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February 2008 Archives

February 2, 2008

Typical Research Day - Animal Kingdom

I thought I'd talk about what I do to verify Hidden Mickey sightings that folks send me.

As many of you know, I like to use fairly stringent criteria for the "classic" (three-circle) Mickey.

The highest order criterion is if an Imagineer or Disney artist tells me directly that he or she placed a Hidden Mickey image. That's a no-brainer, but that's happened only twice. An Imagineer took me to a classic Mickey image in the interactive area at the exit of Mission: SPACE.

Mission Space Hidden Mickey


A Disney artist e-mailed me a few months ago that I have all the Hidden Mickeys he knows of in Conservation Station at Disney's Animal Kingdom (he painted most of them in the entrance mural). That made me feel great!

One other instance that didn't involve me directly is when a graphic artist posted on a website that he'd painted a Hidden Mickey on the rotating earth (the "O" of Epcot) on the Tip Board in Innoventions Plaza. He made Australia appear as a classic Mickey, and he had to tell someone since nobody had discovered it!

Most of the time, I check out submissions by myself. I work faster and more intensively if I'm alone. I observe images from different angles, reading the descriptions several times over, as I try to re-create what the submitter saw.

One recent day, I was at Animal Kingdom with my bag of papers. The sky was cloudy, but it didn't rain. The temperature was comfortable and the crowds were moderate. My first stop was the Spoonbill area, just to the left as you walk onto Discovery Island from the Oasis bridge. Some rocks suggested a classic Mickey image. I understand the poster's idea, but the rocks are not proportioned quite right and are a bit too distorted for me, especially the "ear" to our left.

Questionable Hidden Mickey in Animal Kingdom


Next stop was the "Creature Comforts" shop. Close to a large decorative giraffe inside the store is a beetle with a classic Mickey marking. The photo shows this image, which is acceptable to me, as the "head" circle is larger than the "ears," which touch the head but not each other. (Jesse Kline sent me this image).

Hidden Mickey in Creature Comforts


Near the bridge to DinoLand, I enjoyed a group playing South American music (from Peru, Ecuador, etc.); excellent performance!

Musical Group

Inside Pizzafari Restaurant, I revisited a classic Mickey in the trees in the first room to the right as you leave the food order area. The three highest circles form a sideways Mickey, and they seem somewhat proportionate. I like it, and the MouseFest, 2007 Hidden Mickey Hunt group liked it, too! (Thanks to Sharon Dale for this image).

Pizzafari Hidden Mickey

I checked out many more sightings, some I liked and some I didn't like. As usual, I ran out of time before I could finish. No matter, this was a satisfying day of research, the kind of day I live for!

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Read more about Steve's Hidden Mickey finds on AllEarsNet.com

Steve maintains a Catalog of Hidden Mickeys on the Hidden Mickeys Guide.

The Third Edition of Steve's Walt Disney World Hidden Mickeys book is available on Amazon.com. Hidden Mickeys, 3rd Edition: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World's Best-Kept Secrets

His First Edition of Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys is also available on Amazon.com Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to the Disneyland Resort's Best-Kept Secrets (Disneyland's Hidden Mickey's)


February 14, 2008

My Son and I at WDW

My son Steven first experienced Walt Disney World when he was 6 years old. That was my first trip to WDW as well. He was young enough for me to carry, and I have great memories of Steven perched around my neck or on my back as we explored the wonders of the Magic Kingdom. Our family visited WDW many times from our homes in Oklahoma and then Texas. We now live near Orlando and enjoy WDW whenever we can.

Steven is a really good Hidden Mickey spotter. Not long ago, he found a tiny classic Mickey at the Saratoga Springs Resort. It's on the statue of the horse and jockey, on the rose blanket which is draped over the horse. (Check out the photo!) I know I've talked about this Hidden Mickey before, but I'm especially proud of him for finding this little gem.

Steven recently graduated from Auburn University, and he and I celebrated the occasion at the California Grill. This restaurant in the Contemporary Resort is popular and often books up. I asked the guard at the entrance gate if folks could just show up without reservations and eat in the lounge or at the counter facing the kitchen. He didn't seem to know, but our server verified that even on busy evenings, guests can grab a seat (often after a wait) in the lounge or counter and eat dinner. I guess it's a bit of a gamble, but it might be an option if you wanted to enjoy this restaurant as a walk-up guest.

