Friday, February 12, 2016

BIG Hidden Mickey

Any one half-way familiar with Walt Disney World knows that the Imagineers have put Hidden Mickeys everywhere. Usually in the familiar three circle icon shape, you can find them hiding out everywhere.  There are books devoted to help you find Hidden Mickeys as well as websites to record where they are found.  We find them all the time at home like when three onion rings end up on a plate in just the right layout.
Growing Up Disney
Mickey Mouse Onion rings??
 Or when Tink was playing with buttons and accidentally(?) laid them on the table, one large with two small buttons.  Hidden Mickey!
Growing Up Disney
Mickey Mouse Buttons??

Well this week I found a Hidden Mickey I had never seen or heard of before.

I was looking at a map of Clermont, FL on  Clermont is a town near Walt Disney World.  US Hwy 27 runs down the middle of Clermont and just south of town is Lake Louisa State Park.  We drive to WDW on most of our trips and I have been through there many times and watched the area go from being mostly orange groves to a large residential town.  While I've never been to the Lake Louisa State Park, I know exactly where it is.

Well this week, I was looking at the map and happened to zoom in just far enough... and what should catch my eye but a clear Mickey Mouse icon staring back at me just east of the State Park.  I had to research further to find out why this was there.

Growing Up Disney
I went to Google and searched for Clermont.  Once there I opened maps I found Lake Louisa State Park.  There was not a Hidden Mickey showing on the map.  So I opened the satelite view and this is what I found:

Growing Up Disney
Google Maps
So I had to zoom in closer to see what this Mickey Mouse was and you could see the trees.

Growing Up Disney
Mickey Mouse Forest
So back to Google and search for Mickey Mouse Forest.

The Mickey Mouse Forest was planted as a conservation effort on property that once held a orange grove killed by a frost.   Disney had bought the property and in 1992 in consultation with the Orange County Agent for the Florida Division of Forestry planted 50-60 acres of a frozen out citrus grove with 50,000 long-leaf pine seedlings.  Disney put out a call to its cast members to volunteer in this effort and the forest took shape. Now almost 24 years later the seedlings are now a forest, The Mickey Mouse Forest.

I've driven down Hwy 27 many times and seen the pine trees in this area but from ground level all you see are trees.  But from the air... or from Google Maps... its a different picture.  If you fly to Walt Disney World, when you leave, if you depart MCO to the west, the departure route called Epcot Two goes past the Mickey Mouse Forest.  Be sure to sit on the right side of the plane.

If you have a hard time finding this on the map, paste in 28°27'10.8"N 81°42'10.8"W into Google and it should take you right to the Mickey Mouse Forest.


Did you know about the Mickey Mouse Forest?

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