'; An Interview with Steve Barrett ~ the Hidden Mickey Guy! - WDW Hints
Monday 15 April 2024
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An Interview with Steve Barrett ~ the Hidden Mickey Guy!

WDW Hints recently interviewed Steve Barrett, author of the “Hidden Mickeys” books and HiddenMickeyGuy.com. Here is what he shared with us:

WDW Hints: How did you get started searching for Hidden Mickeys?
Steve: The journey began with my first visit to Walt Disney World in 1989; I was hooked! I read everything I could find about Walt Disney and the Disney Company, and I wrote and published a touring guide to WDW in 2001. During my research about Disney, I came across the concept of Hidden Mickeys. For example, the now defunct Disney Magazine would display examples of Hidden Mickeys, and I accumulated a huge file of Hidden Mickeys. My publisher asked me if I had other ideas for Disney books, and I suggested a Hidden Mickeys project. They liked the idea, and the first WDW Hidden Mickeys book was published in 2003.

WDW Hints: Which ride (or attraction) do you enjoy most while looking for Hidden Mickeys? 
Steve: I look for Hidden Mickeys anywhere on Disney property, and some of the more compelling images are in out of the way places, like the full-body Mickey peeking out of a hole in an overhead beam jutting out in the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge Villas. One of my favorite attractions for Hidden Images (Hidden Mickeys and other characters) is The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; it’s loaded with wonderful Hidden surprises!

WDW Hints: How often do you visit Disney?
Steve: I visit Walt Disney World weekly and Disneyland, California twice yearly, to look for Hidden Mickeys, of course!

WDW Hints: Where is your favorite Hidden Mickey currently in the parks?

Steve: My current favorite Hidden Mickey is the once-a-year image along the entrance queue of the Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland. The Imagineers researched this Hidden Mickey and carved holes in the ceiling of the cavern part of the queue so that around noon each year on November 18th (Mickey Mouse’s “birthday”), the sun would be positioned properly in the sky to shine light onto an inside wall to form a classic (three-circle) Mickey image!

WDW Hints: What is your favorite Hidden Mickey that has been covered up?

Steve: Hidden Mickeys are lost continually as Disney refurbishes its property and replaces old attractions with new ones. My favorite Lost Hidden Mickey is the full-body Mickey in the green broccoli-like tissue in the wall mural over the entrance to the old Body Wars attraction in the Wonders of Life Pavilion at Epcot. This mural has either been removed or is covered up when the Wonders of Life Pavilion opens during seasonal Epcot Festivals.

WDW Hints: Do you have any tips on how to spot a Hidden Mickey?

Steve: I rely on Hidden Mickey searchers for almost all of my updates. Some folks (children and adults!) have the gift of concentrating their acute visual acuity in the elaborate Disney detail to spot Hidden Images. From astute observers, I learn of new Hidden Mickeys constantly, at the rate of 1 or 2 new ones (or more) a month! Disney doesn’t publicize new Hidden Mickeys; they just wait for us to find them! That adds immensely to the sheer fun of the Hidden Mickeys game. So my tip is: keep your eyes peeled for these subtle and captivating surprises in the Disney detail. You may spot an undiscovered image or two! Talk with Cast Members. Some are more tuned in than others about Hidden Mickeys, but you may learn of a new one if you ask! The classic (three-circle) Hidden Mickey is the most common image, and some of these are accidental and not purposefully placed by the Imagineers, but some Hidden Mickeys are more elaborate and obviously purposeful, like a side-profile or full-body Mickey Mouse.

WDW Hints: What future books (or projects) do you hope to complete?

Steve: With the constant rate of new and lost Hidden Mickeys, I update the books every two years to keep them as current as possible. I hope some day to have extensive Hidden Mickey files on all Disney Parks worldwide.

WDW Hints: Special thanks to Steve Barrett for sharing his knowledge of Hidden Mickeys with us! 

Editor’s Note: A big Thank You to Crissy for taking the time to interview Steve Barrett. If you haven’t checked out Mr. Barrett’s Hidden Mickeys books, pick one up today! You can choose from Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World®’s Best Kept SecretsDisneyland’s Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Disneyland Resort’s Best Kept Secrets, or Hidden Mickeys Go To Sea: A Field Guide to the Disney Cruise Line’s Best Kept Secrets. Or buy all three!! Carry them around with you while you tour the parks (or cruise ships) and search for Hidden Mickeys while waiting in line ~ It’s fun for all ages!
Disclosure: Affiliate links have been provided where books can be purchased. This does not raise the price for the buyer, but does allow us to receive a few cents in order to keep bringing great hints to our readers!

Terri is owner, creator and an author for WDW Hints. She enjoys taking less-traveled paths of WDW and sharing her lesser-known discoveries with you!