Castaway Cay – Disney’s Private Island

A Guide to Disney Cruise Line’s Tropical Paradise

Castaway Cay – Disney’s private island – is one of the most popular destinations on Disney Cruise Line itineraries. There are pristine beaches, delicious meals, refreshing cocktails, and a wide range of relaxing and exciting activities for guests to enjoy on land and at sea. With this introductory guide to Castaway Cay – Disney’s private island, you’ll be ready to enjoy this magical tropical paradise to the fullest!

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What is Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island?

Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, is a popular port of call for Disney’s Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Set upon the stunning sands of Gorda Cay, the 1,000-acre shipwreck-themed island is exclusive to Disney Cruise Line guests and crew members.

Disney Cruise ships dock right on the island, so guests can easily go between the vessel and the shore. After disembarking, visitors can explore the island’s many attractions and enjoy complimentary food and beverages at various restaurants.

Castaway Cay’s main beach, Family Beach, offers many activities, such as a 2,400-square-foot floating water play area with slides called Pelican Plunge and the Spring-a-Leak splash pad for kids.

DCL Castaway Cay Pelican Plunge

Pelican Plunge at Castaway Cay, the Disney Cruise Line private island

Those looking for relaxation will love Serenity Bay – an adults-only area with gentle surf and swaying palm trees. A beachfront restaurant and bar offer a laid-back atmosphere.

Many activities await active adventurers, including snorkeling, parasailing, renting bicycles, fishing, boating, and feeding the stingrays. If you’d prefer to relax, guests can hit the beach or book a cabana for a day of luxury.

While trams offer safe transportation around Castaway Cay, many guests prefer to walk around the island and enjoy its natural beauty.

There are endless activities and breathtaking scenery on Castaway Cay, leaving visitors with countless memories to cherish.

Have a question? Ready to book a Castaway Cay cruise?

Planning a getaway to Castaway Cay can be confusing, but the Disney travel agents at The Vacationeer are here to help. They provide customized assistance from start to finish, ensuring you get exactly the cruise you want in the most cost-effective way possible.

They offer Castaway Cay tips, advice on choosing the best stateroom for your family, and free Disney onboard credit as a booking bonus. Best of all, their services are completely free!

Whether it’s a last-minute Disney cruise or a trip over a year away, let The Vacationeer make your dream cruise a reality. Contact The Vacationeer for an instant free quote and start planning your trip to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island.

Where is Castaway Cay located?

Disney Cruise Line’s exclusive port of Castaway Cay lies in The Bahamas, West Indies, in the Atlantic Ocean. This 1,000-acre cay is situated off the coast of Great Abaco Island and was previously known as Gorda Cay. Much of the island remains undeveloped, with only 55 of its 1,000 acres in use today. Disney’s Port of Miami terminal is 165 miles away, and Disney’s Port Canaveral terminal is 248 miles away. The island is about 160 miles due east of Fort Lauderdale, FL / Port Everglades.

A Google Maps image showing the location of Castaway Cay

What activities are available on Castaway Cay?

There are many activities and attractions on Disney’s private island of Castaway Cay, some of which are free, and some require an additional fee.

Free Activities on Castaway Cay

The price of a Disney cruise includes most things on Castaway Cay, including access to its beaches.

Located right next to the ship, Family Beach is the largest and most active beach on Castaway Cay. It offers stunning crystal blue water and complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas, and hammocks.

Serenity Bay Beach, located in another part of the island, has a beautiful beach, a Jimmy Buffet-style bar, and a delicious barbeque joint. The area is only for adults 18 years of age and older.

The Spring-A-Leak water playground offers plenty of jets for families seeking cooling relief from the Caribbean sun.

Pelican Plunge gives even more opportunity for aquatic adventure with its floating platform featuring water slides and cannons!

If you’re feeling energetic, try the Castaway Cay 5k challenge, where you can run or walk the island’s 5k course at your own pace.

A large metal buoy, painted to resemble Goofy, near a sign reading Mount Rustmore

The “In Da Shade Game Pavilion” has basketball courts, foosball, and ping pong tables that are perfect for some family-friendly competitions.

The Teen Hideout is a sanctuary for teenagers ages 14-17 to have a private space away from their parents.

For younger children (those who are eligible for the Oceaneer Club onboard the ship), there is Scuttles Cove,  providing a range of crew-supervised activities such as crafts and interactive games. It functions like the kids clubs onboard the ship, so drop the kids off and head for the adult beach!

