Your Guide to Castaway Cay, Disney's Private Island Paradise
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
With white sandy beaches, swaying palms, and turquoise blue waters as far as the eye can see, Disney's exclusive beach port, Castaway Cay, is a beach-lovers dream come true.
Located on a small island roughly 160 miles east of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, this small but mighty Bahamian island is Disney-owned and operated, and offers Disney Cruise Line guests an amazing day in paradise.
True to Disney's well-known service and standards, Disney's Castaway Cay lives up to the name. The top-notch hospitality is everyone on the island, and everything needed for an amazing day of fun-in-the-sun is at your fingertips. Towels, lounge chairs, umbrellas, hammocks, entertainment, and even a family-friendly picnic meal is provided at three locations - Cookie's and Cookies Too, and a private buffet in the Serenity Bay area.
Wagons and wheelchairs are complimentary and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
There's no chance of running out of things to do on Castaway Cay - whether you're traveling as a family or on an adults-only getaway. Endless activities geared toward every age and activity-level will keep everyone happy and is one of the largest reasons I suggest Disney Cruise Line for multigenerational travel. A convenient shuttle runs every few minutes from the arrival plaza taking you to the various areas on the island, or you can make the short walk to the beach if you prefer.
Castaway Family Beach
The Castaway Family Beach is the first beach area you will come to when heading down the path from the ship. Perfect for families of all ages, it offers rows of umbrellas and chairs with great views of the lagoon for activities such as snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking. You'll also encounter beach-side activities and character interactions from time to time.
In center view of the Family Beach is Pelican Plunge, a 2,000 square-foot floating platform at features two twisting slides, shooting water cannons, and a large bucket that dumps unexpectedly on guests below!
Snorkeling Lagoon is also an easy swim from this area. Here you'll find different underwater snorkeling 'trails' featuring exotic fish, plant life, and buried treasures! Snorkeling equipment is available to rent at Gil's Fins and Boats or Flippers and Floats for an additional charge of $34 for adults, $18 for children for the entire day at the time of writing this post.
Serenity Bay Adult Beach For those adults looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the family beach area, The 18+ beach area, Serenity Bay, is the perfect intimate hideaway. On the day we were there, we had this beach area to ourselves! Grab a cold drink and a lounger and bask in the sun.
Near Serenity Bay, you'll also find other adults-only amenities such as:
an open-air cabana massage
frozen specialty drinks at the Castaway Air Bar
private cabanas stocked with water, drinks, snacks, and sunscreen
Scuttle's Cove Castaway Cay has a kid's club right onshore at Castaway Cay. You can drop your little mariners off for a day of adventure and activities while you slip away to Serenity Bay - without guilt because they'll be having the time of their lives!
Children are supervised by the same certified Disney counselors from the ship. This sandy play spot features a whimsical water play area: a 1,200-square-foot soft wet deck area provides fresh-water fun with an array of pop jets, geysers and bubblers. This area is secure and away from the beaches. Organized activities are happening throughout the day, plus a really fun kids-sized archeological dig site to discover whale bones below. Your kids won't want to leave!
Teen Hideout It's just what it sounds like - a place for teens, ages 14 - 17, to escape and connect with others their age in a safe and fun environment. Teens will find activities like tetherball and sand volleyball courts, as well as other organized events.
Additional Adventures at Castaway Cay
Shop for special Castaway Cay merchandise at one of the stores on the island - She Sells Sea Shells & everything else or Buy the Sea Shore. You'll also be able to find beach toys, logo towels, and postcards, and other souvenirs here. For authentic Bahamian items, check out Cultural Illusions.
Castaway Cay 5K
Join other runners (and walkers!) for this 3.1-mile trek on the paved paths of Castaway Cay. Sign up onboard your ship at Guest Services. The night before your race, you'll be sent a letter with details outlining your race schedule as well as instructions for the next morning. Each guest who participates will be awarded a commemorative medal.
Bikes are available to rent for $13 per hour from Gil's Fins and Boats or Flippers and Floats. Taking a bike ride on the paved paths to lookout tower is a great way to check out the nature on the island, and take in the spectacular views at the top of the tower. The trails total about 1.5 miles. The paths are well marked with signs and there are even water stations along the way to keep you hydrated on a hot day.
Stingray Adventure Touch, feed, and snorkel amongst over 60 stingrays! Feel the rush of a stingray taking food right from the palm of your hand. This one-hour excursion starts at $56 per adult and $45 per child age 5+ and can be reserved ahead of time online or within the cruise app.
Boat Rentals Sail away in a small boat rental into the blue waters of Castaway Cay. Choose between a sea kayak for 1, a paddleboat for 4, or an aqua trike for 2. For extra-adventurous fun, choose a stand-up paddle-board! Visit Gil's Fins and Boats or Flippers and Floats for more information.
Want to do a little of it all?
The Castaway Cay Getaway Package is available for guests ages 5 and up and includes all-day snorkel & float rental and a one-hour bike rental. Ages 5 to 10: $20.43, Guests ages 10 and up: $41.93 NOTE: This package must be reserved before you sail or onboard and CANNOT be purchased on the island.
There are various additional excursions including fishing, glass-bottom boats, parasailing, as well as guided hiking, nature, and kayak tours. See what is currently offered HERE.
Additional Tips & Tricks for when visiting Castaway Cay
Don't forget your “Key to the World” cards– Make sure you have every member of your party’s card with you before you even leave your room. This is the most important thing you will need - it will allow you to not only get off and on the ship, but also rent and purchase items.
Sunscreen - Do NOT forget your sunscreen, and reapply often! I'm embarrassed to say I got a terrible sunburn while visiting Castaway Cay because I was so relaxed! That Bahamian sun is intense.
You Don't need to bring Life Jackets - they provide life preservers of all sizes at Castaway Cay.
All of the restaurants are open from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm, avoid dining at 12-1 pm to beat the crowds. Complimentary drinks and ice cream are available ALL DAY. All of the restaurants serve the same items.
Send a Postcard from Castaway Cay Post Office! This makes a fun and unique souvenir. While it isn't open every day, you can still drop your postcard in the box outside the post office. Your postcard will be delivered with a Castaway Cay postmark! TIP: purchase a Bahamian stamp onboard in Guest Services while on the ship PLUS there are free postcards in the desk room of your stateroom!.
Whether you do it all or plant yourself on the beach to soak in the rays, you're sure to have a magical day at Disney's Castaway Cay.
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