Wednesday, March 15, 2006

From Fantasyland to Fantasyland

Princess Aiko of Japan, you've become involuntarily embroiled in a battle to change the imperial succession laws in your country to possibly allow you to take the throne in the event that your next cousin is also female. What are you going to do next?

I'm going to Disneyland!

That's right. The potential heir to Japan's throne, Princess Aiko, has taken a trip to Tokyo Disneyland (which I visited with relatives in October, thank you very much), in a bid to give her the same experiences as other children.

According to the BBC, Imperial Household officials said the princess was able to see what children her age get up to, as she prepares to start kindergarten in April. This normalcy immersion program included a trip to the Tokyo Zoo, where she saw how other normal kids were. I'm guessing that in a few years she might feel more empathy with the caged creatures on display there.

At Disneyland, the princess seemed slightly alarmed by the ordeal, clinging to her mother, Princess Masako, as Disney characters like Mickey Mouse approached to shake hands. Being from Orange County, California, home of the original Disneyland, which I probably have visited literally a hundred times (and where I
worked for a short period), I'd say that's a normal experience for a five-year-old.

Princess Aiko's visit was not a "typical" visit, given that there were some 1,000 plainclothese officers on hand closely watching her. I'm guessing she also didn't have to wait in line very long, nor did they kick her off any ride for "not being as tall as this sign."

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