Steve Barrett’s Hidden Mickeys Book – How He Began Writing His Field Guides

Most people are familiar with the Hidden Mickeys book series, which is currently in its 6th edition!  But have you ever wondered how it was that Steve Barrett began writing his Hidden Mickeys Books? In his very own words, here is how Steve Barrett accomplished gathering information on hundreds of Hidden Mickeys and writing a book that brings hours of fun to Disney fans all over the world:

The search for Hidden Mickeys became a passion of mine in the late 1990’s. I welcomed the new century with a new passion! At that time, I kept a file of Hidden Mickey sightings that I learned about from various websites and from the now defunct Disney Magazine. Cast Members would also clue me in on Hidden Images. After a few years, the file became large enough that my publisher (The Intrepid Traveler) decided that we should try a book. I wrote the manuscript for the first edition of the Walt Disney World Hidden Mickeys Field Guide during the first six months of 2002, and the print book was published in early 2003. My publisher offered several options for the cover design, and I invited my neighbors and friends to vote on their favorite book cover. They chose the current yellow and red one; I think they made the right choice!

In 2004, Disney called my publisher and asked if the Hidden Mickeys books could be sold inside the parks. After a few stunned silent seconds, we managed to get the word out: Yes! Disney has become more accepting of the Hidden Mickey phenomenon over the last 8 years or so. Cast Members and even Imagineers now talk freely about them. In fact, Imagineers have recently put even more effort into creating new Hidden Mickeys. Some of the new Hidden Mickeys in the New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom and at Cars Land at California Adventure are among the most compelling Hidden Mickeys ever created! Below is a photo of my current favorite Hidden Mickey at Walt Disney World: the classic (three-circle) image that appears once a year at noon on Mickey’s birthday (November 18) in the queue of the Under the Sea attraction. Now that required some incredible planning by the Imagineers!

At times, Imagineers and Cast Members write to me about new Hidden Mickeys, but most of my material now comes from the daily messages I receive at my website from the legions of terrific Hidden Mickey Hunters out there. i visit Walt Disney World, Disneyland and the Cruise Ships to verify new Hidden Mickeys sent to me and to check on any Hidden Mickeys that are Lost.

I told my publisher a few years ago that I’ve discovered a physical law of the Hidden Mickey universe: new Hidden Mickeys appear and lost Hidden Mickeys disappear at constant rates! This law of nature unique to Disney makes a new edition of the Hidden Mickeys books feasible about every 2 years. I organize each new edition into Scavenger Hunts that are arranged so that guests can tour in an efficient manner without spending too much time cooling their heels in waiting lines. In late 2013, I updated all three books (Hidden Mickeys – A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets, Disneyland’s Hidden Mickeys – A Field Guide to Disneyland Resort’s Best Kept Secrets, and Hidden Mickeys Go To Sea – A Field Guide to the Disney Cruise Line’s Best Kept Secrets). Enjoy the Hunt!


Thank you so much for this inside look at how the Hidden Mickey books were created!

Find Steve Barret here for more information on Hidden Mickeys:

Steve Barrett, author of the Hidden Mickeys books and the website.

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