Steven and I took a window table in the lounge and ordered our meals there. He chose the signature filet (my wife Vickie has liked this steak for years), and I picked the pork tenderloin. Our meals were delicious. He sipped beer and I savored an Argentinian red wine as we watched a beautiful sunset over the Grand Floridian Resort from our window. (The cool classic Mickey in the California Grill on the doors to the rear seating room is still there!).

dscn0012_1906.jpg

After dinner, we drove to Epcot to catch IllumiNations. It's always a fantastic and moving fireworks extravaganza! We parked on a bench and enjoyed more beer and wine as guests wandered out of World Showcase. Epcot in the evening can be very relaxing. For father and son bonding, WDW can't be beat!

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Read more about Steve's Hidden Mickey finds on AllEarsNet.com

Steve maintains a Catalog of Hidden Mickeys on the Hidden Mickeys Guide.

The Third Edition of Steve's Walt Disney World Hidden Mickeys book is available on Amazon.com. Hidden Mickeys, 3rd Edition: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World's Best-Kept Secrets

His First Edition of Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys is also available on Amazon.com Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to the Disneyland Resort's Best-Kept Secrets (Disneyland's Hidden Mickey's)


February 28, 2008

An Evening at Disney's Animal Kingdom and the Adventurers Club

A few days ago, I visited Disney's Animal Kingdom to check out some Hidden Mickey sightings. A couple of folks had sent me photos of a Mickey image on Everest at night. Animal Kingdom usually closes at 5 pm or thereabouts, but it was open late this day, until 8 pm. So I drove to WDW and DAK to study Everest after sunset.

A bonus to my trip was that Lou Mongello was at WDW doing research. He had dinner at the Yak & Yeti Restaurant with his research crew. I'd planned to meet up with Lou and friends after 8 pm elsewhere in WDW.

Animal Kingdom had light crowds, and the guests were definitely happy! Heavy rains had blanketed central Florida in the morning, but now the weather was warm and dry. I studied Everest from vantage points in Asia and DinoLand. The image in question is a shadow on the side of the mountain.

Check out the photos (Thanks to Brandon Tucker and Sharon Dale). Unfortunately, I think this shadow image is dependent on the mountain lighting, which may change from time to time.


Expedition Everest Hidden Mickey


Expedition Everest Hidden Mickey

Shadow Mickey images around WDW are often dependent on area lighting. If the lighting changes, the Mickey may disappear. One classic Mickey image that has remained relatively unchanged over the years is the shadow in the corner of a wall behind the cat on the right side of the Pirates of the Caribbean boat in the Magic Kingdom.

Next I found two more classic Mickey images nearby thanks to Billy Lewis, Catherine Zori, and Sharon Dale. Good spotting, folks!

One in the gift shop at the exit of the Expedition Everest ride.

Expedition Everest Gift Shop Hidden Mickey

Another on the outside showtime sign for Finding Nemo - The Musical.

Finding Nemo the Musical Outside Showtime Sign


I met up with Lou and friends at the Adventurers Club in Pleasure Island. We parked ourselves in the Mask Room and talked about Disney (our favorite subject) for several hours.


I showed them the tiny classic Mickey on the parchment hanging on the wall by the drink bar. Photo thanks to Bryan (All About the Mouse) and Sharon Dale.

Adventurers Club tiny classic Mickey on the parchment hanging on the wall by the drink bar.

Periodically, the Cast Members put on a show in the Mask Room. The one we experienced was really humorous, especially when the main talking masks near the entry doorway would converse and respond directly to a guest!

blue line Read more about Steve's Hidden Mickey finds on AllEarsNet.com

Steve maintains a Catalog of Hidden Mickeys on the Hidden Mickeys Guide.

The Third Edition of Steve's Walt Disney World Hidden Mickeys book is available on Amazon.com. Hidden Mickeys, 3rd Edition: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World's Best-Kept Secrets

His First Edition of Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys is also available on Amazon.com Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to the Disneyland Resort's Best-Kept Secrets (Disneyland's Hidden Mickey's)

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About February 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Searching Disney with Steve in February 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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