01/29/2019: This week Mario, Beth and Brian uncover the mysterious organization known as the Society of Explorers and Adventurers that is behind a large number of attractions, restaurants and lands around the disney parks. Have you ever heard of the society of explorers and adventurers? share your thoughts with us!


Society of Explorers and Adventurers:

  • Origins
    • If there is one thing that disney is known for it is fantastic storytelling. Through the years Imagineering has woven an incredible story that interconnects several attractions, restaurants, comic books and potentially movies on a scale similar to the marvel cinematic universe without most disney fans even noticing.
    • The fictional origins of SEA date back to August 12th 1538 in Italy, Port Paradiso (The Location of Tokyo Disney Sea's Port-of-Call or that parks hub for those unfamiliar
    • scientists, explorers, researchers, artists, travelers and adventurers from around the globe and was dedicated to the continued exploration of the worlds ocean and exotic lands
  • Adventurers Club (1989)- Downtown Disney/Pleasure Island
    • Though this attraction opened long before Disney had thought of the idea for SEA pleasure island has a large hand in helping come up with some of the ideas for the story itself.
    • Adventurers Club was a night club in pleasure island. It was set in a private club where world travelers would bring oddities found on their trips. The walls were covered in photographs and artifacts.  The club featured animatronics, puppets and cast members who performed improve comedy and mingled with the clubs patrons. 
    • When pleasure island closed Disney did not want these impressive animatronics and artifacts to go to waste and so the story of Adventures club was retconned and the SEA's origins started coming to light. the new story for adventures club would be that this location was the operating head quarters of Mary Weather Pleasures chapter of SEA and when it closed animatronics and props form this attraction were spread across the globe
  • Tokyo DisneySea - The Orginal S.E.A. -2001
    • The first actual appearance of SEA comes in 2001 when disney opens Tokyo DisneySea
    • "Fortress Exploration - Housed inside of DisneySea's Iconic MT Prometheus is the attraction Fortress Exploration.  Essentially this parks version of Tom Sawyer Island Fortress Exploration is a four story complex comprised of 10 exhibits. The attraction itself is breathtaking and I encourage anyone that hasn't looked up photos to do so. The attraction itself challenges guests to solve a series of puzzles in order to become members of SEA whose backstory is spelled out on the provided maps. open entering guests receive a map that reads ""We, The SEA are dedicated to the gathering of newfound Knowledge/ So that you may sre in our endeavors. we have created fortress explorations. within this citadel and on its waterfront you can witness first-hand the progression of our explorations and research. our quest is never=ending and it is our hope that you will return here often to embark on your own explorations of adventure, romance, discovery and innovation.""
      • There is also a plaque near the waters edge of the attraction that reads 
      • "We, the members of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, herewith establish Explorers’ Landing in order to promote the sharing of nautical and scientific knowledge for world exploration""
      • The Fortress Makes mention of famous ""SEA Members"" in Explorers Hall referencing some of the greatest explorers of all time:
        • Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596)
        • Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 - 1519)
        • Tycho Brahe (1546 - 1601)
        • Vasco Da Gama (1460’s - 1524)
        • Cristovao Colom (1451 - 1508)
        • Ferdinand Magellan (1480 - 1521)"
    • Magellan's - As the story goes the nearby restaurant served as a meeting place for SEA members. There is actually a secret meeting room/wine cellar behind a bookcase near the restrooms. it is said that this was the room that SEA used to meet in.
    • "Tower Of Terror - Harrison Hightower III was born in New York  in the year 1835. Harrison Hightower and his brother George (more on him later) were confirmed members of SEA and are pivotal members in our story. Harrison was known as one of the more corrupt members of SEA. Instead of bringing his findings to any of the locations that other SEA members would bring them (Magellan's, Adventures Club) he would often steal relics and store them in his hotel (Hightower Hotel). 
      • On New Years Eve 1899 Mr. Hightower Threw a lavish party to show off his collection of international treasures. one of which being his newest acquisition a wooden African ideal called Shiriki Utundu. The Idol itself was said to be cursed but Harrison boasted that he had no fear. Later in the evening while traveling to his penthouse the elevator traveled down crashing into the bottom floor. Harrision's body was never recovered and mysteriously Shiriki Utundu returned to its pedestal in Hightowers study without a single scratch.
      •  the year 1912- 13 years after Harrisons disappearance. a preservation society has begun campaigning to save the building as an architectural landmark, running tours of the once grant hotel and its abandoned artifacts. it has since been re branded as The Tower of Terror"
    • Hong Kong  -2013 - Present
      • " Mystic Manor- Set at Henry Mystic's outpost in Mystic Point in 1909, Lord Henry Mystic established a home and meeting place for the Society in a remote rain forest in 1880 and opened parts of his home to the public as an art museum in 1896. Henry Mystic's pet monkey Albert ends up getting into trouble when he opens a recently acquired Balinese Music Box with the magical ability to bring inanimate objects to life
        • There are Several SEA tie ins in this attraction, one major one is a portrait of Henry Mystic with other members of SEA. There are a bunch of other tie ins at Mystic Point one major one being a restaurant called The Adventurers Club"
      • Haunted Halloween- HKDL takes Halloween far more seriously than the US parks do. their Halloweens feature haunted mazes and overlays on attractions much like Halloween Horror Nights. One specific Maze from 2014 was Called Horrors of the Amazon and featured and Adventurer named Jonas Brisbane who hoped to join the ranks of SEA.
