What happens in the Magic Kingdom “After Dark”?


© Adventure Books

Have you ever wondered what happens when the Magic Kingdom closes? When the lights go out,  the rides shut down and the hustle and bustle of another Disney day comes to a halt? Author Ridley Pearson takes this mystery to a whole new level.

“Kingdom Keepers” is an exciting series of books that reveals what happens after the gates close to the Disney parks. In book one, “Disney After Dark”,  teenage Finn Whitman goes to bed one night and wakes up in the Magic Kingdom and right in the middle of Main Street U.S.A. He believes it is just a dream, but when he meets Imagineer Wayne Kresky, he learns he is in for more than he bargained for. Not long ago, Finn had become a Disney Host Interactive, or DHI, which made a hologram of Finn to walk, talk and guide visitors around the Magic Kingdom. Wayne explains to Finn that every night, Finn and four other DHI teens who were made into holograms will cross-over and appear as their holograms in Magic Kingdom.

The DHI group consists of unique teenagers with different backgrounds and talents. Finn is the natural leader of the group. Philby is the brains and he knows everything Disney. Maybeck is athletic and sneaky, but also very creative. Willa is a good problem solver, and helps with the puzzles the DHIs face. Charlene is a popular girl among guys and very athletic as well, cut out for the physical challenges the Keepers have.

The five DHIs meet with Wayne and learn that when the parks close, the attractions keep running and, better yet, all the characters come to life! However, this includes the villains!  The teens learn of a band of Disney villains called the Overtakers, led by Maleficent, who have evil ideas in store for Walt Disney World. Wayne explains that the Stonecutter’s Fable, a riddle left by Walt Disney himself, will be the key to stopping the Overtakers. Together the Kingdom Keepers embark on a quest through the Magic Kingdom, boarding rides like Splash Mountain and “It’s a Small World,” and searching for hidden clues.

This series has been so thrilling to me, with all the action, adventure, and mystery. Personally, my favorite is book one. There are six books so far, and the final book is right down the road. Throughout these adventures, the teens venture all over the Disney property, from the Downtown Disney area to the water parks. They travel deep into the Utilidors, the tunnel system under Magic Kingdom, as well.

Even though these books are geared toward younger readers 10 and up, the series is appealing to all ages. Disney fans and adventure lovers alike will enjoy the content of these novels. Even if you’ve never been to Disney World, or have no interest in Disney, you can enjoy the mysteries and adventures found within the books. Your inner Disney side will break free during this read. Intriguing appearances by favorite Disney characters keep you wanting more of the action. Interesting facts about Walt Disney World you never knew keep feeding your imagination. Cliffhangers and plot twists make for an unpredictable and suspenseful storyline. All in all, the books will keep you entertained.

Disney World is full of magic and Ridley Pearson knew exactly what to do with it. Though he is mostly known for his adult crime novels, he has experience in the children’s book field  with his other series “Peter and the Starcatchers” which is the story of the origin of Peter Pan. The “Kingdom Keepers” series is a great read for the whole family, adults and kids alike. The books are fairly long, ranging from 330 to 540 pages. However, despite their length, they are jam packed with good story lines. So don’t let the length keep you from reading this series. The action never takes a break in these books.

Overall, the series is one of the best I’ve ever read. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I have re-read the series multiple times for fun. The great writing and storytelling of Ridley Pearson mixed with the Disney touch makes for a novel you don’t want to miss out on. It’s hard to put down one of these books as ideas race through your head. The need for action is fulfilled, the comedy you want is spread throughout the books, and the jaw dropping twists come when you’d least expect them. Bottom Line: This roller coaster ride of a series is just waiting for you to come aboard!


Dylan Moore is a middle schooler and, boy, does he love Disney! He first visited Walt Disney World in 2006, and has been twice more since then. With an active imagination, Dylan loves to dream up new creations and write stories. Most of his ideas are completely far fetched, but as Walt Disney once said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” 

Laurel Moore loves that her two children share her passion for all things Disney! Ever since her first visit back in 1979, Walt Disney World has been one of her favorite places to go. Whether it was with her parents as a child, on solo visits while traveling for work, or now through the eyes of her children on family trips, it is definitely her happy place!


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