Disney to dismantle iconic California sign

Disney is in the midst of a major overhaul at its California Adventure theme park in Anaheim, and the latest change is the removal of an iconic sign at the entry.

The California sign – really more of a monument than a sign, with letters spelling California stretched out in front of the park – will be removed next month.

That sign has been in countless family photos over the years, as many groups gather around it to take a picture before entering the park each day.

The letters get a makeover for certain seasons and for special events. When the theme park opened its World of Color show this summer, the letters were in technicolor. This holiday season, they have candy cane stripes.

The remodeled entrance will echo the design of the legendary Pan Pacific Auditorium, and look a lot like the gate at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Florida.

That fits with the park’s re-theming, which is supposed to reflect back on Southern California in the 1930s, after Walt Disney arrived and started his studio.

The official Disney Parks blog reports that the CALIFORNIA letters will be kept for “possible future use.”

[Image credit (CALIFORNIA sign): Flickr user PunkJr]

Neil Patrick Harris lends voice to Disney ride

Disney California Adventure theme park has introduced a new ride recording for California Screamin’, featuring the voice of actor Neil Patrick Harris.

The official Disney Parks Blog says NPH’s new recordings are meant to emulate a classic carnival sideshow barker.

California Screamin’ is in the Paradise Pier section of Disney California Adventure. That part of the park has a classic boardwalk amusement park feel.

California Screamin’ is the longest and fastest ride at Disneyland Resort in California, with a 120-foot drop and top speeds of 58 miles per hour. The roller coaster is steel, though it is painted and styled to look like a classic wooden ride.

NPH’s love of Disney is well-documented. He has been a narrator during EPCOT’s holiday Candlelight Processional show in past years, and last month, he hosted an event celebrating Disney animatronics at the Disneyland Hotel.

He professes his love for theme parks in his Twitter profile, and he hinted on Twitter about his California Screamin’ involvement over the weekend.