There’s usually a live band playing in the pavilion. Take a seat under an umbrella and enjoy the show.

Don’t forget to look out for Disney characters along the way. You can even join Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto for a dance party near Cookies BBQ.

Activities at Castaway Cay that Cost Extra

Guests can enjoy Castaway Cay even more by adding an extra fee activity to your itinerary, such as renting bicycles or reserving a cabana. You can also rent kayaks, paddleboards, water floats, and water trikes on-site to explore the pristine waters surrounding this tropical paradise.

Aqua trikes on the beach awaiting rental

Parasailing and snorkeling are also available on-site for adventure seekers.

There are several options for deep-sea fishing experiences off Castaway Cay. Guests can also enjoy once-in-a-lifetime activities such as feeding and petting stingrays at Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure, glass-bottom boat excursions, or banana boat rides. There is an extra charge for these activities, but they are well worth it!

You can also take advantage of the Senses Spa, which offers individual and couples massages from Disney cruise ships.

Below are some Castaway Cay activities that charge a fee:

  • Bike rentals start at $13.
  • Renting a float or tube starts at $13 per person.
  • The cost of renting a stand-up paddle board starts at $19 (guests must be 14+).
  • Aqua trike rentals start at $28.
  • Snorkel Lagoon charges $34 for adults and $18 for children for snorkeling equipment rentals.
  • Banana boat rides are $40 for guests eight and up.
  • The Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure is $56 ( $45 for children ages 5-9).
  • Prices start at $399 for cabana rentals.

An exterior image of Flippers Floats on Disney's Private island Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay’s fee-based activities, excursions, and cabanas are in high demand, so book as soon as you’re able.

Don’t wait until the last minute to make your reservations — Contact The Vacationeer now!

What kind of food can you find on Castaway Cay?

The dining experience is integral to any cruise, and it’s no different at Castaway Cay.

For those looking to maximize their Castaway Cay experience, Disney Cruise Line offers three convenient barbecue locations around the island. Cookies BBQ is best for Family Beach visitors, located near the shoreline, while you can find Cookies Too BBQ further along towards the tail end of the beach. For adults seeking a more relaxed and quiet atmosphere, Serenity Bay BBQ is the perfect option.

Everyone will enjoy all options: BBQ chicken, ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, fish, potato salad, couscous tabbouleh, corn on the cob, cheese bread, fruit, and soft serve ice cream. There is a similar menu at all three restaurants, although Serenity Bay BBQ sometimes offers upgraded items.

There is also the option of returning to the cruise ship and eating lunch in the regular dining rooms. While some people prefer this because the menu is more diverse, we recommend eating on Castaway Cay. Disney’s private island is an excellent place to dine; the atmosphere is fun, and the food is delicious!

Note: The cost of a Disney cruise includes meals aboard the ship as well as on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, so there’s no need to whip out your wallet. Additionally, breakfast is unavailable on Castaway Cay, so eat before leaving the ship!

Are there any bars on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island?

There are four bars on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, where guests can enjoy delicious cocktails, frozen drinks, and cold beers. They include the Heads Up Bar near Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure, Sand Bar near Castaway Family Beach, Conched Out Bar near the Gazebo, and Castaway Air Bar at Serenity Bay for a relaxing tropical experience.

You can choose from various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to suit your taste.

Favorites include the exotic Konk Kooler, a pina colada made with light and dark rum with coconut cream, and the Pelican Mule, a more potent version of the Moscow Mule featuring fresh fruit, pineapple vodka, and ginger beer. You can also order Castaway Crush, a non-alcoholic option served in a festive sipper resembling Olaf and Sven from Frozen.

It’s worth mentioning that alcoholic drinks, specialty non-alcoholic drinks, and bottled beverages are an extra charge. Free water and soda stations are available all over the island if you prefer these options or want a cheaper alternative.

Which Disney cruises go to Castaway Cay?

Those looking to cruise to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, have plenty of options.

Disney Cruise Line offers dozens of three-night to seven-night Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean, and Western Caribbean Disney cruises from Port Canaveral and Miami. Castaway Cay is also accessible from Disney’s Fort Lauderdale and San Juan cruise ports.

Castaway Cay is not currently included in Disney cruises from Galveston, New York, and New Orleans.

Which Disney cruise ships go to Castaway Cay?

