The kids loved Disneyland and CA Adventure. I think that meeting the characters was a favorite activity for both of them. They both got autograph books this year and collected over 20 signatures from characters of all sorts: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Ariel, Belle, Tiana, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Pooh, Tigger, just to name a few... :) Eli's favorite ride was the new 3-D Toy Story ride at California Adventure - we went on it three times! Micah and I had fun competing for the high score on that one as well, but I unforunately I think I always lost. Mikayla's favorite ride was Thunder Mountain Railroad which she rode 3 or 4 times (thanks to FastPasses). She calls it "the fast train," which it was. Eli even rode that one twice, and they both enjoyed seeing the snow monster on the Matterhorn bobsleds. We pretty much rode every ride in each park that they were tall enough to ride!
Thanks to the research-based route maps (no joke) from THIS AWESOME BOOK, we didn't stand in any line more than 20 minutes. Except for the time we chose to ride Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan at night (when Fantasyland was really busy), and when we chose to stand in line for Toy Story in the late afternoon hours. I recommend that book to anyone who is visiting these theme parks - FOLLOW IT. You will be so glad you did. (They republish a new version each year so it is always updated) If you are a Type A personality like me, you will love the book. If you are the opposite of Type A (like my husband), you will love your trip more if you force yourself to follow the book... just ask Micah, he's a believer! :) We really made the most of our time by riding everything in the early morning hours, then going back to our hotel for naps/lunch, and then returning to the parks for the evening shows and parades later in the day. It was fabulous.
Mickey's Fun Wheel
They kids loved the Disney Parade... this year the theme of it was a "dance party" in the streets, and they allowed kids to be a part of it by having them go out and dance with the performers. You can see Mikayla and Eli below joining in the conga line.