Part of our 2012 US/UK/HK Trip. See the explanation and summary entry.
Our first proper day at the Disneyland resort we decided was going to be spent in the 'newer' California Adventure park. For the unaware, there are two parks: the original Disneyland park, and the newer California Adventure.
Before we went to California Adventure, we did a quick stop to the original Disneyland park and rode Space Mountain (our favourite ride), as well as the recently revamped Star Tours Star Wars ride. Both were very different from our last time there. Space Mountain was mostly the same, except for a scary ghost theme to the projections inside the ride, something I assume was for Halloween. Star Tours is completely different: still a simulator ride, it's now in 3D and high-definition, and has about 54 different combinations. There are different beginnings, middles, and endings, which it apparently randomises for each ride. Other awesome Star Wars stuff is the Jedi Training Academy show, which had me cursing the lucky kids at being young enough to participate.
After that we went to California Adventure for the rest of the day, and collected as many fast-passes as we could to reduce our ride queuing time as much as possible. We did the water rapids ride after lunch and got absolutely saturated to the point of having to buy a towel to dry off. We were pretty unlucky to get as wet as we did, we didn't see anybody else come off the ride as wet as us in the whole 20 minutes of waiting in queue, or 20 minutes after while trying to dry off.
We did the other rides in California Adventure (the rollercoaster is pretty awesome), and watched the Aladdin show before returning to the Disneyland Park to watch the fireworks that night (which was the last night of our stay that we could watch them). The fireworks were spectacular, and we got a really good vantage point in front of the castle right next to the Walt and Mickey statue.
The next day we spent mostly in the Disneyland Park. We did all the usual rides, with the exception of the Indiana Jones one, as it was closed for refurbishment. Despina beat me in Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters again, and we were amused by the Australian accents on the Finding Nemo submarine ride (the male voice was actually decent, but the female's was very over-the-top).
We also went on Space Mountain a few times more with the purpose of getting a good photo. We knew from last time that in the front row if you put your hands up it gets cut off in the photo, so we got a funny shot of me pretending that my arm has been cut off :).
That night Disneyland was closing early for a special Halloween event (there were lots of people in cool costumes), so we went to California Adventure to watch the very hyped World of Color water show in the Paradise Pier area. There was an option to have a three-course dinner at one of the nice restaurants in the park, which included priority viewing area access for the show afterwards.
It was well worth it, and the show was absolutely amazing. The water fountains, colours, projections, lasers, and flame-throwers all made for a breathtaking display; the money we spent for the dinner package was definitely well worth it for the exclusive viewpoint. Despina and I also bought Mickey ear hats for the occasion: mine was a Star Wars R2-D2 inspired one, while Despina's was pink Minnie Mouse style.
The next day was only a half-one (we flew out to Vegas that afternoon), so we spent it mainly by going on Star Tours multiple times and experiencing all the different combinations we could. I was even selected as the 'spy' on one time.
We flew out for Vegas that night, but the Disneyland part of the trip was so memorable. We really got lost in the 'world' of Disney by being at the hotel, the Downtown Disney district, and the two parks exclusively 24/7. Overall it was a great escape from reality.