Animal Kingdom Archives

July 7, 2018

Possible Hidden Mickeys in Africa, Disney's Animal Kingdom

More specifically, we're taking in the sights along the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail in Africa. On the opposite side of the bridge from the amazing Jafar rock are other tall rock formations. Take a look at some suspicious images on one of these other rocks.

Directly opposite Jafar, a classic Hidden Mickey might be carved high into the side of this rock. In the middle of the photo, the "ears" of Mickey are whitish, atop the upper part of the "head," forming more of a Mickey hat with ears. What do you think? (Thanks to John Anthony D'Alotto).

Just to the right of the above image, on the upper front of the same rock (sort of like a figurehead on the prow of a ship), do you see a possible frowning face in relief? If so, whose face is it? (Thanks to Austin Scott Marotti).

Near the end of the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, you walk beneath this ?? turtle? Did the Imagineers create a turtle here?

I'd like to show you the current status of this faint classic Hidden Mickey at Disney's Pop Century Resort. It's painted on an outside wall behind the huge statue of Mowgli at the 60's building. I cropped a photo to zoom in on the image. You can just make out the head and ears of Mickey. It's a great Hidden Mickey, fading over time.

Keep searching!

June 4, 2018

More Questionable Hidden Mickeys around Walt Disney World

Take a look at the following images. Some seem closer than others to qualifying as Hidden Mickeys.

In Disney's Animal Kingdom, as you enter Pandora - The World of Avatar from Discovery Island, search along the right side of the walkway for these circular splotches on the lower side of a lamppost. You'll encounter them after the walkway splits, and you curve to the right. The image faces you as you approach the pole. Do the splotches in the middle form a sideways classic Hidden Mickey? (Thanks to Max Weitkamp).

Along the entrance queue of "Na'vi River Journey" in Pandora, glance up at one or more of these light fixtures. From certain vantage points, the center large bulb seems to line up with smaller bulbs into a Mickey image, or does it? (Thanks to Sharon Smith).

At Winter Summerland, you'll walk past this blue and yellow gift box at the 16th (and 17th) hole of the Winter Course. Do you see a yellow Hidden Mickey on the top of the box (a yellow candy glob in the middle with two yellow suns for "ears"). (Thanks to Lindsey Stephens).

At Disney's All-Star Sports Resort, inside a display case on the wall to the right of the entrance to the Sport Goofy gift shop, some Mickey images are drawn on the front of a cereal box. An obvious classic Mickey is above the "S" in "CHAMPS," but notice the small black Mickey shapes at the bottom of circles above the "CH." For some reason, it's difficult to get a crisp photo through the covers of the display case and over the cereal box. Are there Hidden Mickeys here? (Thanks to James and Alana Girard).

This last image seems more decorative to me, but if anyone thinks that it qualifies as a Hidden Mickey, please let me know! It's on top of a candy rack at the rear of the gift shop at Disney's All-Star Music Resort. (Thanks to Justin Lewicki).

April 18, 2018

Hidden Mickeys at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Let's study a few more possible Hidden Mickey images. As you might expect, Pandora - The World of Avatar is replete with unusual design elements. For example, lanterns and light fixtures of various shapes and sizes hang along the Standby entrance queue of "Na'vi River Journey." At the lower part of the cover of the following fixture, some of the dark threads might have suggestive classic Mickey shapes? (Thanks to Ryan Ott).

On Discovery Island, to the right of Adventurers Outpost (as you face the building), walk up to a totem pole with carvings of animals. It stands behind a wood fence. On the lower section of the pole, small circles are grouped on the right side of an elephant's headdress. Do three of these circles join to form a classic Hidden Mickey? (Thanks to Mandy Gainey).

Just inside the main entrance to Tiffins Restaurant, a large relief map of the world is on the wall behind the check-in counter. Disney parks are represented by castles. This photo shows the U.S. parks.

This second photo shows the other parts of the world. Do these castles qualify as Hidden Images? (Thanks to Bill and Kari Middeke).

More Hidden Mickeys to come in 2018!

February 5, 2018

Hidden Mickeys in Disney's Animal Kingdom

We continue to find potential Hidden Mickeys in the amazing detail of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Check out two images from Pandora. One is along the outer perimeter of the collection of drums to play, which is near the entrance to Na'vi River Journey. Three small mushroom-like growths can be found about three feet up from the ground on the green bark of a tree. What do you think? (Thanks to Jake Lehneis).

Another Pandora image is at the rear inside Windtraders shop, to the left of a Cast Member door (labeled "Authorized Personnel Only") in a woven decoration that hangs down from the ceiling. In the middle of this decoration, three circles might form an upside-down classic Hidden Mickey, with one red "ear," a green "head," and a green second "ear." Study the middle of the photo. (Thanks to Tyler and Brandie Bolton).

Over at Discovery Island, on the back side of the Tree of Life, three round suction cups on an octopus tentacle resemble a classic Mickey. Find the tentacle on the inner side of a large vertical root of the Tree of Life, to the left of the Galapagos Tortoise area. Is there a Hidden Mickey on the lower part of the tentacle, maybe surrounding the lower large suction cup? (Thanks to Tyler and Brandie Bolton).

Happy Hunting!

January 10, 2018

Hidden Mickeys around Walt Disney World

Hidden Mickeys appear and disappear - that's the nature of the game. I attempt to size up a new Hidden Mickey: will it last a while? or not? Hidden Mickeys not only disappear, but some wear out with time, whether from natural causes or from human interference. Furthermore, as you know, some new images need to be studied and debated.

Like this one. It's a sprinkle on a vanilla ice cream cone on the left side of the rear wall mural inside Ample Hills Creamery on the BoardWalk. Stare at the topmost dark sprinkle. Is it a Hidden Mickey? (Thanks to Iris and Zachary Herron).

I hope you had the chance to admire this Hidden Mickey in Zuri's Sweets Shop in Harambe, Africa, Disney's Animal Kingdom. It's a striped Mickey figurine high on a shelf inside the shop. He lasted long enough for me to include him in the recent edition of the Walt Disney World Hidden Mickeys book.

Well, he's gone! Maybe he'll return, maybe not. I'll keep an eye out for him.

I mentioned before that some images wear out with time, whether from wind or rain, or from folks walking over them or rubbing them with their hands. This great image along the left side entrance queue of Pirates of the Caribbean at the Magic Kingdom is fading with time. It's above a faux fireplace on the right side of the queue. Catch it while you can! (A circle was added to the photo.)

Have a wonderful 2018!

July 3, 2017

Possible Hidden Mickeys around Walt Disney World

Some of the following images come close - I think - to forming classic Hidden Mickeys. Of course, some collections of circles are more convincing than others. What do you think of these?

In Epcot, along the "Frozen Ever After" Standby queue, at one point you walk through Oaken's Tokens shop. Circular impressions on the fireplace might form a Hidden Mickey? (Thanks to Samantha Ann).

Along the Standby queue of Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom, the bottom of a necklace in a display has circular elements that may suggest someone we know? (Thanks to Frankie DaSilva).

Many of us are scouring Animal Kingdom's Pandora for Hidden Images. What about these large circles on the ground not far from the entrance to "Avatar Flight of Passage" - a Hidden Mickey?

Inside the Welcome Center at The Landing in Disney Springs, a painting entitled "Expo 1950" hangs high on a rear wall. At the left side of the painting, three of the balloons in a cluster suggest a classic Mickey, or not? (Thanks to Iris and Zachary Herron).

This next one looks convincing to me. Find it at the Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom. In the last scene, one of the final images you see to Mom's right as you rotate away is a small fruit basket with a blue ribbon on top. A tiny black classic Mickey is in the basket at the left side. (Thanks to Jack Lynch).

On with the Hunt!

June 26, 2017

Hidden Mickeys around Walt Disney World

I'll begin with a few images from Disney's Animal Kingdom. We should find at least a few Hidden Mickeys in the new Pandora, right? How about this image? Look for these small indentations in the rock wall (in the middle of the photo) along the lower exit walkway from "Avatar Flight of Passage," near the floor on your left as you walk out. (Thanks to Brooke Boyd).

