For decades, Disney has hidden little nods to the famous mouse. If you keep your eyes peeled, you'll often see these forms made up of three strategically placed circles. Nicknamed Hidden Mickeys, they can be found in parks, in Disney movies, and even on dinner plates at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. Other Hidden Mickeys are a little more elaborate—so elaborate, in fact, that you have to be airborne to see them. Check out these five examples that are hiding in plain sight.
1. DISNEYLAND DRIVE
Visitors to Disneyland Drive may have wondered why the paths seem to be oddly arched. However, the plan isn't clear until you view the area from above. The shape of this Hidden Mickey is formed from the curved pathways that border two flower gardens at the Florida Disney park.
2. MICKEY MOUSE FOREST
In 1992, Disney planted more than 60,000 trees on 60 acres, just northwest of the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, and created the largest Hidden Mickey in the country. The area was once home to a citrus grove that was hit with fatal frost in the 1980s. The land, more than 150 acres total, had gone unused since the fruit trees died, so Disney contributed volunteers and pine trees to help with the reforestation project. The result can still be seen from the air—in fact, depending on your route into Orlando, you might just see Mickey Mouse Forest during your final descent into Orlando International Airport.
3. LAKE MICKEY
The photo above captures an aerial view of the now-shuttered Richard Petty Driving Experience, nicknamed "The Mickyard," at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Though the Mickyard closed last year, Lake Mickey still lives on.
4. SOLAR FARM
Last year, Disney installed 48,000 photovoltaic panels—about 20 acres worth—near the Epcot Center in Orlando. The solar panels are expected to produce an average of about 10.5 million kilowatt-hours per year.
5. HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
This one is a little hard to see, especially these days. But if you use a little bit of imagination, you can see how the layout of pathways, landscaping, buildings, and even a lake once made a very interesting Hidden Mickey at Disney-MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios). And it wasn't just the tri-circle Mickey—this one included details of his entire face. The park layout has changed since it opened in 1989 (upper left), but you can still see remnants of what once was in the recent Google Maps image on the right.