With the new Disney Wish cruise ship, Disney Cruise Line now offers passengers another cruise ship with exciting Caribbean and Castaway Cay itineraries. Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, and Disney Wish cruise ships all sail to Castaway Cay on Disney cruises from Florida. Disney Wonder is the only Disney cruise ship in the fleet that does not currently stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island.

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How long do you stay on Castaway Cay?

Castaway Cay guests usually spend 6 to 7 hours on the island during the day. They typically arrive around 8:30 to 9 AM and must board around 3:30 to 4 PM. This schedule could be affected by bad weather.

Which side of the ship faces Castaway Cay?

Disney Cruise ships usually dock with the stern (back) of the ship facing against the island. Because of how the pier is positioned, this means that rooms on the starboard (right) side of the ship are most likely to have a view of Castaway Cay.

DCL Castaway Cay From Ship

Castaway Cay is seen from the deck of a Disney Cruise Ship

Note this is how the ship usually docks, but it is not always the case — the ship may dock differently if needed — but a starboard stateroom is usually your best bet for having an island view.

Can you stay on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay?

There are no hotels on Castaway Cay, so Disney Cruise Line guests cannot stay overnight. Instead, they sleep in their staterooms during the night and explore the island during the day.

A total of 140 Disney employees (what Disney refers to as its Cast Members) live in the backstage areas, which are not visible or accessible to guests. All overnight stays on the island are restricted to island employees who maintain its beauty and functionality. The majority of them are year-round residents of Castaway Cay.

Can you go to Castaway Cay without a cruise?

There is often a question about if Disney Cruise Line guests can vacation on Castaway Cay without taking a Disney cruise. The answer is no – Castaway Cay is reserved only for Disney Cruise Line guests that arrive via a Disney cruise.

The island is too small to accommodate more than one Disney cruise ship, so only one ship may dock at a time. As a result, Disney Cruise Line passengers can enjoy the lush landscape and turquoise waters of the island without worrying about overcrowding.

What’s the weather like at Disney’s Castaway Cay?

Located in the warm Bahamas and surrounded by a picturesque turquoise ocean, Castaway Cay is Disney’s own private island where guests can enjoy paradise. The island experiences pleasant temperatures all year round, ranging from lows of 66°F to highs of 90°F during the hottest months of July and August.

Average temperatures range from the mid to high 70s during winter months to the middle to high 80s in the summertime. Tropical storms, hurricanes, and rainfall are more frequent during the late summer and early fall periods, while ocean temperatures remain relatively constant year-round. On the breezy coasts, trade winds bring a welcome refreshment from the heat during mid-afternoon.

With its enchanting atmosphere and fantastic weather conditions, Disney’s Castaway Cay makes for an ideal Disney cruise port of call.

Are there bathrooms on Castaway Cay?

Disney’s private island has several bathrooms, which are easily accessible to guests. The island’s bathrooms are clean and pleasant, with modern fixtures that make it easy to freshen up after swimming or lounging on the beach. There are also a few outdoor showers around Castaway Cay so visitors can rinse off before returning to their ship.

Does Castaway Cay accept cash?

Disney’s goal is to make things as convenient for guests as possible on Castaway Cay. Since Disney Cruise Line operates the entire island, almost everything is already included in your cruise price. You’ll need to use your Key to the World Card (linked to your stateroom account) if you wish to pay for premium beverages, souvenirs, or excursions. You will only need cash if you mail a letter from the Castaway Cay post office.

How to get around Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island

The island of Castaway Cay offers a variety of transportation options for guests. When disembarking from the ship, passengers can take a complimentary tram to either the Castaway Family Beach or Serenity Bay Beach – an adult-only beach area on the far side of the island.

DCL Castaway Cay Courtesy Tram

A courtesy tram transports cruisers around Disney’s Castaway Cay

Additionally, visitors can stroll along the many walking trails lined with Disney features (instead of taking the tram) or rent bicycles to navigate the island.

The island also offers kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals for exploring the lagoon or snorkeling around the reefs. Additionally, fishing and boating excursions are available around the waters of Castaway Cay for an extra fee.

How much do cabana rentals cost on Castaway Cay?

Prices are seasonal, but they are as follows for March thru September 2023:

  • Family Beach Cabana: A Family Beach Cabana costs $599 for six guests, with a maximum of 10 people.
  • Grand Family Beach Cabana: A Grand Family Beach Cabana costs $949 for ten guests, with a maximum of 16 people.
  • Serenity Bay Beach Cabana: A Serenity Beach Cabana costs $399 for four guests, with a maximum of 10 people.

