Kingdom Keepers Book Review

“You forgot something: evil never wins in the Magic Kingdom.”

Kingdom Keepers, Disney After Dark

Kingdom Keepers, a series based on the Disney parks, written by Ridley Pearson, is definitely one of my all-time favorites.

The story is told by Finn Whitman, a teenager who lives in Florida. Finn becomes a model for a new project at Disney World, a DHI hologram tour guide system. Along with Finn, four other teens are modeled to be image of the tour guides. After being modeled to be DHIs, Finn and the other teens wake up inside the Disney parks! Right off the bat, the Kingdom Keepers are faced with dangerous dilemmas. There’s more that goes on in the parks at night than you would think. The book is filled with plot twists and surprises.

For any Disney fans looking for a twist and dangerous adventure, these are the books for you.

I learned about this series and fell in love with it, then I got to experience it in a whole new way.

When I was in fourth grade, the first book to the series, Disney After Dark, was given to me for my birthday. When I first saw the book, I thought, no way was I going to like this. At the time, I wasn’t big on scary stories or anything remotely close to them. I saw the front cover, which has an enlarged image of Maleficent on it, and thought it was going to be too scary. The book sat inside a box in my closet for a year.

The summer after fifth grade, I had nothing to read. I saw the book in my closet and figured, why not?

I read the entire book in days! By the end of the summer, I read the first five and a half books. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to read them at school since they were, and I quote, “below my reading level.” I was devastated I was told I had to read other books instead. I had to wait a whole year until I could focus solely on finishing the series.

The next summer, that’s exactly what I did. I spent all my free time wandering around the Disney parks at night, fighting the overtakers with every page I turned.

After eighth grade, I learned about a follow-up series, The Return, and read those. They are just as good as the first series.

Then, last year, my parents surprised my family with a trip to Disney World! I was falling out of my seat excited! My sister couldn’t help but laugh at my reaction.

When we packed for the trip, I made sure to pack my copy of the first book, which I reread the entire flight as well as in Florida, which was a totally different experience in itself.

As we ventured from park to park, I couldn’t help but imagine the story playing out in my head on the very same streets in front of me. I followed the story and smiled at myself when I came across a spot where the characters were in the books. My entire family knew about this and thought it was funny, but I couldn’t help it. I ended up pointing out various things such as, “Here’s where the characters fought so and so!” Reading the Kingdom Keepers series brought a new form of life to the parks for me, making my experience that much more thrilling.

For Christmas last year, I was given the entire series along with the follow-up books!

I absolutely love the story and the characters. Ridley Pearson has an amazingly magical way of telling stories and making Disney seem that much more magical, especially for older readers. Kingdom Keepers will always be one of my favorites.

For anyone who is a fan of Disney,, or looking for something thrilling, funny, and exciting, these are definitely books to add to your reading list.

-R.E. Klinzing

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