Just before you enter the Standby queue for "Expedition Everest," check out these round objects on top of a small table to the left of the entrance. A Hidden Mickey when viewed from above? (Thanks to Carlos).

At the water's edge of one of two seating areas for "Rivers of Light" (the one near "Finding Nemo - The Musical"), search for these rocks embedded in a short cement barrier. Are the rocks arranged to be a classic Hidden Mickey? (Thanks to onthegoinmco).

In the waiting room of Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano at Disney's Hollywood Studios, a small container on the lower shelf of a display bureau near the restrooms is painted with grapes. Any Hidden Mickeys in the cluster of grapes? (Thanks to Charles Tyner).

I've heard that the images of a Prince and Princess are hidden in the entrance queue wall mural at "Living with the Land" in Epcot. I've studied the various murals here for years. Have I finally found the two royals holding each other? (Thanks to Craig Canady).

May 1, 2017

Hidden Mickeys in Africa and Asia, Disney's Animal Kingdom

What with Pandora unfolding at Disney's Animal Kingdom, I spent the better part of a beautiful day recently scoping out the park for Hidden Mickeys. Like this one in Africa's Harambe Village: silver balls in a basket perched on a shelf high above street level might form Mickey ears? Look for this basket across from Tusker House Restaurant and between Mombasa Marketplace and Tamu Tamu Refreshments. (Thanks to Josh P.)

Rafiki's Planet Watch is home to many great Hidden Mickeys, and some questionable images. Is this a sideways classic Hidden Mickey - the black marks (ears?) to the left of the turtle's eye (head?) or black marking to the right of the eye (head?). Find the turtle near the upper part of the wall to the left as you walk through the main entrance doors to Conservation Station. (Thanks to Leah Lakatosh and Stephanie Harrison).

At the rear of Conservation Station, walk to the Puerto Rican Boa exhibit, which is just to the right of the Nutrition Center exhibit. Two potential Mickey images can be found here; one in the white circles in a band crossing the top of the display window. Any Hidden Mickeys here; maybe in the middle of the photo? (Thanks to Leah Lakatosh and Stephanie Harrison).

And a second image made of tiny markings or holes in the bark of the lower tree trunk at the back right inside the Boa enclosure. What do you think? (Thanks to Kate Whiddon).

Over in Asia, fruit sits in a basket in a cart along the walkway near Kali River Rapids. A fruit classic Mickey, tilted down to the left?

Make Disney memories with Hidden Mickeys!

July 6, 2016

Hidden Mickeys in Disney's Animal Kingdom

We continue to be intrigued by circular images on Disney property, like the ones below. Are some of these images purposeful - planned and placed by the Imagineers? I'd like to know what you think.

In the Riverside Depot store on Discovery Island at Disney's Animal Kingdom, a mural on the wall behind the cashier's desk has these green swirls. The mural is near the first entrance door you come to on the main walkway from the Oasis. Do you see a classic Hidden Mickey in the swirls? (Thanks to Tanya Brooks).

A plaster relief on the stone wall inside the seating area behind Tamu Tamu Refreshments sort of resembles Mickey, or does it? It's on the wall nearest the path from Asia and is above and to the right of the Baloo image we know and love. (Thanks to The Hade Family).

Over in DinoLand U.S.A., the cement crack Hidden Mickey in the parking space across from TriceraTop Spin is well-known. Here is another set of cracks in the cement close to Chester & Hester's Dinosaur Treasures shop. Is it close enough to be included in the Hidden Mickey catalog? (Thanks to Matthew and Emma Turrisi).

The Cretaceous Trail starts not far from Chester & Hester's. About halfway along the trail is this group of animal footprints embedded in the cement. Can you appreciate a Hidden Mickey here? (Thanks to April Beisser).

On hot days (that would be most days in Florida), Disney is encouraging guests to drink water frequently, and (free!) water dispensers are showing up in the parks and resorts. Here's one I saw in the lower lobby of the Contemporary Resort. As you can see, there's often a citrusy Hidden Mickey in the dispenser!

