The Society of Exporers and Adventurers also known as S.E.A. is a secret society in the Disney theme parks which connects to both the Haunted Mansion and Mystic Manor as well as several other Disney attractions and properties.
S.E.A. was founded on August 12th, 1538 in Italy at Port Paradisio by the historic Leonardo da Vinci, Marco Polo, and Ferdinand Magellan. As established by them, S.E.A.'s headquarters came in the form of Fortress Explorations, a complex located on the harbour of the Mediterranean sea.
Much of SEA's background and methods are shrouded in secrecy, as the society remains invite-only and only welcomes the most clever, innovative and bold into its circle of inventors, globetrotters and philanthropists. What has been gleaned so far comes from story hints given in several sites and attractions around the world, and most of that info comes from the late 1800s through the early 1930s.
SEA bases itself around four core values: Adventure, Romance, Discovery and Innovation.
- Vitale Robustelli: Robustelli was club president during the 1850s. He is only known for having established the Society's first female member, Camellia Falco.
- Jason Chandler: An inventor and geologist, Chandler was the leader of SEA's 19th Century incarnation and, according to him, its founder (although prior to this he was Robustelli's society secretary). Chandler was a man dedicated to science and innovation who specialized in the research and development of strange and unusual technologies, even having salvaged the famous Nautilus Submarine of the late Captain Nemo. Chandler also created much of the technology used by the Big Thunder Mining Company during the 1880s.
Over the decades SEA has amassed a large assortment of different members from across the world.
Early 19th Century
- Lord Henry Mystic: A British lord from the late 19th century through early 20th century who moved to Papua New Guinea where he turned his mansion Mystic Manor into a museum of antiquities. He was a member since at-least the 1850s and went on to be an active member until at-least 1938.
- Camellia Falco: An early 19th century engineer and aviator who in-addition to being S.E.A.'s first female member, was the inventor of "Dream Flyer" hangliders inspired by concepts created by Leonardo DaVinci. At the Mediterranean Harbor where S.E.A. was originally based she had a fleet of her flying-machines. She died in 1875 with her ghost coming to haunt the Museum of Fantastic Flight.
Late 19th Century
- Barnabas T. Bullion: An old friend of Jason Chandler's who joined at some point prior to 1870. During the 1880s, Bullion owned and operated the Big Thunder Mining Company at Big Thunder Mountain which frequently suffered from accidents caused by the Spirit of Big Thunder.
- Harrison Hightower III: A wealthy 19th century adventurer and antiquities collector who owned the prosperous New York hotel, Hotel Hightower. He died in 1899 due to his possession of the cursed relic Shiriki Utundu and was remembered unfavourably by members of later years.
- Captain Mary Oceaneer: A treasure hunter from the late 19th century who came to live in the lagoon village of Placid Palms under the volcanic Mount Mayday, which at some point in the late 20th century was hit by a major storm and was renamed Typhoon Lagoon.
- Professor R. Blauerhimmel: A pilot from the late 19th century and 1930s who did work for the Jungle Navigation Company.
- Doctor J.L. Baterista: A doctor associated with Lord Henry Mystic.
- Maestro D'Elfman: A music composer who was a close associate of Lord Henry Mystic. He is a reference to real world music composer Danny Elfman who composed the music for Mystic Manor, the Nightmare Before Christmas, and who served as the singing voice of Jack Skellington.
- Charlton J. Taboret: A professional painter and illustrator from the late 19th/early 20th century who often travelled with Lord Henry Mystic.
Early 20th Century
- Dr. Albert Falls: Noted explorer and humanitarian. In 1911, Dr. Falls founded the Jungle Navigation Company which carried passengers and cargo along the rivers of Africa, Cambodia and the Amazon. He also discovered a sunken Cambodian temple in 1888 which would come to be known as "Shir Lee Temple" and in 1891 a waterfall in the jungle which he named after himself, calling it Schweitzer Falls.
- Merriweather Adam Pleasure: An entrepreneur and jack-of-all-trades, Pleasure opened a canvas manufacturing business in Florida in 1911, which would later become known as Pleasure Island. Pleasure eventually opened the Adventurers Club in 1927.
