So after planning how many WDW trips, we are venturing to the left coast for a short cruise (DS18's idea) and 4 days at DL (My idea) as a compromise. I feel like I'm missing so much- I have planned exactly zero things. I feel like I know nothing. Booked thru DTA (I'm a hobbyist) at Candy Cane Inn with 4 day PH tickets. Will we receive paper tickets in the mail? We didn't get any e-ticket links or anything. Anyone have any last minute travel tips for us? And of course... I have received not one, not two, but THREE pin codes for this year! UGH.... there is no way to fit WDW in this year either
When we booked our Disneyland trip through Costco a couple years ago, we received plastic tickets in the mail a couple weeks before our trip. I would say that if your confirmation with DTA wasn't clear about how you are receiving the tickets, give them a call. I was confused with our Costco package how all that worked and I'm glad that I ended up calling because they told me that the tickets and final package information were being sent via FedEx and would have to be signed for. I ended up switching the delivery address to work to make sure that I didn't miss them.
I am sure you already know to rope drop, avoid parks with EMH, etc... Using those tips in DL is some of the best advice I can think of. You don't need to plan as much for DL compared to WDW since everything is so much closer. One of the best things for you to know about at this point is DL's fast pass system which I gather is like how WDW's used to be - paper fast passes, you can only hold one at a time (except for world of color) unless it has been 2 hours then you can pull another. Example if you pull a FP for space mountain at 11 am and the return time is 3 pm, you don't have to wait till you ride SM to get another FP, you can get one at 1 pm. Some FPs run out by noon or so - the 2 i can think of are SM and RSR, so ride those early or get a FP early to avoid really long lines, though RSR has single rider so if nothing else you could use that line, though it gets longish too. The fireworks are awesome - don't miss those. This might be helpful too: https://disneylanddaily.com/a-first-timers-guide-to-disneyland/
We felt the same way when we went. After going to WDW, DL feels like a free for all. You can't plan hardly anything because the schedule changes so much and it's fairly inconsistent. If anything, we learned it was an opportunity to let my OCD stay at bay and just enjoy the ride. We enjoyed it. There's a "coziness" about the park and you don't feel like you're stuck on such a tight schedule but we still much prefer the structure of WDW.