By Don Gworek
Mickey’s Forest is Disney’s largest Hidden Mickey. You can, however, find it pretty easily if you do a search for “Hidden Mickey” in Google Maps. This is my first-person story of how it was made.
This 1992 article in the Walt Disney World cast member newspaper, “Eyes and Ears”, invited volunteers to help plant Mickey’s Forest.
What follows are excerpts from e-mail and photos I sent to friends in 1992, telling the story of how Mickey’s Forest was planted.
A few years ago Walt Disney World bought some additional acreage that used to be orange groves. The trees were killed with the killer frosts in the 1980s, and the land has been sitting idle ever since.
Over the last five weeks, the left ear and head were planted with pine seedlings. Today the right ear was planted by about 300 volunteers.
We started at Pleasure Island, a convenient place for all of to park our cars. Eventually we started to board the buses, and by 9:05 a.m. we were on the way. The buses pulled up to the forest site at about 9:40 a.m. That’s a 35 minute drive!
By 10:40 a.m. or so, all of Mickey’s right ear had been planted, and the trek began back down to the buses. We were back at Pleasure Island at about 11:30 a.m. It’s going to be great over the next few years to look out jet windows and see these trees!
Westbound flights tend to use a departure flight path called “Epcot Two”, as illustrated in this page from the FAA US Terminal Procedures Publication. The yellow arrow indicates the approximate location of Mickey’s Forest, and experience is that you’ll see Mickey’s Forest from the right-most window seat (typically, seat “F”).
Please note: Mickey’s Forest is fenced private property. If you visit, stay on the public road, do not cross the fence.
Just up the road from this location, you can see the tallest landmarks of Walt Disney World, as seen in this extreme zoom view. The arrows point to the spires of Space Mountain and Cinderella Castle. Also seen are the towers of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
More of Mickey’s Forest from the air, from a small private plane, can be seen in this video.