June 29, 2016

Hidden Mickeys in Disney's Animal Kingdom

I'm constantly amazed at the new Hidden Mickeys (new for me, at least!) that folks tell me about. Like this one in DinoLand U.S.A. - walk to the rear entrance of Chester & Hester's Dinosaur Treasures shop to find this classic Hidden Mickey, made of dark spots at the lower left of the left side of a "Cold Drinks" dispenser. It's just above the lower red horizontal band. I hope it lasts! (Thanks to Alicia Dakins).

Here's a cool Hidden Mickey image in The Boneyard. Upstairs to the rear left in a fenced-off archeology display, a small full-body Mickey figurine sits on the horizontal bar of a red bicycle. Various plastic dinosaurs perch on other parts of the bicycle. (Thanks to Leah Lakatosh and Stephanie Harrison).

Some Hidden Mickeys are changed over time due to weather or other external effects. This upside-down classic Mickey image seems to been distorted over the years. It's on the back of The Tree of Life - visible from the path between Africa and Asia. To find it, look above the eye of the hippopotamus. What do you think?

As you're exiting the park, stop by the restrooms to your right before the turnstiles. What about these rocks in the wall in front of the restrooms? A Hidden Mickey? (Thanks to DisneyR&N).

Enjoy the hunt!

May 22, 2016

Hidden Mickeys in Africa and Rafiki's Planet Watch, Disney's Animal Kingdom

Ride the Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki's Planet Watch and enjoy a few Hidden Mickeys. Like this one made of insect nets hanging on a rear wall of the Veterinary Treatment room at the back of Conservation Station. The nets are next to the doors to the Treatment/Prep Room. Thankfully, this image has been maintained for a while! (Thanks to Leah Lakatosh and Stephanie Harrison, and Joe).

As you probably remember, Cast Members often shave a classic Hidden Mickey image in the fur of one of the animals in Affection Section. I spotted this guy recently.

In Affection Section, I watched a Cast Member training a goat to hop on and off a tree stump. She had lots of yummy snacks in her hand!

Back in Africa, what do you think of this image on the rear wall of the seating area behind Tamu Tamu Refreshments? At the top right of the wall, some folks see an animal (a lion?) running to the right.

Happy Hunting!

May 7, 2016

Hidden Mickeys in Africa, Disney's Animal Kingdom

One fine, sunny Florida afternoon, I visited Disney's Animal Kingdom to check out a few Hidden Images in Africa. As you know, new Hidden Mickeys can appear from time to time, especially in refurbished areas. Like this striped Mickey Mouse figurine inside Zuri's Sweets Shop, which is across from Harambe Market. Look high to your right for this Mickey in a small display on a shelf opposite the entrance door to the shop. (Thanks to Larry Brooks).

Ponder the next two images. Are they Hidden Mickeys? The first image is made of tires hanging on a fence across from the entrance to Harambe Market. This collection of tires is to the right of a "Bi-Cycle Land" sign. Do you see Mickey? (Thanks to Isabel and Jeff Blank).

The following image is on a leopard painted high on a water tower behind Chef Mwanga's Ribs Shop in Harambe Market. Do some of the groups of leopard spots form one or more classic (three-circle) Hidden Mickeys? (Thanks to Martha Tischler).

Back in Harambe village, walk up to the Harambe Fruit Market. A tiny, colorful Mickey Mouse doll is hiding on support poles halfway to the top of the ceiling. A Cast Member told me that Mickey has been perched there high above her for a while. (Thanks to Leah Lakatosh and Stephanie Harrison).

Enjoy the Search!

July 20, 2015

Hidden Mickeys in Disney's Animal Kingdom

The Harambe Market in Africa can be accessed from the path from Africa to Asia or from an entry near the path to the Wildlife Express Train for Rafiki's Planet Watch. Find new taste experiences in the Harambe Market (e.g. African-style ribs, chicken, sausage, and corn dogs) and new Mickey images! These aren't necessarily Hidden images, but they're interesting nonetheless. Like this one: Mickey Mouse waves at us from an outside building wall near the Wildlife Express Train pathway. (Thanks to Justin Lewicki).

Another relaxed Mickey Mouse enjoys hot coffee from a wall inside a seating area for the Harambe Market. (Thanks to Justin Lewicki).

