Ever since Walt Disney’s Imagineers started working on EPCOT Center, they’ve purposely hidden Mickey Mouse’s iconic silhouette shape around the Walt Disney World resort both as a way to entertain themselves and to reward curious guests who pay attention to the details. Fast forward 30 years and now those famous Hidden Mickeys are everywhere. It takes a real authority to keep track of them and Steve Barrett fits that bill perfectly.
Barrett has just introduced the 4th edition of his Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide To Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets book. Disneyland’s Hidden Mickeys comes out next week in a second edition. Each guide clues you in to more than 100 newly spotted Hidden Mickeys, all personally verified by Steve himself.
Barrett’s interest in writing a Hidden Mickeys guide was piqued when he noticed groups of Mickey hunters carrying loose sheaves of printed lists, passed from fan to fan, arguing over whether a particular Hidden Mickey was actually there or not, and wishing aloud that they had a book to make the whole task easier.
Hidden Mickeys filled the void. Based on his own obsessive searching and tips supplied by a growing number of fans, each Mickey is personally verified by Barrett, who then tests his observations against those of friends and family members. To add to the fun, Barrett has arranged the book as a series of six scavenger hunts, complete with clues, hints, and points to be scored.
In the Walt Disney World theme parks, it’s not unusual these days to see families and groups of friends, Barrett’s book in hand, fanning out to compete in spotting the most Hidden Mickeys. Many of them spot new Hidden Mickeys, which they report to Barrett, who meticulously records and verifies their sightings, separating the merely “wishful thinking” from the genuine article.
“Hidden Mickey mania is contagious,” says Barrett. “Searching for them has escalated into a bona fide vacation mission for many Walt Disney World fans, and even beginners have happened upon a new, unreported Mickey or two.”
Fans of Steve Barrett’s Hidden Mickeys series often contribute their own finds and Barrett credits them in the book. So get a guide and go find some new Hidden Mickeys of your own.