The Kingdom Keepers
|Genre||Fantasy, young adult fiction, mystery, thriller|
|Publisher||Disney Editions and Disney Hyperion|
|Published||2005 – ongoing|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)
The Kingdom Keepers is a series of children's novels written by American author Ridley Pearson. The New York Times Bestselling series is published through Disney Editions and Disney Hyperion, and the first book was released on August 29, 2005. Its plot follows the adventures of five teens who, by day, are holographic hosts in the Disney Theme Parks. By night, they battle Disney Villains to keep them from taking control of the parks, the Disney entertainment empire, and the world. The series franchise also includes several other elements such as an online game and an interactive educational tour provided for school groups through Disney's Youth Education Series.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Characters
- 3 Publishing
- 4 Media
- 5 The Return (Sequel)
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Disney after Dark
Five young teens; Finn, Willa, Charlene, Maybeck, and Philby, have been selected to serve as holographic theme park guides, Disney Hosts Interactives (DHI), in Walt Disney World. Thanks to a glitch in the DHI technology they find a man transported into the Magic Kingdom each night which is called the crossover and pitted in a war against various Disney villains, called the Overtakers, to save both Walt Disney World and the world at large. They are helped by Wayne, who tells them about a riddle called "The Stonecutter's Quill." So they go to the different rides according to the riddle and it spells out "My First Pen". They then go and find the pen and Finn realizes he can defeat Maleficent with the pen.
Disney at Dawn
Things have been relatively quiet for the past few months, until things go wrong at DHI day at the Magic Kingdom. The Overtakers are back, and this time the stakes are even higher. Jess, a friend of the Keepers and Amanda's sister, has gone missing. The group searches for clues to her disappearance while also trying to keep the Overtakers at bay in the Animal Kingdom, where the Overtakers have gained control of the computer servers with the intent to wreak havoc. It's a race against time when the Keepers realize that the Overtakers also control the DHI server, which means that if the hosts fall asleep they could stay asleep forever. The Keepers must find Jess and destroy the Overtakers' server, all before falling asleep.
Disney in Shadow
After Wayne, their friend, mentor, and head Imagineer, disappeared during the events at Animal Kingdom, Finn, Philby, Willa, Charlene, and Maybeck suspect the worst. The Overtakers would like nothing more than to eliminate Wayne, or worse, to use his power to their own ends. Their search takes the Keepers, plus Amanda and Jess, into Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot, where they must fight through puzzles, giant snakes, and deal with Maleficent while discovering new truths about themselves that lead to more than they could discover.
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.
Spring Break for the Keepers means a DHI cruise from Florida through the Panama canal to Los Angeles, with stops in exotic locations including Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. However, for the Keepers the vacation may not be as much of a break as they'd hoped. With an ongoing battle for Walt Disney World's engineering base back home and Overtakers aboard the ship plotting something catastrophic, the Keepers are in a battle for their lives and the lives of the guests aboard the ship.
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.
The Keepers have enjoyed three years of relative quiet, but as they get ready to graduate high school, the Overtakers, and a nightmare they left buried in an ancient temple in Mexico, are rising again. This time they are headed to Disneyland; the park where it all began. The Overtakers are done playing games, and the Keepers are in more danger than ever. The only one who may be able to save the kingdom, is none other than Disney's most beloved icon; but he's been missing for years and time is running out.
The Syndrome: A Kingdom Keepers Adventure
Written with Brooke Muschott (as Jess) and Elizabeth Hagenlocher (as Mattie) 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.
Finn Whitman – One of the most important DHIs. Finn is a main character in the story.
Dell Philby – The master computer geek, his intelligence is the greatest among the crew.
Charlene Turner – Star gymnast and athlete with a cheerleader body, Charlene's got both the brains and the brawn.
Terrence Maybeck – The artistic member of the DHIs, Maybeck can be hot-tempered and impulsive at times.
Willa Di Angelo – With brains to rival Philby's, Willa is also very good with a bow and arrow.
- Disney after Dark (August 29, 2005)
- Disney at Dawn (August 26, 2008)
- Disney in Shadow (April 6, 2010)
- Power Play (April 5, 2011)
- Shell Game (April 3, 2012)
- Dark Passage (April 2, 2013)
- The Insider (April 1, 2014)
Pearson announced at the 2013 D23 Expo that he's working on a three book follow-up series, the first installment of which is scheduled to release in Spring 2015. Pearson also stated at his St. Louis book signing for the seventh book in the series that the series is to be titled The Return and he would not reveal the location of the books. At his tour stop in Coral Gables, Pearson said that he is planning on making two more novellas one from the point of view of Amanda, and the other from the POV of Mattie, another Fairlie who is a friend of Amanda and Jess.
Kingdom Keepers Online
On April 6, 2010 Disney released an online game entitled Kingdom Keepers Online. The game is collaborative, as all players control one of five selectable characters through 2,500 levels. Each level is procedurally generated and game play is action based.
Kingdom Keepers Insider
On March 24, 2013 Disney and interactive tech company Coliloquy launched Kingdom Keepers Insider, a website and mobile app that enables readers to interact with Pearson and impact how the final book in the series will be written. Users can vote on elements such as potential plot points and may also submit ideas for character dialogue. The site features other elements such as chapter outlines posted by Pearson.