      • Another Major attraction takes an overlay at Halloween (Jungle Cruise) called Curse of the Emerald Trinity. This overlay features the story of Gregory Reed, a respected member of the society though his means acquiring relics were similar to Harrison Hightower. Henry Mystic decided that his ideals do not align with that of the society's and Reed is exiled from SEA.  Reed goes on a journey to recover the most mystic of relics and humiliate SEA. This relic is called The Emerald Trinity. The set of jewels is located at a temple deep in the jungle at a place called the temple of immortality. It is said that immorality is the prize for receiving one stone, but a fate worse than death is the price of failure. Upon arriving to the alter we find two stones missing. we later arrive at Reeds camp and through the closed tent we see the jungle reclaiming the stone that professor Reed has stolen. It is later revealed that our skipper has the second stone and which later disappears back into the jungle
    • Walt Disney World - 2013
      • Big Thunder Railroad - 2013. During the refurbishment in 2013 Big Thunder Mountain receives an overhauled backstory. Adding two members of SEA Barnabas T. Bullion and Jason Chandler to its origins. This in confirmed in Marvels 2015 Big Thunder Mountain Comic books. Though this story is not prominent in SEA lore it is fun to note that Disney Land was originally supposed to have a land inspired by Jules Verne called Discovery Bay, Jason Chandler was supposed to play a big part in the lands lore and its likely we would have recieved a lot more info on SEA through this land. However Star Wars land will be taking its place.
      • "Miss Adventure Falls, Typhoon Lagoon - In August 2016 Disney announces a massive expansion to Typhoon. The story of which is centered around Mary Oceaneer,  a Character created for Disney cruise lines and another Member of SEA (plaques can be seen around the expanded area confirming this). This attraction marks the first US attraction to feature SEA ( not including overhauled attractions) and the first attraction to feature an AA figure (Duncan) in a water park. The story is Mary was a seafaring adventurer whose treasure haul was caught in a storm and scattered all over the island.  
      • The interesting thing about Mary Oceaneer is that she is the founder of Oceaneer labs (The kids club on Disney Cruise Lines) which features references to both Harrison Hightower and Henry Mystic."
      • "Jungle Cruise/Skipper Canteen: In 2015 the Jungle Cruise lore was expanded for the construction of Skipper Canteen. It was decided that Albert Falls (originally a popular joke by the skippers) would be added in as a disney canon character. Dr Albert was an explorer most known for his skills at navigating the jungles around the world and his sense of humor. His notable discoveries being Schweitzer falls and the backside of water. He also opened his home of the JNC Skipper Canteen as a way to entertain members of the SEA in a hiding dining room located inside of his library(The Adventurers Room)
      •  At a young age his granddaughter Alberta was sent to live with him and after his passing Alberta took over the JNC and started the first Jungle Cruise Tours in 1931
      • What is interesting about the Adventurers room features photographs of SEA members on their adventures, some of which have yet to be uncovered through attractions. This story is canon for both DL and WDW though DL doesn't have a Skipper canteen"
      • "Jock Lindsay's Hanger Bar- The story of Jock Lindsey's at Disney Springs is that Jock and his associate traveled to Florida in search of the fountain of youth. Jock found the beautiful crystal clear waters of Disney Springs and decided to take up residence here. It was here that he also opened his home up to members of SEA and hosted them on their travels. there are photos and letters in the hanger bar to reference this. What's interesting about Jock Lindsey's is that his associate is none other than Henry Jones Jr or Indiana Jones, meaning that this ties the Indiana Jones canon into the SEA universe as well. 
      • Indiana Jones is also referenced in Hong Kong Disney Lands overlay of the Jungle cruise where a newspaper article tells the tale that Indy himself was a rival of professor Reed and was the member to remove Professor Reed after Henry Mystic exiled him from the group. "
    • Disneyland and More DisneySea
      • December 2018 Disneyland opened an expansion to Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room called the Tropical hideaway. The notable SEA reference here is that outside there are canoe paddles marked with names and expeditions of different SEA members. This is the first time the name Camellia Falco was spotted who later would be confirmed to be the main character in Tokyo DisneySea's version of Soarin' called Soaring: Fantastic Flight. Not much else is known about the upcoming attraction but this potentially ties in the enchanted Tiki Room in both parks. 
    • Not Confirmed but POSSIBLE SEA References.
      • Raging Spirits - Tokyo DisneySea Murals in Harrison Hightowers hotel Lobby depict Harrison with a stone serpent much like that outside of the attraction. alluding to the fact that Harrision Hightower visited Raging Spirits and it exists in the same continuity
      • Atlantis The Lost Empire: Though the movie itself doesn't feature anything involving SEA, the attraction Miss Adventure Falls in Typhoon Lagoon features Hieroglyphics similar to those seen in Atlantis. This could mean that they exist in the same continuity.
      • "Trader Sams - Its possible that Trader Sams is a possible US SEA outpost. Its not confirmed as a part of the SEA story line or features a SEA member it is confirmed to be a part of the continuity that ties Disney Lands Adventure land together, which all feature attractions in the SEA universe 
      • In a seating area of Adventure land's Bengal Barbeque, the group portrait and some postcards from Blauerhimmel can be seen hanging on the wall. Along with a group photo of many prominent SEA members. It is not confirmed that this location has anything to do with the story but there are some fun easter eggs
      • Aulani - Though there are no actual attractions that would link SEA to Disney Hawaiian destination there IS an Easter egg inside of Aunty's Beach house kids club that connects the story. Inside you will find  paintings used in the now closed adventures club in Downtown Disney. There is also a letter from Pamelia Perkins, member of the Adventures Club which references Harrison Hightower.
      • Haunted Mansion - In 2006 Constance was added to the attic of HM. throughout the attic scene Constance is depicted with portraits of her former husbands. Though one portrait in particular should strike guests familiar with other SEA attractions as odd. A man with a top hat and a large mustache is set in a frame marked "Constance and George 1877" and what is Georges last name? Hightower, George Hightower. It is presumed that George is the relative of Harrison Hightower previously mentioned though never confirmed through either attraction
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