What about this Mickey reference? It's in a display behind another of the seating areas for the Market. These particular clothing items are for display only and not for sale.

Over in Asia, along the FASTPASS queue for Expedition Everest, look for this mention of the Disney Imagineers. It's on a blue book under an animal statue, on the left side of an upper shelf of a bookshelf at the side of the queue. (Thanks to Winnie, and Donna McMurrey).

On the Expedition Everest ride, you'll encounter a painted Yeti image above you at the first climb. At the middle left of the Yeti, do you see a Hidden Mickey in the swirls? (Thanks to Winnie, Nancy Blevins, and Troy Kubes).

Disney likes to surprise us; never stop searching!

Looking for more Hidden Mickeys? Have one to report? Visit Steve's website at:

September 21, 2014

More Questionable Hidden Mickeys from Disney's Animal Kingdom

What do you think of these images? The first one is on the Rainforest Cafe sign. After you enter the park, turn left to the short walkway to the Rainforest Cafe. Stop at the sign at the beginning of the walkway (it's a popular photo stop!) See the growling cheetah at the far left of the sign? Step to the side of the sign and look on the top of the cheetah's head. Is that black spot near the cheetah's right ear (on your left) a classic (three-circle) Hidden Mickey? It's the second spot down from the very top and toward the left of the photo. (Thanks to Zach Souders).

At the far left room of the Disney Outfitters shop, look for the constellations above an inside doorway.

One of the constellations has these three stars (in the middle of the following photo.) A Hidden Mickey? (Thanks to Lydia Hall).

Stare at this image on a rock wall along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Walk to the suspension bridge past the gorilla viewing area and look left, across from the Jafar rock. A profile of a possible character (Mufasa or Scar? from The Lion King movie) appears at the top right of the rock wall, in the top right corner of the photo. I think I see a forehead, nose, frowning mouth and chin in relief. What do you think? (Thanks to Kevin Booton, Kenzie Tapia, and Keith Hudson).

Enjoy the Hunt!

July 30, 2014

An Afternoon at Disney's Animal Kingdom with Hidden Mickeys

I'm debating a few Questionable Hidden Mickey images at Disney's Animal Kingdom, so I'd like to ask for some opinions. Like these two in DinoLand, U.S.A. at the photo posing spot at the rear of the Fossil Fun Games area. They're both in the smoke or clouds of the drawings on the poster boards; one three-circle image is on the front poster behind and below the rear red fin of the car. (Thanks to Sharon Dale).

and the second is in front of the left rear knee of the green dinosaur on the rear poster. What do you think? (Thanks to Rich, Diane, Andrew and James Stangle).

How about this image in the Aviary section of the Maharajah Jungle Trek? It's in the swirls and circles of the carved relief design on a stone pillar along the walking trail. (Thanks to Sharon Dale).

And finally, this three-circle image in the clouds, on the right wall rear corner, as you face the food order counters inside Pizzafari Restaurant. Look in the middle of the photo below. (Thanks to the Bodmann Family).

Of course, I like to check on old favorite Hidden Mickeys, like this one with an orange "head" and green leaves for "ears" on a rear wall of the Elds Deer Exhibit of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

I love the music at Disney! The Burudika Band performs several times daily in Harambe Village in Africa. Before you know it, you'll be dancing to the beat of their engaging songs!

Happy Hunting!

March 1, 2014

Searching for Hidden Mickeys in Africa, Disney's Animal Kingdom

On one fine sunny Florida afternoon, I finally found a Hidden Mickey I'd been looking for (All right, I confess, I had a little help from a friendly Cast Member). I'd been told the image was on a merchandise/drink cart along the exit from Kilimanjaro Safaris, not far from the entrance to the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

For months, I'd been looking in the wrong places. This time, I walked right up to the Safari truck exit docks and worked back. The image is on a tile somewhere on the cart. From the photo I had, I'd assumed the tile was on the side of a cart, but I was wrong. I stepped up to the cashier for the drink and merchandise carts and spotted the tiles on top of the cart. The Cast Member behind the cart smiled and pointed to a tiny image near the pay area. There it was! Small ceramic circles, a white and blue "head" and two black "ears," stuck in the surface of the cart formed a classic Hidden Mickey! (Thanks to Jackie Gailey).

