The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

Mickeyhenge

This morning on my morning run/gym workout I was listening to the Mickey Miles Podcast. Their guest this morning was Hidden Mickey Guy Steve Barrett. And by now you are probably wondering what this is doing on an astronomy blog.

Well, they talked about one of the most hard to find hidden Mickeys which has an astronomy connection. The Magic Kingdom opened its new Fantasyland late last year. One of the new attractions is the Little Mermaid ride (which is also at Disneyland). There is a hidden Mickey in this ride that appears only on November 18th (Mickey’s birthday) when the Sun lines shines through a few holes in the roof creating a Mickey head on the wall. You can see pictures of it at Steve Barrett’s Blog.

I found this interesting but do have a question: Most of these events (like Manhattenhenge) happen twice a year: Once when the Sun heads south and once when the Sun heads north. On November 18th, the Sun transits at an elevation of 42.1 degrees in Orlando. Looking up some info, it looks like the Sun comes back to that location around January 23rd. So why no hidden Mickey on that day? Do they cover the holes? Is it artificial? Or does this occur twice a year and the second one is even more hidden since no one knows it’s there!

Last year on November 18th, the ride was not open to the public yet, although it was open on January 23rd. Unfortunately, I am not going to be a the Magic Kingdom either of those days. I am going there this weekend for the Tower of Terror 10 miler and will try to check out this location and see if I can make any progress on this question. Anyone who is planning a November or January trip, check this out!

October 2, 2013 - Posted by | Sun

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