One of my favorite things to do while at WDW is search for Hidden Mickeys (HMs for short). I even had the official book that listed the location of thousands of HMs in every park, resort, restaurant…even the Disney cruise ships! I would take this book with me on all of my family’s Disney vacation, marking off the ones I found and continue searching for the ones I had yet to discover. It was, and still is, one of my favorite pastimes while visiting WDW. And the best thing about hunting for HMs is it’s free, holla!
For those who don’t know, HMs are exactly what they sound like: they are hidden pictures of Mickey Mouse. Guests can find HMs on rides, inside stores, on sidewalks…basically anything within the WDW area is susceptible for a HM. Most often, HMs are the classic image of Mickey Mouse: one large circle, with two smaller ones on top. HMs do come in different forms though, such as an entire silhouette of Mickey Mouse, so keep your eye out! Also, look beyond just paintings or drawings…many HMs are made with unusual items, like rope, car tires, or plates. And Mickey Mouse isn’t the only one that gets to participate in the fun! Other famous characters, like Goofy and Tinkerbell, have also been spotted hidden within the Disney decor.
Disney Imagineers are responsible for starting the HM tradition. It is the Imagineers’ way of marking their stamp on whatever project they worked on. Think of it kind of like when an artist signs his/her name on a painting.
Before I started the Disney College Program, I was of course very well-aware of HMs. However, I was not aware that I was working nearby the home to the largest collection of HMs in all of Walt Disney World! During my training, I found out that Rafiki’s Planet Watch (which is where the Wildlife Express Train takes guests to and from) has over 100 HMs. In other words, if HMs were like gold, Rafiki’s would be Fort Knox! =P
Being the avid HM hunter that I am, I naturally added this fun fact to every spiel I conducted. I even gave guests hints to some of their locations. And because I love you all so much, here are two hints I frequently told guests: 1) Look into the eyes of the animals and 2) Be sure to investigate the animal mural as you walk into Rafiki’s.
Learning about Rafiki’s HM claim to fame perfectly illustrates one of my favorite things about working for Disney. That is, no matter how long you have worked there or many times you have visited the parks, there is still so much to learn, see, and do. Every experience at Disney is unique and special, which is why I love it so very much!
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