Florida college student brings Disney magic to children during COVID-19 with one-of-a-kind babysitting service
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A college student at the University of Central Florida is bringing a dose of Disney magic to children during the coronavirus pandemic, with the launch of her own babysitting service.
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Unlike the traditional babysitter, 'Disney Nanny' Cyan Nardiello brings her clients' children to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida for a day of fun.
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Nardiello told FOX Business she came up with the idea for her business about three years ago while working an unfulfilling minimum wage job at a local daycare.
"I wanted more for myself and for my time to be valued, so I quit on a whim with no other job lined up," Nardiello said. "I still wanted to work with children, so I started looking for nanny positions."
After a few months of job searching, the 21-year old found a family who hired her part-time to babysit their daughter.
"Their daughter had gotten a Disney Annual Pass as a birthday gift," Nardiello added. “Since she lived close I offered to take her while her parents went to work and she was in my care.”
Nardiello posted her babysitting adventures on a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder page on Facebook, and from there her business was born, with interested families immediately reaching out to request her one-of-a-kind service.
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However, just as business was booming and her dream job became a reality, the Most Magical Place on Earth came to a screeching halt in March when Disney announced it would close its theme parks to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
"As business was ramping up, COVID hit the United States and rest of the world, forcing Disney to do an unexpected shutdown, cancelling family vacations and preventing local AP holders from enjoying the parks and, in turn, preventing my services to be performed," Nardiello said. "Thankfully I am also a part time nanny for several families in the Orlando area, so I would be used on occasion during quarantine."
Fortunately, the parks began a phased reopening in July, and Nardiello was able to restart her business with new safety measures in place.
"Today, business is back up and safely running!," she said.
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According to Nardiello, families typically book her services for a desired time slot. She then reaches out to clients via phone or video call to introduce herself, get to know the family better, and discuss details prior to the trip.
Then it's off to the Disney theme park of the child's choosing to meet up with the family at the entrance and pick up the child before taking them to ride attractions, watch parades, and meet their favorite Disney characters, among other activities.