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Everything You Need To Know To Have The Best Day Ever At Disney’s Castaway Cay

Everything You Need To Know To Have The Best Day Ever At Disney’s Castaway Cay

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Disney’s private island can be magical with a little planning. Check out our top 5 tips to have the “Best Day Ever” at Castaway Cay.

Disney Cruise Line

Credit: Donna

My (Donna) entire family enjoyed a Disney Cruise more than a trip to the Disney Parks because you can truly relax on a Disney cruise.  Have you ever spent a trip at Disney Parks and felt that you need a vacation after your Disney vacation? That is often the case for our family. We tend to be the first to open the Disney Parks and among the last to leave the parks at the end of the day.

As hard as our family tries, we find it difficult to take a break and not want to soak up all of the magic of the Disney Parks. The Disney Cruise Line itinerary was perfect for our family. As the night draws to a close, many of the activities also begin to end.

Credit: Donna

Although the Disney ships are large, you still do not feel as though you have walked endlessly at the end of the day. The best part is that our entire family was able to reconnect during this vacation.

Instead of feeling exhausted at the end of the day like we would at the parks, we all returned to our room reminiscing about our family memories of the day. Be sure to check out 5 Reasons Why Kids Prefer A Disney Cruise To The Disney Parks.

Past Experience on Castaway Cay

credit: KTP

Our first Disney Cruise was in 2016. This was a brand new experience for us; our children were quite a bit younger then. That first experience at Castaway Cay was chaotic and exhausting. We returned to the ship at the end of the evening wondering how we missed the Disney magic of this private island.

Fast forward to 2022 for our next Disney Cruise and we were determined to soak up all the magic and island vibes of Castaway Cay. Do yourself a favor and learn from our past mistakes to make your visit to Castaway Cay enchanting.

This is not a complete listing of activities to enjoy at Disney’s private island, but simply what we prioritized to make our day magical. For a full listing of activities check HERE and also Maggie’s review HERE.

#1 Castaway Cay 5K

Credit: Disney Photopass

During our cruise in 2016, this was a proper 5K race. There was a start time that forced large hoards of people onto the island at once. The pathways were very congested and unable to accommodate a large group of people. In a nutshell, this was a hot mess back in 2016.

At the time of this writing, the Castaway 5K is now a bit more laid back and this is a GREAT thing. This is a FREE activity that you and your travel party can enjoy. Simply follow the clearly marked signs for the 3.1-mile course and either walk or run this. Afterwards, there is a small stand with a Crew Member handing out your rubber “medal.”

This was a great start to our day! Our children enjoyed that they could complete this at their own pace, and the adults enjoyed that we could disembark the ship without the mass exodus of fellow runners.

#2 Everything Is Included

Credit: Donna

Another great feature of this private island is that all food and beverages are included. You can enjoy fountain drinks, water stations, and soft-serve ice cream to your heart’s content.

Enjoy a full cookout barbecue at both Cookie’s BBQ and Cookie’s Too BBQ. The serving from the ship comes to prepare and serve delicious burgers, BBQ chicken, and more.

Credit: Donna

At the adult’s only Serenity Bay location, adults can enjoy an expanded menu at Serenity Bay BBQ. A couple of locations offer food and beverages for an additional cost. Olaf’s Summertime Freeze offers specialty frozen drinks, and Conched Out Bar offers alcoholic beverages for an additional fee.

There is also no need to bring life jackets and towels. The island has you covered. This is a great convenience to all guests especially those with families. Simply stroll off the ship with empty arms and return with only amazing memories.

No need to bring life jackets and towels. The island has you covered.

#3 Snorkeling

Credit: Donna

There are so many FREE activities on Castaway Cay, that you may be wondering why I (Donna) suggest paying money for snorkeling. If you are a fan of Hidden Mickey’s then you NEED to enjoy snorkeling at Castaway Cay.

Enjoy a 22-acre snorkeling lagoon that is netted off to prevent larger marine life to enter. There are large buoys throughout this lagoon to help guests locate the sunken treasures hidden beneath the waters.

Credit: Disney

A few of our favorites were the Prince Eric statue from Ariel’s Grotto, the sunken Nautilus, and, of course, Mickey Mouse himself. We enjoyed this activity throughout the day. You can enter and exit the lagoon as many times as you like before returning your gear to Flippers & Floats.

If you are a fan of Hidden Mickey’s then you NEED to enjoy snorkeling at Castaway Cay.

#4 Enjoy Kid’s Club Activities

Credit: Donna

At the time of our cruise, our children could enjoy three of the various children’s clubs. Scuttle’s Cove is for children ages 3-12. It is a Disney Cruise Line counselor-supervised children’s fun zone. This large water play area has many great activities that differ from what is offered on the Disney Cruise Line.

Our youngest daughter loved meeting up with a few of her new friends to check out this fun club. Our middle daughter met up with fellow tweens In Da Shade Game Pavilion and Pelican Plunge. Information and times are located on the Disney Cruise Line app. Finally, our oldest son enjoyed hanging out at the Hideout which is a beach for teenagers between the ages of 14 to 17.

Our children spent about an hour at these clubs and then we met back up together. They loved the freedom to explore the island independently with cruisers their ages.

#5 Don’t Rush Back On The Ship

Credit: Donna

Our first views of Castaway Cay were full of fellow guests (in the above photo.) Once we finally made it to the beaches we were able to spread out and enjoy the island. As the day progressed, more and more fellow guests made their way back onto the ship.

Credit: Donna

Eventually, we were left with an almost empty island. Our children were overjoyed to enjoy the popular Pelican Plunge water slide without a wait. My husband and I enjoyed a whole beach almost to ourselves.

Our family was among the last guests to ride the tram back to the cruise ship, and this was truly the perfect end to our day. We took in the beauty of the island and felt truly relaxed. The following day was debarkation from the ship and a return to “normal”.

Credit: Donna

Our day soaking in the last bit of magic of Disney’s Castaway Cay is still each of our favorite memories from our Disney Cruise. The above photos are taken as many of our fellow guests had already returned to the ship.

Have you visited Castaway Cay? What activity are you most excited to try? Do you hope to go on a Disney Cruise soon? Share your thoughts and share this review with a fellow Disney pal.

Using a Travel Agent can help you navigate the ins and outs of planning! I am here to help! Please fill out this form and put my name (DONNA) in the Special Request box.

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