One of the most delightful “hidden Mickeys” at Disneyland is in the riverboat painting that adorns a small building beside the Mark Twain’s dock. Well, that particular Mickey is delightful no longer. Just look where it was moved during the recent river refurbishment:
Notice the difference? Now you can’t see Mickey unless you are able to levitate — and the majority of park guests are unable to do that, particularly over water, and there’s no hope at all for those in wheel chairs and strollers!
We asked Elite Mousmasta, Disneyland’s head of Imagineering’s liason department’s interface to blogs’ management’s temporary assistant, why it is that this bit of joy was removed from Disneyland guests’ grasp. “To put it simply,” said Elite, “hidden Mickeys aren’t there for guests, they’re there for cast members. If you don’t have a boat and a ladder and access to the park after closing and a flashlight, then perhaps you should just take a hint that this particular inside joke was intended for a different audience.”
It’s not the first time Disney has removed a hidden Mickey from public view. Said Elite, “When Disney/MGM studios was first built, there was a gigantic hidden Mickey that could only be seen if you hovered over the park in a helicopter. Then guests discovered it with Google maps and other satellite-imaging tools, and it just ruined the fun for the rest of us. Why go to the trouble of taking the cast-member helicopter out for a spin if everyone and their brother can just see it online anyway? So we stuck a giant hat in the middle of it and otherwise removed its hidden Mickeyness. To heck wit it. These days, all we seem to have left are the hidden Mickeys back stage and the ones on castmember underclothing. But perhaps I’ve said too much.”