The Princess Diaries

We went to Disneyland last week. Jackson's first trip to the Magic Kingdom was all about the ladies. While we were waiting to meet our first princess, a woman got in line behind us and shouted to her kids, "We'll ride Dumbo in a minute, first let's do Snow White!" And I whispered to Jack, "Hey, this is the line to do Snow White." Saying stupid things like that is one of the reasons Jack loves me.

That clinging-to-mom's-leg act gets them every time.

A tiny toddler girl then snuck over while Jackson was thinking of something to say, and the woman playing Snow White pretended to be all surprised at the attention. She hugged the little girl and Jackson at the same time and said, in that little Snow White voice, "Ooo! Huggadoo!" She was incredibly nice.

The whole place is incredibly nice. I never saw a tattered awning, scuffed door, worn carpet, dulled surface, stray wad of trash, or surly employee the entire day. Everyone who works there seems to be seriously engaged in his or her job, which is amazing for service culture. They're not smiling like ninnies the whole time, either, but all the people we talked to were smart and friendly and ready to help. And this in the heat of spring break season.

Snow White is a "face character," i.e., a human being a kid can talk to. Minnie, on the other hand, has a giant head and seems to be inhabited by an otherwise unemployed mime. Nothing against mimes, you know! But Disneyland is doing an excellent job of keeping them off the streets.

You can go to specific Disneyland restaurants that have "character meals" where characters are walking from table to table and little kids are shrieking with delight. We went to what turned out to be a $100 buffet at Goofy's Kitchen and I watched Jackson trail Aladdin around the restaurant half the night. God bless that man, though, he was really patient and expressed great interest in everything Jackson managed to stammer out, given his state of excitement.

Princess Aurora, though . . .

. . . can you see Jackson's heart melting through his new hoodie fleece? LOOK AT THAT FACE. Seriously, he was one step away from a child-sized myocardial infarction. And now I understand why the face characters wear so much makeup: