63 Tips For Visiting Disney Cruise Castaway Cay Island

Castaway Cay Bahamas is a Disney private island accessible only through a Bahamian or Caribbean cruise on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships.  The island was formerly known as Gorda Cay, but Disney changed the name when they leased the island from the Bahamian government in 1997.  However, many people call the island Castaway Key, as everyone seems to have a different take on how to pronounce Cay. Regardless of how it’s pronounced, it’s best known as Disney Castaway Cay.

Disney’s Castaway Cay is one of Disney’s private stop on many of their popular cruise lines. With its perfectly-groomed and tended beaches, this Disney island is one of the hottest destinations on the company’s cruise line. Famous for its fair weather and immersive tourist experience, this popular tourist destination is one of Disney’s best.

Even though Disney Castaway Cay is a one-thousand-acre island that isn’t fully developed yet, you will still have a blast when you are there.  In fact, there are so many things to do on Castaway Cay and you simply might not have time to do it all. That being said, there are some things you should know about Castaway Cay before embarking on your Disney cruise. Since your Castaway Cay port adventures will only last for a few hours before you are back out on the water, you should arrive to Castaway Cay prepared with a list of things to do in Castaway Cay! 

63 Things to Know Before Visiting Disney’s Castaway Cay

1. What is Castaway Cay Island?

Castaway Cay Island is a private island in the Bahamas.  You can only visit Castaway Cay via a cruise with Disney.  And even though Disney has so many cruises, the two ships that stops here are the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. So, if you want to visit the island, then consider taking a right Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy cruise. 

2. Who Owns Castaway Cay?

Disney owns Castaway Cay, which is why it is known as a Disney’s private island.  This private Caribbean island serves as one of the major stops on many of Disney’s Caribbean cruises, with plenty of excursions and things to in the island.

3. Where is Castaway Cay Located? 

Castaway Cay is in the Bahamas, which is within the Caribbean.  This means that the Castaway Cay weather is perfect most times of the year, so you can book a Disney cruise to this private island.

4. What Are The Best Castaway Cay Excursions? 

A few of the best Castaway Cay excursions include water slides, parasailing, fishing, stingray interactions, and jet skiing. You can even do a massage on the beach, or a stingray excursion where guests 5 years and older can interact with a stingray for about an hour. If you plan to sail with Disney on Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy, then contact Disney’s concierge to help you arrange the best Castaway Cay excursions appropriate for your family. Many of the activities will come at an additional cost but this is not island you plan to visit every day so plan a few excurison within your budget.

5. What Does Castaway Cay Map Look Like?

You can see an interactive map of Castaway Cay here.  We recommend becoming familiar with this island before you arrive, so you can easily go where you want and not waste any time.  Again, some people might search for the map under Castaway Key map, but it’s really named Castaway Cay! 

Castaway Cay Map
Credits: Disney Castaway Cay

6. What Country is Disney Castaway Cay in?

Disney Castaway Cay is in the Bahamas.  And like other islands in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay has amazing beaches and things to do. So, if you do plan to visit the island, you won’t have too much trouble finding what to do at Castaway Cay. 

7. How Big is Castaway Cay?

Castaway Cay Disney private island is not that big.  In fact, it is only a little more than three miles long and a little over two miles wide.  However, that doesn’t mean that this small island isn’t packed with a plethora of things to do when you are there! You’ll be surprised at how much activities you can fit in one small island. 

8. How Do You Book A Cabana at Castaway Cay? 

You need to act fast if you want to rent a cabana for your time at Castaway Cay. This is one of our biggest Castaway Cay tip. There are only twenty-five of them on the entire island, but they are perfect if you want some time away from the crowds and to stay out of the sun.  Each cabana offers gorgeous views, rafts, hammocks, a safe, and a personal attendant.  If you choose to book a cabana, consider taking some cash with you to tip your personal attendant, it’s optional of course, but,  they will work very hard when taking care of you, so make sure you show your appreciation at the end of the day.  Again, this is nice but optional. 

9. How Much is A Cabana at Castaway Cay? 

The price of the cabanas on Castaway Cay Disney island vary, so you will want to know which one you need prior to reserving one. A regular cabana which is located on Family Beach, will be just over $700 for the day, while the grand family cabana will be almost $1,100.  The cabanas over at Serenity Beach, which is the adults-only section of the island, are only about $450.  Prices might be different depending on when you visit or other changes made by Disney, so be sure to check on recent pricing with Disney if you’re thinking of renting a cabana. 

10. How Far is Castaway Cay from Nassau? 

Castaway Cay is only seventy-one miles from Nassau, Bahamas.  Remember that Bahamas is a collection of many islands, and Castaway Cay is just one of them. Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy also has Nassau Bahamas as one of its regular stops, so you’re either going to be heading to Nassau before or after stopping at the private Castaway Cay island. But, going on Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy is a great way to see both Bahamian islands on one trip due to the perfect location of Castaway Cay island. 

