Avid Disney theme park fans know all about Hidden Mickeys. Located throughout the theme parks and resorts, these small tri-circle shaped bits of insignia are lots of fun to find. However, Mickey isn’t the only one hidden around the parks. There are other characters and even live individuals who have received subtle nods in the parks’ attractions and décor. See if you can find these other hidden elements around the parks.
1. HIDDEN JACK IN THE HAUNTED MANSION
Mickey isn’t the only character to enjoy hidden likenesses throughout Disney’s attractions. The Haunted Mansion pays homage to one of Disney’s spookier franchises with hidden images of Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. These include:
- One in the skeleton of the aging man portrait in the foyer
- Two in the library on the covers of books
- One in the second husband’s collection of items in the attic
- Two opposite Constance in the attic – a Jack doll and Jack in a snow globe
Some accounts indicate there are seven hidden Jacks in total, while others contend that there’s a total of 13. See if you can spot additional Jacks in the shadowy reaches of the haunted attraction. As an added bonus, there’s a hidden Sally doll in the attic scene.
2. IMAGINEERS’ SIGNATURE ELEMENTS IN THEME PARK ATTRACTIONS
Hidden Mickeys were originally designed as a way for Imagineers to “sign” their creations without leaving their names all over the theme parks. However, many imagineers went beyond the stereotypical Mickey and found more innovative ways to sign their great works.
- The computer screens in the Alien scene of the Great Movie Ride feature imagineers’ names amid the coding.
- In the Haunted Mansion’s ballroom scene, the knobs on the organ feature symbols and letters that represent the imagineers who designed the ride.
- One of the Wildlife Express Trains at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is named R. Baba Harpoor for imaginer Bab Harpur.
- Big Thunder Mountain’s queue features a portrait that depicts the fictional gold magnate Barnabas T. Bullion. In reality, this painting features Imagineer Tony Baxter who developed the original idea for the railroad ride. Baxter is referenced again as “T. Baxter” on a patent for a train brake featured in the queue.
- The fusing cage in the Big Thunder Mountain queue references several imagineers including Fred Joerger, Marc Davic, Blaine Gibson, and Steve Burke.
3. NODS TO OTHER RIDES THROUGHOUT THE PARKS
Many diehard Disney fans took it hard when Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was replaced with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. There are two nods to the beloved ride in the Magic Kingdom. The first is found on Winnie the Pooh. Toward the beginning of the ride, you’ll see a portrait of Mr. Toad handing the deed over to Owl. In the graveyard of the Haunted Mansion, you’ll see Mr. Toad in the pet cemetery.
The remake of Epcot’s Journey into Imagination was another change that fans took hard, as the troublesome Figment took over what was once a much more whimsical imagining. Pieces of the Dreamfinder live on around the upper walls of the Mouse Gear store.
Journey of the Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom pays homage to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The outdoor rock formations in the queue feature an imprint of the Nautilus.
If you listen closely to the dialogue in the Enchanted Tiki Room, you may have heard Jose asking about Rosita. You’ll find a clue as to her whereabouts (albeit, a slightly morbid one) in the Big Thunder Mountain queue. A bird cage intended for canary air monitors bears her name.
4. SUBTLE CREATURES AROUND DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a giant dedication to preservation and environmentalism. Keep your eyes open and you’ll see the park’s decorative elements honor different creatures in almost every detail. Here are some more subtle features that include animal imagery.
- The rock behind the waterfall in Kali River Rapids is shaped like a lion’s head
- Over 300 animals are carved into the Tree of Life, some far more subtle than others
- The Tree of Life image that’s seen on Discovery Island trash cans has animal silhouettes around the top of the tree, along the bottom, and even amid the branches in the middle.
5. HIDDEN PASCALS NEAR RAPUNZEL’S TOWER
Rapunzel’s Tower looms beautifully near the new Fantasyland restrooms between it’s a small world and the walkway to the Haunted Mansion. Opposite the restrooms is a small garden with some seating and convenient charging stations. Amid the flowers, grass, and peaceful creek, you’ll find 10 of Pascal’s chameleon friends hiding. Another hidden detail in the area is a series of hoofprints on the ground. Look at them closely and you’ll see the name “Maximus” featured, indicating that a very special horse dropped by recently.
6. REUSED ANIMATRONICS IN BELOVED RIDES
Creating an animatronic face is no small feat, so many faces are actually reused throughout Disney attractions. One of the most famous examples is the old woman in a rocking chair in the Haunted Mansion’s ballroom. She’s the same character as the grandmother on the Carousel of Progress. Several presidents found new life on Spaceship Earth, from the Roman Senator who took the likeness of Teddy Roosevelt, to the Egyptian priest with the face of William Howard Taft.
American Adventure has many crossover characters who appear on other rides as well. The store owner appears as a Phoenician sea captain and telegraph operator on Spaceship Earth. Matthew Brady from American Adventure is both a sound engineer and telegraph operator on Spaceship Earth as well.
Disney is known for details, and nearly all of them tell a story. Pay attention to the minor elements around the parks and see if you can piece together what they tell you.
Source: Theme Park Tourist
Banner Photo Credit: Disney