The Disneyland Resort donated the iconic “CALIFORNIA” letters previously located in the esplanade at the Disney California Adventure park entrance to the Friends of the California State Fair, a nonprofit organization that benefits California Exposition & State Fair (Cal Expo) in Sacramento, Calif. Cal Expo is the site of the California State Fair and hundreds of other events annually.
“As we near the completion of the Disney California Adventure expansion, it was important to us to find an appropriate home for the ‘CALIFORNIA’ letters,” said Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis. “The letters were very popular with millions of Guests over the past decade, and Cal Expo is a fitting destination to continue their legacy.”
Plans are underway to make the letters an integral part of a new Cal Expo entrance. The “CALIFORNIA” letters will make their way to their new home sometime in late September and will be placed high enough at the entrance to be seen from Exposition Boulevard.
“The Friends of the California State Fair serving Cal Expo is honored to have been selected the recipient of this gift from Disney Resorts. We see this donation, and the relocation of these letters, a continued and fitting tribute to the celebration of this magnificent state,” said Norb J. Bartosik, Cal Expo CEO/General Manager.
The letters were part of the original California postcard entrance to Disney California Adventure park when it opened in 2001. Over the years, they became a favorite photo destination and meeting spot for Disneyland Resort guests because of their statuesque presence. The letters were removed to complete the new main entrance to Disney California Adventure park, built to evoke the feeling of California in the 1920’s, when Walt Disney first arrived in Los Angeles.
The donation of the letters is the latest among several other iconic Disney California Adventure park artifacts over the last five years.
· The cab of the California Zephyr train that was formerly the home of Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream and Bakers Field Bakery was donated to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, Calif.
· The sun icon that welcomed visitors to Sunshine Plaza was donated to the City of Anaheim for future use.
· The giant toy train from EnginEARS Toys will be donated to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s) for future use.
· Postcards and displays from the Greetings From California store at the main entrance of Disney California Adventure park were donated to many Southern California nonprofit organizations and educational facilities including the Boys & Girls Club of Tustin, the Anaheim Family YMCA, the Child Abuse Services Team office in Orange, the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach, and Betsy Ross and Orange Grove elementary schools in Anaheim.
· Signs and character displays from Greetings From California were donated to Pretend City in Irvine.
· The Reboundo Beach surfboard basketball game was donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Garden Grove.
· Benches from throughout Disney California Adventure were donated to the City of Anaheim for use in public spaces.