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Day 3 - September 4, 2012

In the late 70s while EPCOT Center was under development a crucial decision was decided: Disney characters wouldn't be present within the park. The thought process was this park should be more adult themed than Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. Naturally a few Imagineers asked the question on everyone's mind: Does this include Mickey Mouse? The answer was yes.

This was a major decision which led to two huge changes in the Disney company. One we will talk about in a few days, but the other one is a legend which I will share today. Please keep in mind that it is not 100% known if this story is completely true or just partially true.

Mickey Mouse: The Big Cheese himself! I love him, you love him, he was even the password during D-Day in WWII. The guy is a pretty big deal. But now we are standing in a rather odd situation for Mickey. The icon for an entire corporation isn't even allowed into his third park in the world. Luckily, there were a few rebels within the Imagineering family who had an idea that would change the Disney parks forever.

If corporate was going to tell them they weren't letting their true boss into his third park, they would sneak him in by all means necessary. All of a sudden throughout EPCOT Center several Mickey's made their way into the park. No, not the character himself, but here's a great example of what I'm talking about on Spaceship Earth:

If you look on the desk to the left of the light you will see three circles carved into the table. That's right! In an act of defiance, the Hidden Mickey was born. It's been said there were Hidden Mickey's found throughout the parks before then, however, none of them were ever documented. Others say it was Hidden Mickey's like the one pictured above that began the craze that would inspire books, podcasts, our very own Hidden Mickey Monday, and a whole lot more.

I know what you are thinking, "Characters can be found throughout all of Epcot now so what happened?" Well, even though you can find characters galore in Epcot now, that wasn't always the case. The Hidden Mickey was just step one in turning EPCOT Center into a more family friendly park, but more on that later...

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