A Hidden Mickey is a deliberate or an indeliberate placing of a circle with two other circles connected to it on the top in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head. These have been known to be placed in Disney movies, Disney rides, and other such Disney-influenced subsidiaries. Some have been known to occur by happenstance when something is in the right spot at the right time, such as lamppost or railing shadows.
A "Hidden Mickey" can refer to any Disney-related object hidden in one of the various Disney Parks for visitors to find. Goofy, Donald Duck, and Tinker Bell have all been found as hidden characters in Disney Parks.
The origin of the Hidden Mickey goes back to the creation of EPCOT Center in 1982. The Disney Company had decided that EPCOT Center would be a more adult park, including selling alcohol. As alcohol and Disney characters were deemed to be an improper combination, it was decided instead that none of the Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, would ever be seen at EPCOT Center.
To some of the Imagineers working on EPCOT Center, this was taken as a challenge. They surreptitiously included hidden Mickey Mouse profiles into various design elements of that park. Eventually, guest comments led Disney to include the characters in EPCOT Center. In the meantime, a tradition was born at Walt Disney Imagineering and Hidden Mickeys (as well as other Disney characters) have become a staple of all theme park designs since.
- Hidden Mickey on Wikipedia
- Hidden Mickeys Guide, site of author Steven M. Barrett
- Hidden Mickey Mystery novels & Game/Quest books, site of author Nancy Temple Rodrigue
- HiddenMickey.com The Art of Being a Hidden Mickey
- TheHiddenMickeys.com - One Family's Hidden Mickey Finds
- Hidden Mickey Controversy - Imagineering Disney Blog