The Return (Sequel)
The Return: Disney Lands
In the first book, the Keepers are about to go off to college, while the Fairlie sisters are attending the Disney School of Imagineering. Finn is the only one who believes there is something else left to do, that Walt's pen is not where it needs to be in the past and tries to follow Wayne's final clues. When he crosses over into Disneyland, he suffers memory loss and has Walt's pen drawn on his arm.
While the Keepers try to figure out what's going on, the sisters, Amanda and Jess, help them by stealing classified documents from the Disney archives in the basement of their dorm building. However, the two show signs of growing apart, as neither can fully tell the other what they know. With the help of some new friends, they find out about something called the Legacy of Secrets and a disgruntled Disney employee from sixty years ago.
The Keepers finally connect the dots and figure out that the music box in Walt's apartment opens an anomaly on a horse on King Arthur Carrousel, making the person on it time travel. They find out it can be controlled and that they are needed in the past. After some trial runs, they leave as DHIs, not giving anyone a clue as to their whereabouts.
The Return: Legacy of Secrets
In the second book, the Keepers have successfully arrived at Disneyland's Opening Day in 1955, there to track down Walt's pen and ensure that it is in the right place in the future. Compared to earlier missions, this seems a simple task, especially with the help of their old mentor Wayne, a teen worker at the park in 1955. But they face problems: although the Overtakers do not yet exist, there is a group of regular people who want to stop them and use Walt's magic against him.
In the present, the Fairlie sisters have figured out their friends' fate, and are determined to help however possible. They decide to find out more about the Legacy of Secrets, still as dangerous in the present as in 1955. Setting off on their own mission, they find out that the present Legacy is connected to the barracks in Baltimore from which they escaped, after being tested for their abilities. Putting the pieces together, they find that in the present, the Legacy is going to unleash the Fairlies on Disney and destroy it themselves, having previously put their resources behind the Overtakers.
After solving a puzzle Walt created for his family to find the pen, the Keepers show down with the Legacy's head, Amery Hollingsworth, who Amanda and Jess have managed to warn them about. Hollingsworth wants to use the pen and it's magical ink to create the Overtakers that the Keepers battled in the present. Walt Disney himself shows up, warned by Wayne, and has Hollingsworth and his accomplices thrown out of the park. He promises the Keepers that he will make sure the pen goes to the right place.
In the present, Tia Dalma has been shown concocting a strange brew. She has apparently secretly reorganized the Overtakers, who attack in full force when the sisters and their friends (Tim Walters, Emily Fredrikson, and Nick Perkins) show up in Disneyland to receive Philby's phone, which the Imagineers can wire to Return the Keepers to the present. The sisters need the Keepers to stay in the past a little longer, to combat the Legacy and prevent the origin of the Overtakers. Tia Dalma has resurrected Maleficent, whom Finn killed in Mexico three years ago, and she is physically deformed, but more powerful than ever. A weakened Amanda climbs onto the activated carrousel and travels to 1955 to escape and to warn the Keepers, leaving Jess in the present. Jess gives the package to the Imagineers and tells them to write the information on her arms, in case Amanda's memory was affected, and start the music box for her.
The Return: Disney at Last
The third book is reportedly going to be called "'The Return: Disney at Last'" and is set to be released on Tuesday March 28, 2017. The following summary is from Disney Publishing Worldwide:
"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 are trying to find their way back to 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 sabotaging the new theme park challenge the isolated Kingdom Keepers in both present 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, and where every girl wears a dress, and the boys coats and ties, the Kingdom Keepers are literally fish-out-of-water.
Black magic proves itself as powerful a foe as any the Kingdom Keepers have ever faced. The past, far more simple in so many ways, is 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 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 their eyes?"
- "The Kingdom Keepers; by Ridley Pearson ages 10 and older". Washington Post (subscription required). December 11, 2005. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Maria, Moncaliano. "Ridley Pearson: Writing is an adventure". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Best Sellers April 24, 2011". NYT. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "The kid lit rock star behind 'Kingdom Keepers'". 9 News. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Bevil, Dewayne (April 1, 2011). "Disney details are key to 'Kingdom Keepers'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Ayers, Jeff (Nov 2010). "A writer of many parts". The Writer. 123 (11): 18. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "The Kingdom Keepers (reviews)". School Library Journal, Horn Book Guide. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "The Kingdom Keepers (review)". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn (review)". Booklist. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Kingdom Keepers II (review)". Horn Book Guide. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Kingdom Keepers III (review)". School Library Journal. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game | Disney Publishing Worldwide". Books.disney.com. 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Kingdom Keepers VI: Dark Passage | Disney Publishing Worldwide". Books.disney.com. 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Kingdom Keepers VII | Disney Publishing Worldwide". Books.disney.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Ridley Pearson & the Kingdom Keepers Quest". YouTube. 2013-08-17. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- Brown-Worthington, Elizabeth. "Author Ridley Pearson: Prolific writer involving his readers for his last 'Kingdom Keepers' book". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Werris, Wendy. "Coliloquy Adds Ridley Pearson, Rock Bottom Remainders E-Books". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Henderson, Jane. "Ridley Pearson welcomes readers aboard". St Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- The Return: Disney Lands by Ridley Pearson copyright 2015 by Disney Hyperion
- The Return: Legacy of Secrets by Ridley Pearson copyright 2016 by Disney Hyperion