A series of novels written by Ridley Pearson, otherwise known for writing horror and suspense novels
as well as another Disney
series Peter and the Starcatchers
, that take place in and around Walt Disney World
Finn Whitman is an Ordinary High-School Student
who lives in Orlando near Walt Disney World. He and four other teenagers from the area - Willa
, a shy girl with a love for animals, Maybeck
, a snarky distrusting boy, Charlene
, an athletic girl, and Philby
, a homework loving boy - are selected to be turned into DHIs, holographic hosts for the Magic Kingdom that would give prerecorded speeches to guests. However, soon after they find themselves being transported into the park at night when they fall asleep. There they learn from an elderly Imagineer named Wayne that they were chosen specifically to stop the plot of the Overtakers, a group of villains apparently led by Maleficent
. The Overtakers scheme to take over the park and beyond, and since they start out Invisible to Normals
, the Imagineers needed someone to stop them. Along the way, they have to deal with two mysterious girls: Amanda, a schoolmate of Finn's who has an interest in him, and Jez, a goth
like girl. Both of them appear to be hiding something.
There are currently six books in the series, with a planned total of seven.
The books provide examples of:
- All Part of the Show: The final battle in the first book.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Finn's parents.
- Ascended Fanboy: The DHIs.
- Asexuality: Philby
- Back for the Dead: Dillard pops back in during book five, but is killed at the end of book 6.
- Bare Your Midriff: Amanda is noted to do this, as is Charlene's VMK form.
- Big Bad: Chernabog. When he's not present, it's Maleficent, and when she's not present, the Evil Queen.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Imagineers in the first book.
- Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Finn's only "borrowing" Walt Disney's pen.
- Blow You Away: Maleficent, briefly.
- Bound and Gagged: Maybeck when he's kidnapped in the first book.
- Brainwashed: Jez, or Jess, as her real name is.
- Chick Magnet: Nearly every female teenager is attracted to Finn.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Deconstructed. The entire reason the world's in danger is because enough people believe in the Overtakers to let them come alive.
- Curse Cut Short: In Power Play Maleficent was in the middle of calling Ariel the B-word when she ends up teleporting.
- Cut Himself Shaving: Finn explaining his injuries to his mother.
- Deadpan Snarker: Maybeck.
- Deadly Dodging: Against the T-Rex at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
- Dem Bones: The T-Rex skeleton at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (the train goes through this right before the final set of brakes).
- Distressed Damsel: Jez in the second book.
- The Dragon: Maleficent for Chernabog, Frollo for the Evil Queen.
- Drives Like Crazy: Wayne.
- Drowning Pit: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh under Maleficent's control.
- Eccentric Mentor: Wayne
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Thanks to Maleficent.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: A pair appears in the beginning of Disney at Dawn, foreshadowing the book taking place in The Animal Kingdom.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: Maleficent, oh so much.
- Five-Man Band
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The Space Ranger Spin becomes a lot more real after you cross over.
- Good Costume Switch: Jez
- Grumpy Bear: Maybeck
- Half-Human Hybrid: Fairlies are human/fairy offspring.
- Hazardous Water: Splash Mountain.
- Idiot Ball: In the first book, Finn and Philby explore Splash Mountain without a log car or any plan to survive the big drop.
- I Surrender, Suckers: The plan for defeating Maleficent.
- James Bondage: Philby.
- Invisible to Normals: The Overtakers.
- Late Arrival Spoiler: Jez is brainwashed, she's Amanda's sister, and they're both magic.
- Let Me Get This Straight
- Mecha-Mooks: The Audio-Animatronics used in the rides are brought to life and used by the Overtakers.
- Muggle Best Friend: Dillard, though the best friend part is lost once Finn becomes a DHI.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: "I'm Jez. Short for Jezebel. It's from The Bible."
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Audio-Animatronic Pirates of the Caribbean riding Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin cars!
- Noodle Incident: How Maybeck's aunt Jelly got her nickname.
- Obviously Evil: Jez wears black, has pale skin, and that name...
- Subverted in the end though; she's not really evil, just brainwashed by Maleficent.
- Ordinary High-School Student
- Parental Abandonment: Maybeck's parents "aren't around". Also, Amanda and Jez live alone with no supervision.
- Perky Goth: Jez, with good reason.
- Playing with Fire: Maleficent can throw fireballs.
- Posthumous Character: Walt Disney himself.
- Power of Friendship: Invoked on the "it's a small world" ride.
- Punny Name: Fairlies are "fairly human".
- Resigned to the Call: Some of the kids aren't too happy with their new position, but as Finn points out they're going to cross over every night anyway.
- Rhymes on a Dime: There's a scene in the first book where Finn's thoughts become this way.
- The Starscream: Jafar works apart from the Overtakers.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Finn in the first book.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: Walt Disney's first pen.
- And an actual sword in the third book, stolen from Maelstrom.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Now part of Maleficent's bag of tricks.
- You Are Grounded: Finn in the first book, though this only allows him to go to bed early without suspicion.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: The rule of the DHI form seems to be that you're as solid as you believe yourself to be.
- Arguably all the Disney characters who are coming to life because everyone believes in them so much.
- You're Insane!: Philby's parents think this whenever he mentioned the DHI crossover.