Kingdom Keepers is a series of books by Ridley Pearson that takes place at Walt Disney World involving Disney characters and attractions. There are six books in the series , each building on the last one. Here’s the info on the first:
The Kingdom Keepers – Disney After Dark
In this fantastical thriller, five young teens tapped as models for theme park “guides” find themselves pitted against Disney villains and witches that threaten both the future of Walt Disney World and the stability of the world outside its walls. 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 is plotting to destroy Disney’s beloved realm, and maybe more.
This gripping high-tech tale will thrill every kid who has ever dreamed of sneaking into Walt Disney World after hours and wondered what happens at night, when the park is closed.
My youngest two children have really been enjoying this series. They are thick chapter books with few pictures so this is clearly not a series for young readers. The children are easily transported into the stories since they have been to the attractions where the action takes place. They have a great visual image already. For a voracious reader like Madison, it’s no big deal. She has no problem transporting herself into a book. JoJo, on the other hand, has not come to love reading yet. He doesn’t have to struggle with figuring out location or lots of characters. This helps him to enjoy the book thus increasing his positive memories of reading.
Among other things the books spark an interest in the people behind making the attractions and characters at the parks. There is an elderly Imagineer who met Walt Disney. It is here that the you learn what an imagineer is and does as well as the importance of Walt. While adults may ho hum learning in this manner, my theory is that it will spark an interest making them want to learn more on their own.
In addition to the books, there is a a set of online games where you can play as one of the characters. There is also a Kingdom Keepers Quest in the Youth in Education series that is self guided. One happens in Magic Kingdom while another, based on Book 2, happens in Animal Kingdom. It is recommended for a group of 5 or more in order to get the maximum amount of fun. Best for grades 3-7.
Key Learning Points
This engaging, interactive experience for youth Guests promotes: