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Look for hidden Mickeys

As millions of guests scurry throughout Walt Disney World Resort to see Mickey Mouse, little do they realize they may be passing him right by. And though the Mickeys they miss are not the life-sized, two-legged and three-fingered variety, they are "Hidden Mickeys" — silhouettes and abstract images of Mickey Mouse cleverly hidden by Disney Imagineers across Walt Disney World.

Hidden Mickeys began as an inside joke among Walt Disney Imagineers, the artists and engineers who design Disney parks and attractions. As word spread of these subtle tributes to Walt's famous mouse, guests sought to find them all.

No one knows how many Hidden Mickeys exist throughout Walt Disney World Resort, since Imagineers have never kept an official roster documenting their existence. In fact, no one knows when the first Hidden Mickey even appeared. And, since attractions are renovated and updated periodically, many have appeared and disappeared through the years. Where the next Hidden Mickey will appear is anyone's guess.

Here are some hints to start your quest for Hidden Mickeys at Walt Disney World Resort:

Magic Kingdom

  • While the Haunted Mansion boasts "999 Happy Haunts," it also has one "mouse" — a Hidden Mickey formed by an arrangement of dishes on the table in the attraction's banquet scene.
  • A Hidden Mickey enjoys a lazy day on the river in the final scene in Frontierland's Splash Mountain. A pink cloud floating high above the Zip-A-Dee Lady paddlewheeler bears a striking resemblance to a profile of Mickey lying on his back.

Epcot

  • Mickey Mouse has always been the brightest of stars. And at Spaceship Earth in Epcot Future World, Mickey is actually hidden in his own constellation just beyond the attraction's loading area.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • A subtle Hidden Mickey can be found in the supernatural realm of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The young child actress who vanishes from the Hollywood Tower Hotel one stormy night is clutching a Mickey Mouse doll in the attraction's pre-show.
  • Mickey rocks his way into Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. Two Hidden Mickeys were placed in the tile floor in the attraction's rotunda area.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Mickey can be "spotted" in the Pizzafari restaurant in the park's Discovery Island. His silhouette can be found on a wall mural, cleverly hidden among leopard spots.
  • Mickey really digs The Boneyard in DinoLand U.S.A. In the woolly mammoth dig site, Mickey has been formed with a fan and two hard hats.
  • There are more than 25 Hidden Mickeys at Rafiki's Planet Watch, with Mickey found hidden in murals, tree trunks and paintings of animals.

Fascinating Facts about the Walt Disney World Resort

Covering nearly 122 square kilometers, Walt Disney World Resort is about the size of Ottawa. Of the nearly 25,000 acres, a third is designated as a wilderness preserve.

Who has a bigger wardrobe – Mickey or Minnie? Surprisingly, it's Mickey, with more than 290 outfits, ranging from his classic red pants to a scuba suit. Minnie has roughly 200 ensembles, including evening gowns and her iconic red and white polka-dot dress.

With millions of visitors annually, it's no wonder the Disney parks are among the most photographed places in the United States. On any given day, Disney's PhotoPass photographers take between 100,000 and 200,000 photos of guests. Photographers are positioned everywhere to capture your perfect moment. The PhotoPass service allows you to view, share and order your Disney photos online and to create Disney products such as photo books and mugs.

More than 75 million Cokes are consumed each year at Walt Disney World Resort along with 13 million bottles of water. Guests also gobble 10 million hamburgers, 6 million hot dogs, 9 million pounds of French fries and more than 300,000 pounds of popcorn.

More than 30 tons of fruits and vegetables grown at The Land pavilion at Epcot are served in Walt Disney World restaurants.

Stormalong Bay, Disney's Beach Club Resort swimming area, holds 750,000 gallons of water, making it the largest sand-bottom pool in the world.