By Sabina Graves
The Disney Parks’ secret interconnected universe makes a jump from Imagineering geek Easter eggs scattered globally to a new series on Disney+. The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the news that Ron Moore (For All Mankind) would be developing the project under the title The Society of Explorers and Adventurers, a series from 20th TV that THR described as “set in the Magic Kingdom Universe, where the themed lands and characters of the Disney parks and classic films all actually exist in another reality.”
Named for the Magic Kingdom universe that features a secret organization that sought to, “collect, conserve, and curate valuable cultural and artistic artifacts from around the world and make them available to the public in an artistically pleasing and sensitive manner.” It’s fictional history is embedded into original attraction IP rides such as Disney’s The Jungle Cruise, Tokyo Disney’s The Tower of Terror, Hong Kong Disney’s Mystic Manor as well as various bars and restaurants that tout being spots where S.E.A members would have some sort of affiliation. Its presence was featured initially at The Adventurer’s Club, a nightclub that was themed as a treasure trove of funky trinkets and artifacts collected by the organization but has now since Pleasure Island’s reimagining into Disney Springs, been more obscurely featured as a thread diehard fans follow from park to park tying favorite attraction backstories with one of the 9 members featured as explorers who have found themselves chronicling or contributing to familiar storylines in some way.
Definitely, quite an interesting place to mine Disney theme park universe stories and flesh them out into unique IPs to stand on their own alongside Marvel and Star Wars. One huge hope, from this writer at least, is that perspectives from indigenous and marginalized cultures will be featured as leads alongside (or even be included) as some of the members of S.E.A. With shows like Lovecraft Country, which dive into narratives of historical accountability, it would be awesome to dig deep into themes of respect for global cultures.
Moore will be working closely with the Disney Imagineering Team on developing worlds that will springboard from this show, which he will oversee as part of his recently signed multiyear overall deal with Disney’s 20th TV. Maril Davis and Ben McGinnis of Moore’s Tall Ship Productions will also be involved in all the projects.