Climbing higher than 11 feet, 10 symbols of Disney magic will soon emblazon Cal Expo.
After renovating the entrance to Disney California Adventure, the resort is donating the massive CALIFORNIA letters that have greeted visitors to California Adventure, Disneyland's companion theme park in Anaheim since 2001.
Disney gave the letters to Friends of the California State Fair, a nonprofit that benefits Cal Expo. They should land in their new home in late September. This year's State Fair will be held July 12-29 at Cal Expo.
"The iconic letters of Disney now become the iconic letters of the State Fair, and they all represent the same thing California," Norb Bartosik, Cal Expo CEO and general manager, said Tuesday.
Disney's decision to donate the 11-year-old letters came amid the renovation of the California Adventure entrance, which will soon become a rendition of the 1920s Los Angeles that Walt Disney saw when he arrived in California. The current letters do not have the same style that the revamped entrance will feature.
"It's a fitting place for them to be repurposed now that Disney has decided they need a new home," Bartosik said.
Disney representatives said they are happy to give the letters to Cal Expo.
"The letters were very popular with millions of guests over the past decade, and Cal Expo is a fitting destination to continue their legacy," said Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis.
The placement of the letters is still in the works, according to Bartosik and Harry Moos, executive director of Friends of the California State Fair.
"California, not being a short name everyone's going to notice them," Moos said.
He said his group will install a plaque showing the letters are a Disney donation. "We're so happy that they thought about us and gave us the opportunity to do this because this is a part of Disneyland," Moos said.
Bartosik said Cal Expo will pay for the letters' transportation and may launch a fundraising program.
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