The Kingdom Keepers is a popular book series for kids, teenagers and adults, written by Ridley Pearson and published by Disney Hyperion.
In the Kingdom Keepers series, five teens have been chosen to act as models for holographic guides at Walt Disney World. But the cutting-edge technology has a glitch; when the kids fall asleep, they are transported to the Parks in their holographic forms. The ensuing adventures take readers on a rollicking ride as the Kingdom Keepers fight to prevent Disney's destruction.
The official Kingdom Keepers site is at thekingdomkeepers.com.
The Kingdom Keepers series features seven novels. The first novel Disney After Dark was published in 2005, the second novel Disney at Dawn was published in 2008, the third novel Disney In Shadow was published in 2010, the fourth novel Power Play was published in 2011, the fifth novel Shell Game was published in 2012, the sixth novel Dark Passage was published in 2013 and the last novel The Insider was published in 2014.
In 2020, Ridley Pearson began rewriting the series to stay current with updates in the parks made since their original release.
Using a cutting-edge technology called DHI — which stands for both Disney Host Interactive and Daylight Hologram Imaging, Finn Whitman, an Orlando teen, and four other kids are transformed into hologram projections that guide guests through the park. The new technology turns out, however, to have unexpected effects that are both thrilling and scary. Soon Finn finds himself transported in his DHI form into the Magic Kingdom at night. Is it real? Is he dreaming?
Finn's confusion only increases when he encounters Wayne, an elderly Imagineer who tells him that the park is in grave danger. Led by the scheming witch, Maleficent, a mysterious group of characters called The Overtakers are plotting to destroy Disney's beloved realm, and maybe more.
It's supposed to be a happy day at the Magic Kingdom — the return of the teenaged holographic hosts. But things go very wrong when a sudden lightning storm disrupts the celebration, and Amanda's mysterious sister, Jess, disappears. The only clue is the sighting of a wild monkey in the Magic Kingdom during the storm.
The mystery deepens as Finn is contacted by Wayne, an old man he hasn't heard from in months. Wayne tells Finn that there's trouble at the Animal Kingdom: the evil Overtakers have gained control of one of the computer servers that will be used to operate Daylight Holographic Imaging there. That means that if any of the holographic hosts fall asleep, they will go into comas — permanently.
The wild rides have only just begun; and the clock is ticking. How long can the teens keep themselves awake in their quest to find their friend — and what happens if they fail?
With the adventures set forth in the first books now behind them, Kingdom Keepers 3: Disney In Shadow follows the five teens, Finn, Philby, Willa, Charlene, and Maybeck as they search to find Wayne, their mentor and head Imagineer who has mysteriously gone missing. Concerned Wayne has been abducted by the Overtakers-Disney villains, who along with other Disney characters, take over the parks when the turnstiles stop spinning, and want desperately to steer the parks to a far darker place — the five kids pick up a major clue from a close friend, Jess, whose dreams (nightmares, really) often accurately predict the future.</p>
The very few clues from Jess's dream lead the kids into Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot — through imaginary worlds that become real, by imaginary kids who are real. Each clue seems tied to the last, and with the stakes growing ever higher, what starts out as a puzzle ends up as a fight for their lives.
For the five teens who modeled as Disney Hologram Imaging hosts, life is beginning to settle down when an intriguing video arrives to Philby’s computer at school. It’s a call for action: the Overtakers, a group of Disney villains, seem to be plotting to attempt a rescue of two of their leaders, both of whom the Disney Imagineers have hidden away somewhere following a violent encounter in Epcot. A staged attack by new Overtakers at Downtown Disney, startles the group.
One of their own, Charlene, is acting strange of late. Has she tired of her role as a Kingdom Keeper or is there something more sinister at play? When caught sneaking into Epcot as her DHI, acting strictly against the group’s rules, Finn and Philby take action.
Has the "impossible" occurred? Have the Overtakers created their own holograms? Have they found a way to “jump” from the Virtual Maintenance Network onto the Internet, and if so, what does that mean for the safety of the parks, and the spread and reach of the Overtakers? Are they recruiting an army from outside the parks?
As the Disney Dream joins the cruise fleet, a special treat is in store for guests aboard its inaugural sail from Cape Canaveral to Los Angeles: the Disney Host Interactive teenage guides will be part of the Dream crew.
Finn, Maybeck, Charlene, Willa, and Philby are to attend the cruise as celebrity guests, and to perform a ribbon cutting for the DHI server to go live. The Dream is now the most advanced cruise ship in the world.
But all is not right below decks. Strange things are happening. Unexplained phenomena. Only the Kingdom Keepers know the truth behind their invitation: nearly every Disney villain is represented on board the new ship: whether on its decks or in its theaters. It's believed the Overtakers have infiltrated the cast and are "stowaways." Worse: it is believed they have stolen an important journal that once belonged to Walt Disney himself–Finn has been having dreams about this–and that some kind of mission is planned.
The ship sets sail filled with enthusiastic guests and crew, and the battle is on in new and exotic arenas. But the end game is far more complicated and intense than anything the Kingdom Keepers had planned on. If the Overtakers get their way, a power will be unleashed that no one will possess the ability to vanquish.
The five Kingdom Keepers and their core friends have uncovered a startling truth: Maleficent and the Overtakers (Disney villains) are plotting a catastrophic event that could have repercussions far beyond the world of Disney. Aboard the Disney Cruise Line's inaugural passage through the new Panama Canal, the Keepers and their holograms uncover a puzzle hidden within the pages of a stolen journal. The point of that puzzle will reveal itself in the caves of Aruba, the zip lines of Costa Rica, and the jungles of Mexico. A destructive force, dormant for decades, is about to be unleashed. The five Kingdom Keepers are to be its first victims.
Ridley wrote the Kingdom Keepers series finale — The Insider — in an unprecedented collaboration with fans, over a 6 month period, through the Kingdom Keepers Insider app and website.
The Kingdom Keepers' senior year in high school is almost over. For more than three years, things have been quiet. Their battles are long behind them, they agree, the threat to the Disney realm silenced albeit at great cost. But inside the catacombs of the Aztec temple where Finn Whitman faced down his nemesis, the monstrous Chernabog, a new threat brews.
Deception and betrayal rock the Kingdom Keepers as the merciless group of Disney villains known as the Overtakers stage an unexpected comeback. But a discovery by the Keepers provides them with one hope of victory — a lost icon. It was believed to be gone forever. The Keepers have one last chance to preserve the heart of the Kingdom — Disneyland — from a terrifying destruction decades in the making.
Fair lies Amanda, Jess, and Mattie have won the hearts of Kingdom Keepers fans. Over the years, they’ve protected and supported the five Disney guides with their paranormal abilities. Now for the first time, author Ridley Pearson focuses on the “fairly human” girls, with a new series of novellas.
Unforeseen — A Kingdom Keepers Novella (ebook)
Unforeseen is exclusive to Kingdom Keepers Insider. To purchase it, go to the Kingdom Keepers Insider site now.
Jessica's "gift" to dream of future events is both a blessing and a curse—the same visions that have saved countless lives are pure torment for her. Trapped in a body with a mind that has a mind of its own, Jess is condemned to see things she would often rather not.
Picking up after Kingdom Keepers VI—Dark Passage and leading up to Book VII—The Insider, Unforeseen opens with Jess dreaming of "cracks" in Disneyland. Is this vision something that will consume and destroy her friends, the Kingdom Keepers?
Jess sets out to find answers, embarking on her own nighttime adventure inside the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. There, she encounters an old man with secrets, a young Imagineer-in-training whose future Jess wants to see, and a treasured wonderland about to shatter.
When Amanda travels east to Orlando on a hunch, she’s met with the worst news possible. Kingdom Keeper Finn Whitman is missing. Calling on her own gift (she’s telekinetic), her sister Jess’s ability to dream the future, and their fellow Fairlie Mattie Weaver’s unexplained ability to read minds through physical contact, the three gifted girls must navigate treachery, deception, and the stubborn, unwilling parents of the missing Keepers if they’re to save their friends.
The Return is a new trilogy that is directly tied to the Kingdom Keepers series. While the Kingdom Keepers focuses on Finn, Charlene, Maybeck, Philly and Willa, The Return focuses on The Overtakers.
The Return: Disney Lands
With the defeat of the Overtakers behind them, the five teenagers known as the Kingdom Keepers should be celebrating. By all accounts, they saved Disneyland from certain destruction. Why then did their mentor leave one last puzzle for them to decipher? The Keepers must solve a puzzle of the past, or be crushed under an evil that makes the Overtakers seem like gentle souls.
The Return: Legacy of Secrets
Disneyland, Opening Day, 1955.
When five present-day teenagers known as the Kingdom Keepers find themselves thrown into a past that would make anyone envious, things don't exactly work out the way they'd hoped. Finn, Charlene, Maybeck, Willa, and Philby open a door into a place and a time when the legend of the Disney parks is just starting. They are there, in 1955, to retrieve Walt Disney's infamous pen that once saved the parks as we know them. But like all things Disney, nothing is as it seems.
The early days of the Tower of Terror, the origin of the Overtakers (Disney Villains), and the real power of magic unfold in an unexpected series of events that propel both the Keepers and Disney itself into a darkness no one saw coming. Along the way, the Keepers visit Walt Disney's hilltop home, Disneyland's opening day and reception, and find themselves separated from friends sixty years away. The three Fairlies, young women in Disney's School of Imagineering, girls with astonishing powers of their own, have unmasked a long-buried secret that threatens the lives of their friends as well as everything Walt Disney worked for.
The Return: Disney at Last
What's it like to awaken in Disneyland on Opening Day, 1955? The five teenagers-the Kingdom Keepers-have found out the hard way. While they search for a way back to present time and their families, a businessman bent on revenge enters the swamps of Louisiana in search of a witch doctor to help him destroy the new park.
