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…

big thunder - disneyJason 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:

jock lindsey's hangar bar interior - disney  Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park

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) oceaneer lab - disenyOther 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.?

Rumor has it that the members of S.E.A. have discovered an Adventure Isle of sorts in the heart of Shanghai, China. Though an ancient civilization used to thrive here, it now seems deserted, but who knows what mysteries might be uncovered…..

(Photos ©Disney)

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.

 

 

Comments

comments

5 thoughts on “The Society of Explorers and Adventurers – 6(ish) Things You Should Know”

  1. Fred Aebli says:

    This really go my attention. I have heard others speak of this group but really didn’t get it. Now I do. Can you provide more reading references, links, etc..?

  2. Chris says:

    http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Society_of_Explorers_and_Adventurers is a great place to start.

    The Disney Parks website has a surprising amount of backstory as well.

    The Big Thunder Mtn comic doesn’t mention SEA directly but I still recommend it, it’s a great story.

    Mostly, you’ll have to put together bits and pieces because the story of SEA is still evolving.

  3. Chris says:

    Also, The Haunted Mansion book by Jason Surrell has a lot of information about both Mystic Manor and Tokyo’s Tower of Terror.

  4. Alec Rogers says:

    Would love to see Disney do more with this whole concept. An entire film series along the lines of the Marvel universe could be created with all of these colorful figures.

  5. Right Guard Ian says:

    I must make slight correction to the Big Thunder Mountain S.E.A. connection. Jason Chandler’s contact at the Museum of the Weird is in fact Madame Zarkov and not Zasher (a mistake owing to Chandler’s difficult to read handwriting in his letter to Barnabas T. Bullion). Madame Zarkov is also known to have frequented pleasure’s Adventures Club on Pleasure Island on nights that Samantha Sterling was unable to attend Club meetings!