In advance of this week’s soft opening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for cast members, the Disneyland Resort conducted a symbolic reawakening of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

The event was designed to welcome back cast members that are returning to Disneyland and to thank those that worked throughout the closure. Here are some of the words shared by the leadership team:

Josh D’Amaro: Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products:

Walt Disney's lamp has become a beacon of hope and optimism that Disneyland will reopen and once again be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. We have an incredible week ahead of us, which of course we'll conclude with a real wakening of our Anaheim theme parks on Friday. But before that milestone day, it's important that we gather to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of our cast. Standing here in the glow of Walt's lamp, I can't help, but think of the thousands of cast members, crew members, and imagine years we've brought our parks, our hotels, retail locations, cruise ships, and adventures to life over the years. I want to thank all of you for being part of our team. And I look forward to having more of you back at work each and every day as we get ready to reawaken this happy place

Ken Potrock: President Disneyland Resort:

After 412 days of closure, as unbelievable as that sounds, it is incredibly emotional to finally be at the moment we've all been waiting for. As we get ready to reopen our gates and bring back the magic to the happiest place on earth. I am very excited about welcoming guests to our parks once again, and tonight I am beyond thrilled to be celebrating you; our amazing cast members. I am here at the cast window, which is a very special place at this beloved resort. This window was dedicated on the 50th anniversary of Disneyland to pay tribute to our cast members past present and future for creating happiness for millions of guests from around the world each and every day. As Walt said, “it takes people to make the dream a reality,” and our Disneyland cast members have been bringing Walt's dream to life for more than 65 years.

We all know that you are the true spark that lights up our resort. When our guests tell us how much they've missed, the joy that Disneyland brings to their lives, what they really mean is the joy that you bring to life in everything you do since joining this incredible team last May, I've had the honor to work with an extraordinary group of people who have been truly resolute in their determination to reopen the resort, bring our cast back to work, and help our community recover. I know our community is celebrating with us tonight, of that I have no doubt, and we're celebrating them as well and saying a heartfelt thank you for their support during this last year. We're stronger together and there's a great big, beautiful tomorrow ahead for all of us, I want to acknowledge the cast members who have been working throughout the closure, where they're making magic in Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street, maintaining the magic while our parks and hotels remain closed or working from home as we developed the new Disneyland Resort experience. I am immensely grateful for each of you. As the excitement and anticipation for our reopening builds and we make final preparations for this milestone and symbolic moment. I am especially looking forward to getting to know you, the magic makers of the Disneyland resort..

Disneyland Resort Ambassadors:

On the eve of this historic moment, I'm envisioning the excitement the original cast members surely experienced in 1955, the night before Disneyland's opening day. I can't imagine the pride they must have felt looking down Main Street U.S.A. and anticipating what Disneyland would come to represent, not just to us cast members, but to the entire world.