What is a hidden Mickey?
I love Disneyland and even though I have visited there over twenty times, it wasn't until my honeymoon that I began my search for the elusive "hidden mickeys." Mickey Mouse's silhouette or tri-circle representation can be found hundreds of places around the park. They were each strategically placed there by Disney imaginers. Some are easier to find than others. Some are also more pronounced than others.
The gift shops sell books about hunting down the hidden mickeys. You can also find a handful of hidden Mickey apps for your smartphone, and that's exactly what I used. My most recent trip to Disney was for my honeymoon and also happened to be during spring break. The park was packed and for this reason, I prematurely gave up on my hidden Mickey hunt. I did however, take pictures of the ones I found. Hopefully this guide will introduce you to the hunt and perhaps inspire you to find your own. If this isn't your first hidden Mickey rodeo, then perhaps I can share one with you that you haven't seen before. Happy reading and hunting.
All of my Mickeys were found in Adventureland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland. This is probably because we spent a good chunk of our time in these three lands.
Adventureland ~ Indiana Jones
Adventureland is home to one of my favorite rides, Indiana Jones Adventure: The Temple of the Forbidden Eye. I visited Disney the summer it opened in 1995 (I was 12) and this ride is almost just as busy as ever. Everyone loves it.
This is a line that I don't hate to wait in because the scenery around visitors changes and gave me a great chance to look for Mickeys. I found one early on in the line and it's a little bit of a stretch, but I'll share it anyway. There's a very noisy generator while you're still waiting in "the jungle." Components of that machinery form a Mickey head and some squished ears.
The sign for the Indiana Jones attraction features two curvy snakes that seem to each form one mouse ear. This might also be a bit of a stretch, but this is something I can't unsee since discovering it on my honeymoon.
When you're on the ride itself and you have entered into one of three rooms, look at the idol Mara. Well not into its eyes (you're instructed not to or bad things will happen ;). Focus on the nostrils and upper lip. The nostrils form perfect Mickey ears much like the snake sign and the indentation of the idol's upper lip is circular, completing the hidden Mickey head. This was hard to get a picture of because I didn't want my phone to fly out of my hands! But look for it next time.
Adventureland ~ Jungle Cruise
I grew up loving the Jungle Cruise because my parents loved it. As an adult now with older legs, I think it's because the wait times are usually short and it's a very relaxing sit down ride.
I recently rode this twice during my last visit-- once during the day and a second time at night. It was my first time riding at night, but took daytime pictures for your viewing pleasure. This hidden Mickey was hidden pretty well and I didn't even see it until coming home, uploading my pictures, and zooming in. There are a group of animals, including two giraffes. You'll notice their animal patterns are very different, which isn't unusual until you compare their necks. The giraffe on the right looks like any other giraffe but the one on the left has brown splotches that are more circular and you'll see, at the very least, one group of three brown splotches that form a Mickey head.
I can't imagine spotting this one in real time. I'm just happy I snapped a pic with my iPhone during this part of the ride, since I didn't take pictures for the entire duration.
Frontierland ~ Thunder Mountain
While in Frontierland, be sure to visit Big Thunder RR. It's the wildest ride in the wilderness! I love it because the peaks are inspired by Bryce Canyon, Utah and reminds me of my own native desert surroundings. A piece of home away from home, "I spose." I found one hidden Mickey while waiting in line. There is a group of red barrels secured with rope. You'll see them right below the final pass of the railroad before the ride finishes. Up above, you'll see the little ghost town with the saloon, and clothes on a clothesline. If you're looking up directly at those small fake buildings, the hidden mickey will be in front of you. There are four red barrels-- two small ones and two that are larger. Three of them form the iconic tri-circle Mickey head and ears.
While leaving Frontierland and heading towards Fantasyland, Big Thunder RR should be to your right. You'll notice a patch of prickly pear cactus. You'll find a few "accidental" or "natural" Mickeys. The one in my picture even has a smile which appears to be a cactus scar. To the best of my knowledge, these cactus are real, but I can't imagine that "mouth scar" being a natural occurrence. So this leads me to believe someone maliciously made the smile or the prickly pear are in fact fake. Not sure.
Tomorrowland ~ Space Mountain
Space Mountain is a ride where I will never put my hands up because space is dark and scary and I don't want to lose a limb on vacation. Since this ride is almost pitch black, the Mickeys have got to be hidden in the line. Or so I thought! A hidden Mickey rides with you each time you depart for space. The middle set of three speakers in each space shuttle car form a classic black Mickey. This is easiest one to spot and I can't believe I never noticed it before.
Credit for this hidden Mickey actually goes to my husband who found it before we even read about it in the app.
Tomorrowland ~ Star Tours
The new Star Tours is quite fun. My husband and I had high expectations and it totally delivered. I do miss the old ride with the robot voiced by Paul Reubens. This ride was pretty steadily busy throughout our honeymoon trip, so we had some time to kill in line looking for some hidden Mickeys. We found one while in line. While standing on a ramp in line, you'll see some robots to your right on the other side of the safety railing. There are some lights illuminating these robots. One of the lights illuminates a robot and casts a shadow on the wall behind it. The shadow silhouette forms a classic mickey with an extra robot antenna.
Heather Says: I always enjoy a trip to Disneyland. Looking for hidden Mickeys was like experiencing something new at Disney without spending any extra money or waiting in line (unless waiting in line for a ride anyway). Walt Disney continued to add new features to rides or attractions such as the Jungle Cruise to keep patrons riding them time after time. The hidden Mickey scavenger hunt feels like it was born from the same idea. Some hidden Mickeys have been in place for decades! It makes me wonder how old each hidden Mickey could be. How many times have I looked right at it before, even as a little girl, and never noticed it? I love watching a movie I have seen a million times and noticing some small nuance that changes the way I see the movie. The same is true for finding a hidden Mickey at Disneyland. I thought I knew Disneyland like the back of my hand, but I'm happy to know there are still secrets hiding and waiting to be found.
Bernie Ment from Syracuse, NY on March 13, 2014:
That's an awesome Hub! I know about the hidden Mickeys but I've never had the time or patience to look for them. Maybe my next trip, I'll reserve a day to do just that. Voted up!
Eiddwen from Wales on September 14, 2012:
A great hub and thanks.
Sarah on June 29, 2012:
when you are waiting in the line for peater pans flight look in the wood on the left of you, you will see a micky incarved in the wood. aslo when you are in the ride look down at the cookie plate the cookies are arranged in a micky head. HAPPY HUNTING
Renee on April 12, 2012:
I remember my son used to love looking for hidden Mickeys when he was younger, even when simply watching Disney on TV. Interesting hub.