- Jock Lindsay: An airplane pilot closely associated with Dr. Henry Jones Jr. (better known as Indiana Jones) who among other things, discovered the long lost Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Jock eventually retired to open a "Hangar Bar" in Central Florida. Jock originally comes from the film, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Prof. Gregory Reed: The only known S.E.A. member to have been kicked out of the society, Reed was an archaeologist who was blacklisted from the group by Lord Mystic due to his unsavory tactics in his work. At some point during the 1930s, Reed began to seek out a legendary set of jewels known as the Emerald Trinity which if brought out of the jungle, would grant him immortality. Reed was seemingly killed by living vines summoned to protect the stones.
- Captain Brieux: An eccentric inventor and captain from the early 20th century who created an airship called the Hyperion which searches for a long lost island in the arctic. Brieux originally appeared in the film The Island at the Top of the World.
- Chef Tandaji: A chef who at some point created a chicken dish used at the Jungle Navigational Company's Skipper Canteen. Went on a boat expedition along the Irrawaddy River in 1913.
- Sango Shio: A Senior-SEA member who went on a boat expedition along the Amazon River in 1910. On June 5th of 1988 they certified Dr. Albert Falls' discovery of an Ancient Cambodian Shrine.
- Luana Teixeira: A photographer for the Society that was likely alive during the 1930s and had some affiliation with the Jungle Navigational Company.
These are characters associated with the Society but have yet to have been named official members.
- Alberta Falls: Granddaughter of Dr. Albert Falls. Alberta inherited the Jungle Navigation Co. during the 1930s after her grandfather either died, retired or went missing. On October 1st, 1931 Alberta converted the family business into the world famous Jungle Cruise, which proved to be both a big success and a living nightmare, in which both guests and employees would constantly die or go missing in the jungle. She also operated the Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen in the 1930s.
- Jonas Brisbane: A Jungle Cruise skipper who wanted to join S.E.A.. His uncle, Ebeneezer Brisbane, went on an expedition and never returned. Jonas followed the maps left by him and found incredible creatures, who he captured and kept as pets. He disappeared, after robbing the grave of a witch doctor. Jonas was the star of the Horrors of the Amazon stage show at Hong Kong Disneyland and played by Power Chan.
- Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr: Archaeologist and professor. He was partners with Jock Lindsey when they flew over the clear waters of Disney Springs, where Jock eventually settled down. Indy wrote the book The Eye of Mara about his adventurers in the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, which can be found in Skipper Canteen. He alerted the archaeology community, and possibly S.E.A., about his rival Dr. Reed's pillaging, and beat him to the golden idol in Peru.
- Captain Nemo: Inventor and captain of the Nautilus. While once isolated and secluded, Nemo opened his discoveries to the rest of society, allowing them to explore Vulcania and Kraken Reef at Mysterious Island. Fortress Exploration contains a barometer of Mount Prometheus, where Nemo's base is. This relies on the continuity where Nemo did not die at the end of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which contradicts the Disney film.
- Madame Zarkov: A Romani sorceress who operated the mysterious Museum of the Weird during the 1880s and who regularly attended the Adventurers Club during sometime in the the 1920s or 1930s. Chandler spoke with her to talk Bullion out of mining at Big Thunder Mountain.
- Pamela Perkins: President of the Adventurer's Club. A trunk of hers is found at the Jungle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom, where the Fast Pass machines used to be. A letter of hers from Aulani references Hightower and his connections with the Adventurer's Club.
Connection to the Haunted Mansions
In the Skipper Canteen at the Magic Kingdom, there is a small library featuring several books, one of these books is called, "Myths of the Supernatural" and the author's name is "Gracey".
In Shanghai Disneyland's Camp Discovery, there is a message-board with a newspaper article referencing the Haunted Mansion. The issue is dated to September 22, 1930 and reports the, "Johnson family" being chased out of the Haunted Mansion by ghosts in the ballroom. The report also states they are the third family to have been chased off the grounds since the passing of the former owners.
The same Camp Discovery bulletin mentions sightings of a spectral dog in the four months surrounding the holiday seasons of the Haunted Mansion.
Lord Henry Mystic is the owner of the manor, and in 1909 opens a portion of it to public to showcase his personal collection of antiquities. The manor's queue is filled with portraits and homages to S.E.A. members, many of whom made their first appearances within the attraction. Members shown within the portraits include: Captain Mary Oceaneer, Maestro d'Elfman, Dr. J.L. Baterista, Harrison Hightower III (with Shiriki Utundu), Prof. R. Blauerhimmel, Charlton J. Taboret and three unidentified SEA members; one who is an old man dressed for cold weather, another older man who is dressed in Old West apparel, and another older man who is dressed in a business-suit who is smoking a cigarette.