11. How Do You Pronounce Castaway Cay? 

You may think that you pronounce Castaway Cay as Castaway Kay, but in reality, it is supposed to be pronounced like Castaway Key.  So, if you’re searching for more information on Castaway Cay, you might find answers under Castaway Cay, Castaway Key, or even Cast Away Key, all of which lead to Disney’s amazing private island. 

12. What is & When is the Castaway Cay 5K?

The Castaway Cay 5K is a race that can be run, or walked, when you are on this Disney private island.  You can sign up for this race on the day you embark for your cruise.  You will do this 3.1-mile race early in the morning on Castaway Cay, so make sure you go to bed early the night before.  A meeting is held on the ship at eight o’clock in the morning and this is when you will receive your bib and learn about the route.  When you finish the race, you will receive a medal, as well as a certificate of completion. Be sure to check with Disney cruise for more informaton on when the Castaway Cay 5k takes place but it’s a fun way to get a run into your vacation especially if you’re an avid runner. 

13. What is Castaway Cay Weather

First and foremost, understanding the weather at Castaway Cay is crucial to getting the most out of your trip. Trust us: you don’t want to dress wrong for the occasion. The good news is that Castaway Cay features some of the best year-round weather of any tourist destination in the world. Nestled in the Caribbean, this Disney-owned island has mild to warm weather all year, making it the perfect tourist destination. Those traveling in the winter months can expect air and water temperatures in the mid-70s, while those going in the summer can expect temperatures in the mid to high 80s. For this reason, make sure to dress light so that you don’t get too hot during your trip. If you travel during the hurricane months of May/June through November, you could wake up to some light showers on Castaway Cay but they won’t last long so that shouldn’t prevent you from having a blast or taking one of the excursions on the island.

14. Does Castaway Cay Get Crowded

If Castaway Cay has a downside, it’s its large crowd of people. Because the island is one of Disney’s most popular resorts, beaches can fill up surprisingly quickly. For this reason, make sure that you start your day early and head to the beach to nab a great spot. Like we said, you may even consider doing the 5k event as you do so. Not a runner? Don’t worry—you can get a medal just for participating in the event. Additionally, if you’re looking for beaches that aren’t quite as crowded, consider visiting one that’s not so close to the cruise ship. Generally speaking, the further away you get from the ship, the less crowded the beaches will be.

15. Can You Send A Mail From Castaway Cay

Okay, so we know that actually mailing something is so old-school, but you must mail a postcard from the Disney Castaway Cay post office when you are on the island!  They use a special cancellation stamp that changes the postcard from a regular piece of mail into a fabulous souvenir. This is one of the top things to do in Castaway Cay as well as an activity the kids would love.

16. Can you Snorkel in Disney Castaway Cay

Yes! There is a massive lagoon at Disney Castaway Cay, and while half of it is used for swimming, the rest is available for snorkeling.  As long as you don’t mind swimming away from the shore (safety first of course), you will see a submarine, shipwreck, a plethora of marine life, and even statues of Mickey and Minnie!  And don’t worry, everyone is required to wear life jackets while snorkeling, so you will feel safe as you swim out those distances.

17. Does Disney Castaway Cay Have Water Slides

This Private Disney Island has amazing water park slide section- Pelican Plunge – out in the water on a platform.  Your entire family will love sliding down both the open water slide and the enclosed one but be prepared to wait in line for a little for your turn. To get here, you can walk on the island as it’s a short walk from the ship. Or, you can take the tram if you want to get there faster or can’t the distance for any reason.

18. Can You Shop Or Buy Souvenirs on Castaway Cay

As you can probably imagine, the gift shops on Disney Castaway Cay are filled with attraction specific souvenirs.  That means that if you want anything to remember your time in Castaway Cay Bahamas, you better purchase it while you are on the island!

19. Where to eat in Castaway Cay

Grab a Bite to Eat at Cookie’s BBQ! A delicious lunch buffet is set out for guests on Disney Castaway Cay at Cookie’s BBQ.  You will love the huge selection of hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, vegetables, fresh fruit, and even desserts.  This included lunch that is usually served started from 11:30am is a great way to fill your bellies without needing to head back to the ship for a bite to eat.

20. What Disney Cruise Goes To Castaway Cay Island

Some special 4-5 night Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruises offer the opportunity to dock at the private Castaway Cay island twice during the duration of the trip. Check with the cruise before purchasing to make sure you sail on the right ship scheduled to stop at Castaway Cay. But remember that sometimes, ships change scheduled port of call for good reasons – something that rarely happens but still something good to keep in mind.

21. Is There Childcare on Disney Castaway Cay Island

In a typical Disney way, and as expected, kids are the center of attention in Castaway Cay island as well as the ship. And Disney proves this by providing free and high-quality child care at Scuttle’s Cave for kids 3-12 years old. So, if you need to visit the adult only Serenity Bay, or spend some quiet moments getting a massage, the free childcare service will buy you some adult time while the kids also get to spend time with other kids their age at Scuttle’s cave.  