I have a couple of Questionable images for you to consider. Not far from the above collection of carts and back toward the Kilimanjaro Safari exits, a utility cover at the left side of the walkway (as you exit from the Safaris) has two small irregular rocks adjacent to it that are embedded in the cement.

The rocks are the larger ones toward the top of the photo. Do you think this forms a Hidden Mickey? (Thanks to David and Celia Berset).

Over the years, folks have written to me about the following image, but it never "spoke to me." However, recently a few people have prompted me to reconsider the image. It's on the outside of a blue side door toward the rear of Tusker House Restaurant.

Is this a Hidden Mickey? (Thanks to Traci Curth, Keith Tonra, and Alena White).

Keep searching!


November 13, 2008

A Visit to The Oasis in Animal Kingdom

I enjoy visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Some folks don't consider that this park has a full day's worth of activities, but I beg to differ. The Animal Kingdom has plenty to offer, especially if you can slow down and observe the animals after first enjoying the headliner attractions.

I like to spend time in The Oasis. This area with its tranquil animals has a relaxing effect on me. I wandered along the trails and said hello to the Scarlet Macaws.

Scarlet Macaws

and the Patagonian Cavy (a long-legged rodent)

Patagonian Cavy >

and two chattering Black Neck Swans.

Black Neck Swans

These trails are usually not crowded, so The Oasis is a great place to unwind.

I strolled over to Camp Minnie-Mickey.

Bradley Lewis submitted to me a photo of a distorted Mickey image, formed by pebbles in the cement. It's near the bridge over the creek before the Lion King Theater. Go to the second fence section between the creek and the cabin in front of Grandmother Willow's Grove (theater). Stand near a bench and close to Donald Duck, who's fishing in the creek. I'll put this image on my website, in the Questionable section. Let me know what you think.

Camp Minnie Mickey Hidden Mickey

Disney's Animal Kingdom is filled with rocks and pebbles embedded in the walkways, posts, walls, benches and other structures. Which three-pebble images are Hidden Mickeys? I try to imagine if a specific image is purposeful, placed by an Imagineer, or is it just a random collection of rocks? Sometimes that's a difficult decision!

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Read more about Steve's Hidden Mickey finds on

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

June 5, 2008

Conservation Station at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Recently, I visited Rafiki's Planet Watch at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

This area is a real treasure trove of Hidden Mickeys; you could easily spend several hours here searching for the little gems. On the order of 42 Hidden Mickeys live here, and a few more undiscovered ones may be waiting for us to find them.

One of the best side profile Mickeys anywhere is just past the entrance doors to Conservation Station, on the chin of a hippopotamus. It's the fifth animal from the left along the bottom of the entrance mural on the left wall. A side profile of Mickey Mouse is on its lower jaw, under the middle tooth. One of my favorites!

Hidden Mickey - Hippopotamus Conservation Station Animal Kingdom

Now for some new images.

Sharon Dale alerted me to three circles arranged correctly on the ground in a mosaic just before the entrance doors to Conservation Station. This Mickey is below and between the elephant tusks and above the second "T" in "STATION". It's not a perfect image, but it's close enough for me!

Hidden Mickey -  Conservation Station Animal Kingdom

Sonali showed me a new image in the main lobby of Conservation Station. It's formed from holes in the tree leaves overhead, directly above the first left entrance (as you enter the lobby) to the Song of the Rainforest area. It seems a bit distorted to me, so I put it in the Questionable section of my website for folks to vote on it. What do you think?

Hidden Mickey -  Conservation Station Animal Kingdom

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Read more about Steve's Hidden Mickey finds on

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

May 3, 2008

Hidden Mickeys - Trees and Animals

The huge classic Mickey stand of trees (visible on Google Earth) has long fascinated me. My son Steven and I recently struck out in my car to find it from ground level. The posters on my Hidden Mickeys Guide website stated that the stand of trees was a few miles northwest of the Magic Kingdom, just off Highway 27 and not far north from where Highway 192 merges with 27.

