Spoiler alert: If you don’t want to know where one of the Walt Disney Resort’s newest hidden Mickeys is, stop reading. But you want to know, right? I would.
Amy – the Reluctant Mousejunkie herself – and I were touring new resorts, attending presentations and experiencing new offerings at Walt Disney World this past week when we found ourselves in a beautiful courtyard at Port Orleans Riverside. We arrived at the resort just in time for a late afternoon tea-party (punch and dainty sandwiches – I would’ve preferred to partake of the beef and slosh around great steins, but that’s not exactly princess-like.)
We waited our turn to tour the Royal Rooms, which I had seen a year earlier – only back then they were just mock-ups and no photos were allowed. Now, they’re open, hosting guests and we were free to record everything.
In keeping with the Royal Room theme, Princess Tiana entered the tea party courtyard with a flourish amidst a small second line procession, welcomed her visitors and posed for pictures. Before too long we wandered over to the model rooms and stepped inside. Another reporter was finishing up an interview with the cast member stationed in the middle of this impressive room, so we had a seat. The Royal Rooms really remind me of a mini-Castle suite – dripping with gold details and surprising with unexpected lighting effects and details.
As we waited our turn, the cast member pointed out a couple of brand-new hidden Mickeys. We watched and made mental notes as she pointed out all the tiny things that made the room so wonderful.
The door to the room opened and two more people came in: A woman carrying a video camera and a smiling man wearing a wide-brimmed hat. After a few minutes it was our turn, and the woman who had come into the room introduced herself, and then her companion – Steven M. Barrett. Yes, that Steven M. Barrett – author of the great “Hidden Mickey’s: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets.”
We kind of tripped over ourselves to say hello. We have his book (as many do) and love it. Our daughter, Katie, loves the book and takes it along on our trips quite often. Steven was friendly and seemed happy to know we were fans of his work.
Just then, Amy lept into action.
“I can show you a new hidden Mickey!” she said, and then pointed to a cleverly disguised outline creating the head-on profile of our favorite Mouse. Steven walked over, eyeballed it and said, “Oh yeah!”
Here it is, located on the table at the foot of the first bed:
It stands out a little better in person, but the cast member pointed it out and confirmed that it was, indeed, a new hidden Mickey.
Wait, I’ll shrink it a bit and it’ll become easier to see:
We finished our interview and headed back outside to the teeny, teeny sandwiches and no beer.
Amy had been holding it in, and once we got outside she let it go: “I just showed the Hidden Mickeys Guy a new hidden Mickey!”
It hadn’t really struck me until that moment, but then the Disney geek inside me recognized the fun of the moment that had just passed. Amy took it straight to Twitter, and I looked for larger sandwiches. Princesses don’t know how to eat.
It was a thrill meeting Steven Barrett and discovering a new secret with him – even for a Reluctant Mousejunkie.