22. What is Disney Castaway Club

Disney Cruise Castaway Club is Disney’s exclusive club that offers onshore and onboard benefits for anyone who has ever sailed with them. Once you sail with Disney, you automatically become a Castaway Club member. So if you want to be a part of the Disney Cruise line Castaway Club, then sail Disney at least one time.

Things to do on Disney Castaway Cay


23. Enjoy a drink from one of the four beach bars on this Disney private island. The alcohol drinking age on Castaway Cay is 21 years and older. 

24. Go parasailing

25. Take a banana boat ride

26. Rent an Aqua Trike

27. Play beach volleyball

28. Rent a bike and ride around Castaway Cay Disney

29. Spend a little adult time at Serenity Bay. This is an adult-only beach and entertainment section on the island. 

beach volleyball- Disney’s Castaway Cay

30-. Go jet skiing

31. Do a little yoga on the beach

32. Go swimming

31. Go snorkeling

32. Relax in a cabana

33. Run, or walk, the Castaway Cay 5K

34. Participate in the Disney character meet and greets that are near where you are located throughout the day.  

35. Go on an excursion

36. Take a glass-bottom boat ride

37. Rent a float

38. Go tubing with kids

39. Eat good food

40. Make a splash at the Spring-A-Leak splash pad near the Family Beach

Tips on Visiting Castaway Cay

41. Keep your stateroom key close by.  If you lose this key, you will not be able to board the cruise ship to leave.  

42. Utilize the free strollers and wagons on the island, because they were designed to move through the sand with ease. 

43. Take time to watch the live entertainment or play a few games.

44. Take advantage of the free non-alcoholic drinks.  All the bars offer juice and soda for free, while coolers full of cold water are scattered around Castaway Cay.  

45. Use your stateroom key to make purchases and leave your cash and credit cards locked in the safe on the ship.  

46. Book an excursion for your time at Castaway Cay.  There are plenty of Castaway Cay excursion options to choose from and they will only enhance your experience.  

food- Disney’s Castaway Cay

47. Reserve a Castaway Cay cabana rental well in advance or you won’t find yourself in one during your time on Castaway Cay. 

48. Eat on Castaway Cay.  So many people waste precious time eating on the ship, when there are a ton of food options available on Disney’s private island.  The food is free on Castaway Cay too,             so don’t worry about anything adding up and breaking your budget.  

49. Grab a towel as you leave your ship and then drop it off before you go back on board.

50. Claim your beach lounger as early in the day as possible or you may find yourself without one when you want to lie in the sun on the Castaway Cay beach. 

51. Purchase your Castaway Cay souvenirs before you board the cruise ship.  The Castaway Cay souvenirs are only available on Disney’s private island.  

52. Take advantage of the free childcare at Scuttle’s Cove if you want a few adult moments over at Serenity Bay or to go for a walk around the island.  

53. Make sure you take some time to relax and enjoy the beauty around you.  Your cruise is going to be filled with busy days, so indulge in a little downtime when you are visiting paradise.  

54. Take the tram from the ship to the beach to save a little time.  However, you may want to start walking if you arrive with lots of people and the tram fills up, because you can be almost to the             beach by the time the tram returns to pick you up.  

What to Bring to Castaway Cay

55. Water bottle to refill from those water coolers!

56. Sunscreen

57. Camera and video camera that are waterproof for all those water activities you are going to be doing. 

58. Wide brimmed beach hat to keep the heat of the day from scorching your head.  

packing list- Disney’s Castaway Cay

59. Stateroom key and passport–Both these items will allow you to board the ship at the end of the day and you can use your stateroom key for any souvenir or alcohol purchases you make.  

60. Sunglasses

61. Beach bag- You may think that you don’t need a beach bag for your time on Disney’s Castaway Cay, but I can tell you that you will be happy you brought one at the end of the day.  This is the perfect place to store those items you are no longer using and keep things from getting lost as you move around this private island.  

62. A backpack with a lock can be helpful if you take anything of value with you to Castaway Cay, because there are no lockers on the island.  

63. Bring your positive self and determination to have a blast and enjoy!

These sixty-three things will have you navigating Disney Cruise Castaway Cay, or Disney’s private island, like a pro!  There is so much you can do before you arrive at this Disney private island and taking the time to do all that will have you experiencing more than you thought possible during your stay.  We recommend planning your day out carefully, so you can pack as much excitement in as possible.  While you may be tempted to leave Castaway Cay early, to enjoy an almost empty cruise ship, we recommend you stay as long as you can to enjoy a private paradise you won’t see again until your next Disney cruise! No matter what you choose, you can be sure that Castaway Cay Disney has something perfect for your family. Just remember that on this island, the early bird gets the worm so start your day early. And with all the great attractions this beautiful island resort has, we’re sure it can turn anyone into a morning person.


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