Huge Mickey via Google Earth

We approached the area first from Highway 27, but the access roads to the east were all private property. So we drove back to Highway 192 east and looked for a northern bound public road. We found one! It was Avalon road, and we then searched for a road that might lead us west to the Hidden Mickey. About 8 miles north on Avalon, just past Old YMCA Road, we spotted Schofield Road. (Another poster had mentioned that this road approached the HM stand of trees). My pulse rate quickened; we were drawing near!

Schofield Road (also called Shell Pond Road to add some confusion) was paved for the first mile or so but then became a dirt road with deep tire ruts. At least the road was dry! So I was forced to drive slowly as we bounced along into the countryside. After more than a mile into this road, we crested a hill and gazed upon the lake that was not far from the stand of trees. We turned right a short distance past the lake, so we were positioned just west of the trees (on the vertical road, in the upper middle of the photo below). We stopped the car and walked up to a fence near the trees. This group of trees stood alone in a field. I figured we were looking at the right "ear" and the right side of the "head."

Huge Mickey via Google Earth

The classic Mickey circles were not evident from ground level. Moreover, the trees in the lower part of the "head" were closer to the road and fence than was implied in the overhead Google Earth photo. The current photo on Google Earth is several years old, so the perfect three-circle Mickey image may have become somewhat distorted by now. (In the photo below, Steven is standing near the fence in front of the right "ear" and right side of the "head." The ear is on the left side of the photo).

Mickey Trees

A few days later, I found myself in Disney's Animal Kingdom. As I ambled through the Oasis, I stopped and admired the giant anteater, who was walking around his territory. I rode the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch. I like to check in with Affection Section now and then, because the Cast Members usually maintain a classic Mickey image on one of the animals in this petting zoo. I wasn't disappointed. Not only was Mickey present on the back of a goat, but Minnie with her bow was evident on another goat! Way to go, CM's!

Hidden Mickey Goat

Hidden Mickey Goat

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

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

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

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

August 16, 2007

Great Movie Ride Hard-to-Find Hidden Mickeys

I revel in hard-to-find Hidden Mickeys. Some of these Hidden Mickeys have evaded me, or maybe they're "off the beaten path" (off stage or behind the scenes). I'm especially interested in the elusive ones, but I listen to Cast Members who whisper to me about the off stage ones (sometimes these are visible only to cast members and not to guests like me).

A few weeks ago, my friend Bill and I were studying the intricate scenes in The Great Movie Ride for some elusive Hidden Mickeys. I say "elusive" because I'd read about some HM sightings in this attraction that I'd been unable to verify. I'm often humbled by Hidden Mickeys that have evaded me, sometimes for years, until some sharp-eyed spotter educated me about their presence.

I'd heard about a classic Mickey in the trees, in the Wizard of Oz scene in The Great Movie ride. For years, I had studied the flowers and trees in this colorful scene, but I hadn't spotted any Hidden Mickeys. I told Bill that supposedly Mickey was hiding somewhere in the profusion of trees in this room. I didn't really expect that the Mickey sighting here was real, but I try to keep an open mind, as I've been humbled many times before. When I check out a Hidden Mickey post on my website, I consider the specific view from all possible angles, take my time and sometimes study the area many times over.


I was lucky! Bill spotted the classic Mickey in the trees on the first pass through the Oz scene! (Check out the photo). This HM is nestled in the top of the trees, midway along the mural above the exit from the room. Wow! I'd passed under this mural so many times over the years and had never seen this cool classic Mickey. It's really hidden!

I mentioned behind the scenes Hidden Mickeys, because occasionally they're visible to the guest if you know where to look. A few weeks ago, my sister Donna asked a Cast Member at Expedition Everest about Hidden Mickeys in the attraction. He told her of one in the rocks, behind the scenes but visible to the lucky few. It's supposedly on the ground and across the tracks after you exit the ride. In the photo, it's to the right of the post and above the fourth vertical strut several inches above the rail. I'm not sure that I see it, and I'll try to spot it myself in person. If you spot it, let me know! Maybe we can get a close-up photo.


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Read more about Steve's Hidden Mickey finds on

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

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