Parenting at the Parks: How Disneyland Resort Child Care Program Supports Cast Members 

More than 35,000 cast members make magic at Disneyland Resort, bridging determination with the desire to create happiness for others. But, for many cast members, this passion for bringing joy extends to an even greater role — parenthood. 

Navigating motherhood as a cast member  

Disneyland Resort cast member Christian Olano-Bartlett has experienced the obstacles of being a working mother firsthand, which often includes busy mornings, getting herself and her children ready for the day ahead.   

As the child of a cast member herself, Christian grew up experiencing the magic. Now, having worked at the resort for nearly twenty years, Christian is following in her father’s footsteps, having undergone the many stages of parenthood as a cast member.  

“Being a parent is one of the most rewarding and difficult roles that I’ll ever hold,” Christian said. 

At the onset of the Child Care Program at Disneyland Resort, Christian knew she wanted to be a part of bringing support and care to cast members navigating parenthood. From roundtable discussions with cast members, the team assessed the needs of working parents and focused on addressing these concerns through the creation of the program.  

“To have a program that really is aimed at making those challenges a little bit simpler — having cast members feel supported and understand that there are options for them, is something that I knew that I could be really passionate about,” Christian said.  

How the Disneyland Resort Child Care Program works   

The Disneyland Resort Child Care Program aims to assist the many needs of cast members raising a family, providing proactive support for parents across the resort. Anaheim-based full and part-time cast members have the option to choose a child care center from more than 70 select locations and may receive financial assistance through the program. Each step of the way, these parents are guided through the many decisions involved in choosing a child care plan. 

In her current role as program manager of the Disneyland Resort Child Care Program, Christian helps working parents at the resort find balance between parenthood and pixie dust, specifically assisting in the process of obtaining child care. And, for cast members like David Roque Jr., a stage manager in Tomorrowland Retail, the child care program at the resort is his lifeline for balancing work and family. 

A holistic program that helps families grow 

With a schedule that varies between opening, mid and closing shifts, flexibility is crucial for David, who is juggling being a working cast member and a father to two young daughters. Fortunately, the program accommodates his dynamic needs, allowing him to coordinate pick-up and drop-off arrangements with his wife, who also works full-time. 

But it’s not just about convenience for David. He’s impressed with how the program has positively impacted his daughters’ development, from boosting their social skills to nurturing their creativity through the arts and music.  

David expressed appreciation for the Disneyland Resort child care team in matching him with a program that fits his family’s needs. “They come home with their artwork, their finger painting, they learn new dance moves,” David said. “So just seeing that is obviously super adorable to start with, but knowing it came from that team is very fulfilling.” 

Capturing unforgettable childhood moments

Being away from your kids is challenging for new parents, and with the help of the program, there is ongoing communication to capture bittersweet moments and milestones that David would otherwise miss. From his daughters’ crawling for the first time to saying their first words, David never feels like he’s missing out. “It’s like I’m still there, but I’m not physically there,” he said. 

As a manager and a leader, David shares his positive experiences participating in the program and actively promotes its accessibility to his cast members. “I find a way to plug it in for cast members that may need some type of assistance,” he said, emphasizing how great of a resource it is. 

For working parents, the child care program stands as vital support. It’s not about keeping the resort running smoothly; it’s about helping families thrive in all aspects of their lives.  

Learn more about Disneyland Resort cast member and employee perquisites 

The Disneyland Resort Child Care Program is one of the many perquisites crafted to help employees and cast members excel in all aspects of life. For more information, explore cast member perks and benefits, such as tuition assistance, complimentary access to Disney parks and more!