Graveyards at night, mannequins coming to life, and a group of misfits bent on sabataging the new theme park all challenge the isolated Kingdom Keepers in both day and past. Thrown into a world where cell phones won't be invented for thirty years, where flashlights are the size of blow-dryers, where every girl wears a dress, and the boys coats and ties, the Kingdom Keepers are truly fish out of water. Black magic proves itself as powerful a for as any the Kingdom Keepers have ever faced. The past, though far more slimple in many ways, is still complicated and fraught with danger. While relationships tighten and allegiances strengthen within the Kingdom Keepers, the challenges facing them threaten to undo the good they have worked so hard to preserve. As the threats to Disneyland increase, the Kingdom Keepers begin to wonder: if they should ever figure out how to get back to the present, will there be a Disney at all? Or has everything they've worked for over the past many years dissolved, like the real-life ghosts shimmering before there eyes?
A new book in the series,currently titled Kingdom Kids,is set to be released March of 2021.
About the Author
Ridley Pearson is the award-winning author of the best selling Kingdom Keepers series along with forty other novels for adults (suspense) and young readers (adventure) including co-writing with Dave Barry, Peter and the Starcatchers. Ridley spends a good deal of his time sneaking around the Disney parks and aboard the Disney Cruise Line ships all in the name of research.
To find out more about Ridley, you can visit his site now at www.ridleypearson.com.
Finn is the natural leader of the group. He was the first to cross over as a DHI and the first to go all clear. He comes up with creative solutions under pressure thanks to quick thinking and courage. He's a reliable friend and holds the group together when times are tough.
Maybeck has that thing about him that makes him cool without even trying. He consider himself God's gift to everything and thrives on playing devil's advocate. His sarcastic humor isn't always appreciated by his fellow Keepers, but his artist's eye helps him see important clues other might miss.
Philby is the kind of smart that makes other kids ask him to do their homework. He knows everything, and what he doesn't know he can figure out. Lately, Philby has had a bit of an attitude, but in spite of it (or maybe because of it), he remains an invaluable member of the Keepers.
Willa can come off as a bit geeky. She enjoys school more than she lets on, and of the five Keepers she's the only one who can match Philby in a battle of wits. She doesn't like breaking the rules, but she'll do anything for her fellow Keepers.
The Overtakers are the enemies of the Kingdom Keepers. Walt Disney himself foresaw the emergence of the Overtakers, knowing that the stronger one believes in something, the more real it becomes; the more belief put in the characters, the closer they got to being in the real world. The Overtakers intend to rule the parks and the world outside. Most of the Overtakers are the antagonists of Disney movies, attractions, and more. Generic, lesser characters are used as their soldiers. For an unexplained reason, the Overtakers are sometimes not visible to normal people or security cameras.
Disney Movies & Disney Shorts
- Magic Brooms (Fantasia)
- Judge Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
- Green Army Men (Toy Story)
- Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)
- Horned King (The Black Cauldron)
- Prince John (Robin Hood)
- Big Bad Wolf (The Three Little Pigs)
- Hyenas (The Lion King)
- Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean)
- Flotsam and Jetsam (The Little Mermaid)
- The Headless Horseman (The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad)
- Pirates (Pirates of the Caribbean)
- "it's a small world" Dolls ("it's a small world")
- Dinosaur Skeleton (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad)
- Dinosaurs (Dinosaur)
- Gigabyte (Honey, I Shrunk The Audience)
- Madame Leota (The Haunted Mansion)
- Broom (Mickey's House)
Other Disney Villains
The Disney villains listed below are not interested in being a part of the Overtakers. Instead, they want the power of the DHIs for themselves.
- Mickey Mouse
- Ariel (The Little Mermaid)
- Mulan (Mulan)
- Stitch (Lilo & Stitch)
- King Triton (The Little Mermaid)
- Megara (Hercules)
- Tigger (Winnie the Pooh)
- Violet (The Incredibles)
- Elsa (Frozen)
- Dumbo (Dumbo)
- Rapunzel (Tangled)
Kingdom Keepers Quests at Walt Disney World
The Kingdom Keepers Quests are for elementary, middle and junior high school groups (grades 5 to 9) of 10 or more. They happen year round, 7 days a week.
Kingdom Keepers Quest at Magic Kingdom
Save Magic Kingdom® Park from the villainous Overtakers by solving clues on this interactive, self-guided tour based on the popular Kingdom Keepers book series.
Kingdom Keepers Quest II at Animal Kingdom
Are You a Kingdom Keeper?
Embark on a self-guided Quest to determine if you have what it takes to be a Kingdom Keeper. Inspired by book 2 of the popular Kingdom Keeper series, this bold adventure takes place at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Park!
To find out more about each Kingdom Keepers Quest visit http://www.disneyyouth.com/our-programs/education/sp/kingdom-keepers-quest/program/kkq-wdw/#categories-kingdom-keepers-questnow.