Disneyland will reopen on Friday, April 30, after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Disneyland is gearing up for its grand reopening.

The California theme park lit up Sleeping Beauty Castle in the heart of Disneyland on Monday evening, as it prepares to welcome guests back to the resort on April 30.

After more than a year-long closure amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Disneyland Resort Ambassadors, Justin Rapp and Rafa Barron, took part in a livestream of the relighting.

"As cast members, we know the enormous effort it has taken to get back to this point and why returning to this happy place is so special for all of us," Barron said, as Rapp called the feat "uplifting."

"Tonight, taking in the majesty of Sleeping Beauty Castle, we recognize its significance of the symbols of the hopes and dreams of so many," Rapp added.

Disneyland Resort made the announcement that they would be reopening last month, sharing the news to their Disney Parks Blog and via press release. 

"The day all of us have long been waiting for is almost here," said Ken Potrock, president of Disneyland Resort, in the press release. "We're excited to have more than 10,000 cast members returning to work as we get ready to welcome our guests back to this happy place."

Sleeping Beauty Castle
Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort

Disneyland and California Adventure first closed their doors last March as COVID-19 took hold in North America.

While Walt Disney World in Orlando has since reopened at limited capacity with mask mandates and distancing restrictions, stricter regulations in California previously mandated that the West Coast parks remain closed.

Michael Ramirez, Disneyland's Public Relations Director, also confirmed on the Disney Parks Blog that both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure will be reopening with limited capacity, as well as several other major changes in line with the state's COVID-19 guidelines. 

For example, a new theme park reservation system will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance, in order to keep visitor numbers in check and promote social distancing. A similar system is already in place at Disney World.

Unlike Orlando, currently "only California residents may visit the parks" until further notice, Ramirez shared. 

Though beloved characters will still be out and about surprising visitors, crowd-drawing experiences like parades and "nighttime spectaculars" will be put on pause until a later date in order to ensure social distancing, as well.

"Operational changes will be in place at the theme parks and hotels based on guidance from health authorities and learnings from our parks around the world to promote physical distancing, enhanced cleanliness and reduced contact," the press release states.

More information about how they plan to execute these measures is available on their website. 

This story originally appeared on People.com.