See anything familiar in the spots of “Pongo” in the picture at the left?
It’s well known among Disney “geeks” that in Disney theme parks and resorts, attractions, animated movies and TV series, Disney artists, designers, and imagineers have inserted “Hidden Mickeys.”
What’s a “Hidden Mickey?”
It’s a full or partial representation of Mickey Mouse – usually the formation of three circles – that sharp eyes perceive as the silhouette of the head and ears of Mickey Mouse. Disney aficionados refer to this symbol as as a “Classic Mickey.” In every day terms, if you were setting a dinner table and arranged two salad plates to be situated above a dinner plate, that would be a Hidden Mickey. Now can you spot the Hidden Mickey in Pongo?
Urban legend says that Hidden Mickeys began as in inside joke during the conceptual and design phase of the Epcot Center. The Disney Company decided to make Epcot more of an adult park and sell alcohol. Booze and Bambi, however, didn’t seem like an appropriate combination, and thus it was decided that no Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, would ever be seen there.
“Imagineers” disagreed and saw the mandate as a personal challenge. They started to design hidden Mickey Mouse profiles into various design elements of landscaping, furniture, interior design, and so on. Hidden Mickeys (and now, other Disney characters like Minnie Mouse) have become a staple of all theme park designs ever since. They’re so popularity that Imagineers are now encouraged to place them in new construction and redesigns – an element called “decor Mickey.” For the rest of us, finding Hidden Mickeys is so challenging and fun that books have been written about their locations, including one written by Steven Barrett who made a name for himself by having documented over one thousand HMs (so far).