The Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.) is a group of adventurers, scientists, explorers, researchers, and travelers from around the world. Over the past few years, Disney Imagineering’s interest in the group has grown. They are continuing to find new ways to share S.E.A.’s stories with us and showcase their treasures. Right now, members of the group can be found in three countries on two continents, so I thought it would be a good idea to bring all their stories together. Here are the 6 things you need to know about the Society of Explorers and Adventurers:
1) Harrison Hightower III has a hotel that you are welcome to…drop in on.
Hightower was a founding member of S.E.A. but he would often acquire his treasures and artifacts illegally. However, this proved to be his downfall when, in 1899, he discovered the Shiriki Utundu in an African village. He openly mocked any belief in the idol’s power which angered the god. In response, the god made Hightower disappear on New Year’s Eve that year. 13 years later, in 1912, the hotel reopened, but some say that Hightower’s spirit still wanders the halls….
(Bonus #1 – When bringing Tower of Terror to Japan, the Imagineers needed a new story as The Twilight Zone is not as familiar to Japanese audiences. Thus, S.E.A. was born.)
2) Lord Henry Mystic has turned his home into a museum to showcase his artifacts to the public, just make sure the monkey stays out of trouble…
Lord Mystic turned his home into a meeting place for the Society in a rainforest in 1880 and opened his home to the public six years later. In 1909, he discovered a Balinese Music Box which is said to have the power to bring inanimate objects to life.
(Bonus #2 – When bringing the Haunted Mansion to Hong Kong Disneyland, Imagineers wanted to be culturally sensitive to the Chinese, who take spirits and the afterlife very seriously. They decided to use S.E.A. to put the focus of this mansion on the mystic rather than the haunted.)
3) Barnabas T. Bullion owns the Big Thunder Mining Company, though possibly for not much longer…
Jason Chandler, another member of S.E.A. and Madame Zasher, who works at the Museum of the Weird have sent Bullion multiple letters advising against further mining activity in the mountain based on the stories of his latest trip turning into the “wildest ride in the wilderness.”
(Bonus #3 – Both Bullion and Chandler are in Disney Kingdom‘s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad comic from Marvel which gives hope that the series will tell the entire story of the S.E.A. organization at some point.)
4) Don’t forget about the society’s food offerings:
In 1938, Indiana Jones and Jock Lindsey found their way to Disney Springs while on their latest archaeological hunt. Dr. Jones left but Lindsey loved the area so much, he decided to stay and set up shop. He opened up a bar and invited his fellow members of S.E.A. to visit.
In 1911, Dr. Albert Falls, who was a member of S.E.A., opened the Jungle Navigation Company as a way to move cargo up and down the rivers. Shortly after his granddaughter, Alberta Falls, took over the company it began to decline. One day, one of the skippers suggested offering guided tours of the rivers instead and thus the Jungle Cruise was born. It proved so popular that she decided to turn her house into a restaurant, the Jungle Skipper Canteen Restaurant, for hungry travelers.
5) Other places to learn more about these famous explorers and adventurers are:
- Disney’s Oceaneer Lab aboard the Disney Magic
- Fortress Explorations in Tokyo Disney Sea
- Raging Spirits also in Tokyo Disney Sea
6) What about the future of S.E.A.?
Where would you like to see the members of S.E.A. show up next?
Chris grew up during the Disney renaissance of animation and took his first trip to Disney World when he was ten. Even though he has loved Disney his whole life, his obsession didn’t start until he began planning a trip for his honeymoon. Right now, his primary job (at least the one that doesn’t pay the bills) is to indoctrinate his daughter with his love of Disney while at the same time convincing his wife to move to Orlando, so he can become a tour guide in the parks.