Although the attraction was never built, a letter in Walt Disney World's Big Thunder Mountain written by Jason Chandler directly references the Museum of the Weird and states that it is being run by Madame Zarkov. Zarkov herself being a character from the Adventurer's Club.
Thanks to both a sign at Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain, we know that Thunder Mesa (the mining-town setting for Phantom Manor) exists in the same proximity as the towns of Tumbleweed and Rainbow Ridge. These towns were both active in the 1880s when the Big Thunder Mining Company was run by Barnabas T. Bullion and the settings in which Disney World's and Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountains take place. Thanks to a portrait seen in Disney World's Big Thunder Mountain, we can see that each of the different parks's mountains are in fact part of the same Mountain Range.
It is possible that Barnabas T. Bullion purchased the Big Thunder Mining company several years after the Thunder Mesa earthquake of 1860 which killed the company-owner Henry Ravenswood. This is made more likely when considering how the non-Paris Big Thunder rides canonically take place in the 1880s.
SEA connections to Big Thunder include Barnabas T. Bullion the owner of the Big Thunder Mining Company from the 1880s having been a member of SEA. Jason Chandler who was the head of SEA at the time having designed the technology used by the Big Thunder Mining Company. As well as a letter from Chandler to Bullion mentioning Madame Zarkov.
Along with this, one of Mélanie Ravenswood's deceased suitors was a man named Captain Rowland Falls who shares his surname with the S.E.A. members Dr. Albert Falls and Alberta Falls, possibly implying that he is an ancestor of theirs.
Disney Park Properties Connected by S.E.A.
Rides and Attractions
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Frontierland)
- The Haunted Mansion (New Orleans Square)
- Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye (Adventureland)
- The Jungle Cruise (Adventureland)
- Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room (Adventureland)
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Frontierland, the Magic Kingdom)
- Expedition Everest (Asia, Disney's Animal Kingdom)
- The Haunted Mansion (Liberty Square, the Magic Kingdom)
- The Jungle Cruise (Adventureland, the Magic Kingdom)
- Miss Adventure Falls (Disney's Typhoon Lagoon)
- Mount Mayday (Disney's Typhoon Lagoon)
- United Kingdom Pavilion (E.P.C.O.T.)
- Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room (Adventureland, the Magic Kingdom)
- The Jungle Cruise
- The Tower of Terror
- Fortress Explorations
- Journey to the Centre of the Earth
- Raging Spirits
- Soaring: Fantastic Flight
Hong Kong Disneyland
- Grizzly Gulch
- The Jungle Cruise
- Jungle River Cruise: Curse of the Emerald Trinity
- Mystic Manor (Hong Kong Disneyland)
- Camp Discovery
Disney Cruise line
- Oceaneer Lab
- Jungle Navigation Company Skipper Canteen (Adventureland, the Magic Kingdom)
- Adventurer's Club (now extinct)
- Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar
- Explorer's Club Restaurant
- Café Hyperion
- Tropical Hideaway (Adventureland, Disneyland)
- Colonel Hathi's Pizza Outpost
- The Museum of the Weird
- Discovery Bay
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
- The Island at the Top of the World
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire
- Club Leader Jason Chandler was originally conceived as having been an inventor who created a digging machine for the Big Thunder Mining Co. during the 1840s, resulting in an accident which cost the lives of several miners and Chandler himself was presumed deceased. Following this Chandler would have left Big Thunder Mountain and relocated to San Francisco where he would have constructed a scientific outpost called Discovery Bay.
- Despite the Society having been founded in 1538, in a letter sent from Chandler to Bullion, Chandler refers to himself as being S.E.A.'s founder. This could mean however that he simply founded the incarnation of the group which Bullion was a member of in the 1880s.
- Harrison Hightower III and Camellia Falco are the only known members to have become ghosts in the afterlife with Harrison coming to haunt Hotel Hightower in New York and Camellia haunting the Museum of Fantastic Flight in the Venetian city of Porto Paradiso. In addition, Leonardo DaVinci's ghost haunts SEA's Headquarters of Fortress Explorations.