boneyard in DinoLand U.S.A. In the woolly mammoth dig site Mickey has been formed with fan and two hard hats.
· The are more than 25 Hidden Mickeys at Rafiki's Planet Watch, with Mickey found hidden in murals, tree trunks and paintings of animals.