Kingdom Keepers I: Disney After Dark — A Book Review For Parents
Updated October 24, 2023
This one goes out to all our Disney fans.
The Kingdom Keepers series was written by Ridley Pearson, starting with the first book Disney After Dark in 2005. The backdrop of the book is Disney World and readers follow main character Finn, who discovers there’s real magic to find at the parks when all the guests go home.
He and four other teenagers are chosen to be turned into hologram guest attendants in Magic Kingdom — during the day. But little did they know, they also signed up to be the unknown heroes for all of the Disney realm. What Finn and his friends learn by taking this job is that the whole park comes to life at night. Characters and even the amusement park rides magically spring to life when the parks close. But this also means the villains come to life, too. Led by Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, a group of Disney antagonists (called the Overtakers) plan to destroy the good magic of the Disney kingdom.
In this thrilling book, the Keepers come face-to-face with the magic and danger that lies behind their beloved Disney parks. If your family loves anything Disney, this book is sure to grab your young one’s attention! But first, let’s review the specifics to make sure it’s the right fit for your child.
Harmful Content ❗️
Besides some high-action and thrilling scenes, the book does not contain harmful or inappropriate content. As the Keepers begin their double life of saving the Disney parks at night, they realize they have to break some rules for the sake of the mission. Specifically, they have to keep some secrets from their friends and family. Finn particularly struggles with feeling like he has to lie to his parents. But readers can see that the Keepers only do what is necessary to keep everyone safe and successfully save the parks from the Overtakers.
There is no offensive language in the Kingdom Keepers, although sometimes the author will allude to the use of one. Such as, “Maybeck said a word he wasn’t supposed to say.”
There’s no sex in these books. There’s a bit of romantic interest between characters, though this develops more in later books of the series.
The Keepers’ adventures are thrilling and full of twists and turns as they navigate the otherworldliness of the parks after dark. Some scenes of the book are particularly suspenseful and eerie. In one part, the teens are attacked by animatronic dolls when the ride, It’s A Small World comes to life, all while they creepily sing the famous tune of the ride.
The Overtakers are often described in sinister ways. Specifically, the teens always feel a sensation of icy terror whenever one of the Overtakers is close by. But generally, the book is not overly scary, just a good level of suspense to keep kids engaged.
Positive Value 💫
Kingdom Keepers is a great series to get kids excited about reading and spark their imaginations! Kids reading the book will learn the value of strong friendships and teamwork. They also learn how important it is to fight for a bigger cause, particularly fighting to keep evil from overcoming good.
Often, Finn worries that he doesn’t have what it takes to save the parks or lead the other Keepers in this mission. But even still, he puts his own doubts aside when he sees he’s needed. Readers can find a positive role model in Finn, as well as the other Keepers who each bring their own unique talents and skills to the table.