- “Exploratio Continua!”
- ―S.E.A. credo
The Society of Explorers 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.
- 1 Description
- 2 Members
- 3 Connection to the Haunted Mansions
- 4 Disney Park Properties Connected by S.E.A.
- 5 Trivia
- 6 References
The Society of Explorers and Adventurers was first conceived and integrated at Tokyo DisneySea for the Fortress Explorations walk-through attraction. This attraction itself was inspired by the Downtown Disney Adventurer's Club and Pleasure Island which had recently closed with relics of the attraction being sent around the world as Disney props.
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 (1801-1875): 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 (1835-1899): 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.
- Unnamed Mountaineer: A mountaineer who was amongst the SEA lineup in 1899.
- Unnamed Businessman: A man who was amongst the SEA lineup in 1899.
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.
- Sango Shio: A Senior-SEA member who went on a boat expedition along the Amazon River in 1910. On June 5th of 1888 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. In 1891, she officiated Dr. Albert Falls' discovery of Schweitzer Falls.
- Merriweather Adam Pleasure (1873-1941): 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.
- Doctor Kon Chunosuke: During the 1930s, Kon Chunosuke was a renowned entomologist from Japan.
The honorary members of S.E.A. are largely made up of historic figures introduced into the mythos by the Fortress Explorations attraction, only to be retconned into, "Honorary" positions as a means of accommodating plot-holes which came up later in development.
- Ferdinand Magellan: Ferdinand Magellan (c. 1480-1521) was a Portuguese explorer who discovered the Straight of Magellan and was able to travel the circumference of the Earth.
- Leonardo Da Vinci: Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (1452-1519) was a 15th/16th century Italian painter, inventor, architect, sculptor, scientist, anatomist, and engineer. He is probably best known for portraits like the Mona Lisa or the Last Supper and for his illustrations which were centuries ahead of the time in regards of studying the human body and creating mechanical devices, or for the controversy he held with the Catholic Church due to his studies of science challenging their religion and for Da Vinci's own bisexuality.
- His ghost apparently haunts the SEA headquarters of Fortress Explorations.
- Sir Francis Drake: Sir Francis Drake (c.1540-1596) was an 16th century English privateer of the Caribbean (government employed pirate) which earned him the nickname of El Draque (the dragon). He claimed California for the British empire in 1579, stealing it from the native Coast Miwok peoples. He died of dysentery due to his European body being weak to the nature of the tropics.
- Christopher Columbus: Actually named Cristoforo Colombo and Cristóbal Colón (1451-1451), was a 15th century Italian maritime-explorer, slaver, transatlantic human-trafficker, and genocidal colonist. He is often incorrectly attributed to the, "Discovery" of America (particularly in American pop-culture) despite having never set foot on the continent; having only accidentally stumbled upon the Caribbean due to errors in his mathematic calculations which lead him to believe the Earth was pear-shaped which made him think he arrived in India. Even that being said, the continent had previously been discovered, settled and documented by the vikings centuries earlier and by indigenous peoples of the Americas millennia before that.
- Vasco da Gama: Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira (c.1460-1524) was a Portuguese explorer and was the first European to reach India by sea.
- Tycho Brahe: Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was a Danish nobleman and astronomer who is known for his high accuracy in astronomical recordings. He created the Tychonic system which was one of the earliest comprehensive depictions of the solar system.
- Leif Erikson: Leif Ericson (c. 970 – c. 1020) was a 10th/11th century viking who is the first known European to have set foot in North America (not including Greenland) and created some of the first European settlements on the continent, in Canada. Erikson was also the son of the legendary Erik the Red who created and ruled over the first Norse settlements of Greenland and of Thjodhild.
- Marco Polo: Marco Polo (1254-1324) was a 13th/14th century Venetian merchant who was one of the first Europeans to properly document the geography and cultures of the Middle East and Asia.
- Prince Henry the Navigator: Infante Dom Henrique of Portugal, Duke of Viseu (1394-1460) was a 14th/15th century Portuguese Roman-Catholic nobleman who helped establish the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
- Ibn Battuta: Ibn Battuta (1304-1368/1369) was a Muslim Berber Moroccan scholar who explored much of the Middle East and Asia during the medieval period. He also independently travelled more than any other explorer than history.
- Pytheas: Pytheas of Massalia (apr. 350 BC- apr. 285 BC) was an antiquity Greek geographer who made voyages throughout Northern Europe and documented some of the earliest western writings of the locale (which was already inhabited).
- Adventurers Club:
- Big Thunder Mining Company:
- Jungle Navigation Company:
- Pillagers Brigade:
- Falls Estate:
- Fortress Explorations:
- Hotel Hightower:
- Tropical Hideaway:
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.
In the queue for Walt Disney World's Big Thunder Mining Company, the expression, "Great Caesar's Ghost" is used in a letter by SEA president Jason Chandler in a message sent to Barnabas T. Bullion of the Big Thunder Mining Company. Great Caesar's Ghost being an obscure saying which inspired one of the ghosts in the Haunted Mansion's ballroom who appeared considerably early in the ride's development. While it is quite possible that this is incidental, the same letter references the Museum of the Weird showing that it was written with Haunted Mansion details in-mind.
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 Rowan D. Falls who shares his surname with the S.E.A. member Dr. Albert Falls and Falls' respective family, 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.