Hidden Lincolns

What is a Hidden Lincoln?

Hidden Lincolns come in two types. A Type 1 hidden Lincoln is an image of Abraham Lincoln himself hidden in a Disney attraction, location, or publication. A Type 2 hidden Lincoln is much more simple -- it's a representation of President Lincoln's famous stovepipe hat.

The first hidden Lincolns were sort of an inside joke among Walt Disney Imagineers. They were aware of Walt Disney's love of the late President, and there was a running joke that Disney wanted to add Lincoln to every attraction. While building the original Disneyland park, Imagineers would kid at Disney by asking "So in the Jungle Cruise, should Abe be next to the lions?" or "How about some kind of flying jet-pack Lincoln in Tomorrowland?" They kept the joke going by putting Lincolns in the park wherever the mood struck them, so long as it wouldn't harm the show.

The first published sighting of a Hidden Lincoln was made by Marlene Kennedy, who wrote an article for the Disneyland cast member magazine back in 1958. The article pointed out a number of Hidden Lincolns that she had noticed around the park, letting other cast members in on the fun of looking for them. Hidden Lincolns were finally publicly known, but they didn't really catch on for some reason and remained obscure.

Because they were something created by the original Imagineers and the tradition has not been kept up, many Hidden Lincolns have been lost through the years and new ones are rare. We treasure the memory of the stovepipe hats in the original Frontierland shooting gallery and the "bearded 'woman'" in the background of the Main Street underwear store, but fear that we may never see the likes of them or their many long-forgotten companions again.

A few guidelines for what counts as a Hidden Lincoln:

  • A Hidden Lincoln is a Type 1 or Type 2 Lincoln that was purposefully created by an Imagineer or Disney cast member. Accidental hat shapes and people who just happen to look like Lincoln don't count.
  • Emancipation Mesa in Wyoming -- Hidden LincolnIf the Lincoln isn't on Disney property or it isn't part of a Disney production, then it isn't a Hidden Lincoln. See the photo at right of Emancipation Mesa in Wyoming -- it looks like Lincoln's profile (point your mouse at it to see), but it was created by nature, not Disney, so it isn't a Hidden Lincoln.
  • A Lincoln that is supposed to be Lincoln, such as a poster for the animatronic Lincoln in the Main Street opera house, isn't hidden so it isn't a Hidden Lincoln.
  • In order for a Hidden Lincoln to be shown on this site, it must be verified either by a HiddenLincolns.org staff person or by a photograph submitted via e-mail.

Because the search for remaining Hidden Lincolns, and the effort to preserve the memories of those that exist that might be lost, is an ongoing one, we encourage you to e-mail us your sightings and photographs. Thank you for your help, and happy hunting!

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Images of Abraham Lincoln used without his permission.
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