Friday, December 1, 2023

Iconic Letters from California Adventure Begin New Life at State Fairgrounds in Sacramento

Anaheim, CA, USA — The Disneyland Resort has 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.

Located on approximately 500 acres in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure park – plus the Downtown Disney District comprised of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort’s three hotels are the 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the 969-room Disneyland Hotel and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. With 23,000 Cast Members, the Disneyland Resort is Orange County’s largest employer and generates $4.7 billion for the Southern California economy. The Resort has welcomed more than 600 million guests since opening on July 17, 1955. For detailed information about the Disneyland Resort, please

California Exposition & State Fair is a year round event facility located in the state capitol of Sacramento, Calif. The State purchased the 1,000 acre parcel of land in 1947 and eventually relocated State Fair operations in 1968, utilizing 350 acres for the annual fair and more than 150 additional events throughout the year. The property currently houses a Grandstand and horse racing track along with twelve exhibition halls and outdoor venues including a concert stage, rodeo arena, livestock pavilion, and equestrian ring. Cal Expo is a stand-alone state agency that generates an annual economic impact of $200 million dollars and produces in excess of 1,400 local jobs. Cal Expo is probably best known as the home of the California State Fair. Held annually in July, this event welcomes 800,000 guests to celebrate the State’s diversity, innovation and creativity. Since 1984, the California State Fair has offered a link between urban and rural California and is a glorious celebration of the people, natural resources and opportunities that make California a great place to live, work and do business. The 2012 State Fair will be held July 12-29. For more information visit

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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