What is the Disneyland Esplanade at Disneyland Resort?

Disneyland Resort is home to two outstanding theme parks, three hotels and the Downtown Disney shopping district. But, you might notice something else when looking at a map of Disneyland Resort property – the Disneyland Esplanade.

So, what is the Disneyland Esplanade?

Aerial view of the Disneyland Esplanade.
View of the Disneyland Esplanade from Google Maps.

The Disneyland Esplanade is the area located between the main entrances to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. It serves as the hub for those arriving to the parks from the west through Downtown Disney and those arriving from the east in the tram area.

The Disneyland Esplanade itself isn’t very large. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why Disneyland Resort is so great. The entrances of the two theme parks sit about 300 feet apart on the north and south side of the esplanade. It’s a very short walk to hop from one park to the other. It’s awesome.

The photo below shows what the Espanade looks like from the Disneyland Railroad. In the foreground is the main entrance to Disneyland Park and the background (the tealish color) is the main entrance to Disney California Adventure.

View of the Disneyland Esplanade from the Disneyland Railroad.
View of the Disneyland Esplanade from the Disneyland Railroad.

Let’s talk about the word itself. Esplanade isn’t an everyday word for the vast majority of people. What does “esplanade” even mean?

According to Merriam-Webster, an esplanade is:

a level open stretch of paved or grassy ground
especially : one designed for walking or driving along a shore

Synonyms for “esplanade” are walkway, promenade, boulevard, and plaza. The word is typically associated with locations near the water, but we’ll give Disney a pass for that one.

What’s in the Disneyland Esplanade?

Honestly, not much. Ticket booths are positioned on the east and west sides of the esplanade, though the majority are usually closed. That’s about it. The Esplanade doesn’t hold events or have anything super worthwhile.

That being said, the Disneyland Esplanade can be a great place for guests to see fireworks if they don’t have a park ticket. The view of Sleeping Beauty Castle and its projections are obstructed, but most of the fireworks will be nice and visible from the Esplanade. It’s a decent spot to stand and catch the fireworks if you’re in the area.

There you have it! The area isn’t anything special, but now you’ll know what Disney is referring to by the Disneyland Esplanade.

David has been writing about Disney since 2018. He founded Notes from Neverland as an outlet to express his love for all things Disney, including Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line. Join us for news, reviews and more!

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