Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Hidden Sea...
There are many things about Tokyo DisneySEA that are wondrous and amazing, but I'll bet most of you didn't know the secret side to DisneySEA...
Or should I say S.E.A.? Remember that the park is themed to the oceans and aquatic encounters of the world, but it's also themed to the world of exploration. In fact, most people don't know about a hidden Society that lives and operates inside the ports of Tokyo DisneySEA. A secret organization that deals in mysterious and dangerous things. A group of people that are responsible for many of the structures that the Imagineers sometimes take credit for.
A club for those that believe the world should be examined and enjoyed, charted and experienced. In fact, the name of this club is right out in public and no one ever notices.
Tokyo DisneyS.E.A. I'll bet you didn't know that the name of the theme park was actually an acronym for something else, did you? Those three letters stand for an organization that's done a lot for the park, in fact, it's done quite a bit for the Asian area that Disney has been smart enough to host and this club has been generous enough to let the company in on some of its knowledge and customs. In fact, the very culture of TDS is heavily influenced by this Club/Group/Society. And it was all under our noses.
May I present to you, "The Society of Explorers and Adventurers." Also known as S.E.A., the organization that is responsible for several places and parts inside the most beautiful theme park in the world. I bet you didn't notice that the "SEA" in Disneysea was all caps, did you? Or if you did, you didn't think much of it. Just a nice stylization most would guess, but they would be wrong. As with all great layering and narrative in the Disney world, this park has it in spades.
And this organization has been around for centuries, maybe a Millennia even. Those of you that have been to DisneySEA will recognize probably the oldest known building belonging to the organization: The Fortress Exploration area of the Mediterranean Harbor. It was constructed in the earliest known days of the secret organization. With the help of visionary men like Leonardo da Vinci and others. The place is a perfect example of how the members of the club strike out to search for arcane knowledge, unique exploration and thrilling adventure. Many of the artifacts you find throughout the resort were graciously donated to the Disney Imagineers by members of the club. Their Society has allowed the tours and examination of their dwellings and treasures in this little plot of land in Asia. One of the most well known members (some would say infamous) of the S.E.A. Club is Harrison Hightower III. Or at least he was before his mysterious disappearance several years ago. His Gothic, dark and opulent Hightower Hotel was opened up for all to see the wonders of a man whose sometimes unseemly desire for treasure hunting is accomplished through less than ethical methods. It's not known actually how many members are in the club as they keep the order and rituals of their organization mostly secret... mostly.
Disney's latest theme park in Asia, Hong Kong Disneyland has a connection with this society or at least it will in 2013. When an area most guest haven't been allowed to enter, opens up. The Mystic Point location happens to hold Mystic Manor which is owned by Lord Henry Mystic. He happens to also be a member of S.E.A. and is a club rival with Hightower. Although, Mystic is known more for his admirable qualities than the missing adventurer and hotel owner ever was. And right next to his manor you'll find a great little place to soak up the 1908 atmosphere called, The Explorer's Club, where you may just find some treasure and a S.E.A. member or two. And you know what? There're more of the Society's club members spread throughout this magnificent world... this Disney world.
And who knows when and where in the future the Society of Explorers and Adventurers will show up next...