Adding additional guests to a cabana is $50 per guest above the base price. For example, if you want to include eight guests in a Family Beach Cabana, it will cost an extra $100 (6 guests at $599 + plus two additional guests at $50 each = $699 total).

It’s no secret that Castaway Cay cabanas sell out quickly. If you plan to reserve one, make sure you reserve early! The price is subject to change, and Concierge guests and Castaway Club members receive the first chance to book.

To guarantee your spot, book early and consult with a Disney travel agent for the best results.

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Are Castaway Cay cabanas worth it?

Spending the day in a cabana on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island is one of the most extravagant ways to experience Disney’s brand of magic. Despite the high price tag for renting the cabanas, the included amenities and impeccable service make it worth the price. Private beachfront space and access to exclusive amenities offer an unforgettable way to enjoy time spent on Disney’s private island. From lounging in paradise to playing family-friendly games, a day in a cabana can make a lasting impression.

Is Castaway Cay a private island?

Disney’s Castaway Cay (/ˈkiː/), formerly Gorda Cay, is a private island near Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas. Disney owns the island and serves as an exclusive port for Disney Cruise Line ships.

What Is the history of Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island?

The island was first settled in 1783 and was originally known as Gorda Cay. Bootleggers once used the airstrip on Gorda (now Castaway Cay Airport) as a stopping point in the 1930s. During 1978-1983, Frank Barber seized the island and used its airstrip for smuggling drugs into the United States. Those days are long gone!

A rusty airplane bearing an image of Donald Duck sits partially buried in thick foliage

In 1997, Disney Cruise Line acquired a 99-year lease from the Bahamian government for Gorda Cay and renamed it Castaway Cay. Their goal was to make Castaway Cay a private island for Disney Cruise Line passengers and crew.

Disney invested roughly $25 million into 18 months of construction. The project involved transporting 50,000 truckloads of sand from the Atlantic Ocean to make alterations to the pier and its surrounding 1,700-foot channel. The improvements allowed Disney ships to dock directly on the island, eliminating the need to tender passengers ashore.

In 2015, Disney started holding a 5K race on Castaway Cay as part of their Walt Disney World Marathon series.

Several movies were filmed on Gorda Cay, including Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Splash, where Tom Hanks first meets Daryl Hannah’s character on the beach.

Today, Castaway Cay remains one of Disney’s most popular destinations, explaining why so many people travel to the Bahamas on Disney Cruise Line.

Do people live on Disney’s Castaway Cay?

Approximately 140 Disney Cast Members live on the island year-round. The people you encounter on Castaway Cay include landscapers, custodians, customer service representatives, and others who keep it running smoothly. There is also an official Bahamian post office on the island with postal workers.

How much does it cost to go to Castaway Cay?

Castaway Cay does not have a set price. The price you pay will depend on your particular cruise package. For example, cruises departing from the United States may include Castaway Cay as the destination or as an additional stop. In other words, a Disney cruise package already includes Castaway Cay as part of the price.

Regardless of the specific route taken, many factors influence the overall cost of a Disney cruise, such as duration, the type of stateroom you select, and the time of year you go.

Additionally, those who book their cruise through Disney travel agents may be eligible for discounts, special offers, and Disney onboard credit that can significantly reduce the overall cost associated with Castaway Cay.

Planning ahead and researching different Castaway Cay packages will help travelers experience an enjoyable and cost-effective vacation.

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Is food free on Castaway Cay?

Almost everything is included in a Disney cruise, including meals. Since Castaway Cay is part of the Disney cruise itinerary, meals on Castaway Cay are free.

Several dining spots on the island serve food. Cookies BBQ and Cookies Too BBQ serve lunch along Family Beach. Over at Serenity Bay, Serenity Bay BBQ offers a similar menu for adults.

All three locations serve BBQ ribs, chicken, fish, hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, corn on the cob, salads, and soft-serve ice cream for lunch.

Are drinks free on Castaway Cay?

Castaway Cay has four bars and numerous soda stations scattered throughout the island. Guests can enjoy complimentary water and sodas. Alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic specialty drinks, and bottled beverages will cost extra.

How much does it cost to get married at Castaway Cay?

Disney’s Castaway Cay is the perfect place to celebrate your special day and make it a magical Disney experience.

The Disney private island offers unique locations for weddings, vow renewals, and commitment ceremonies with a base price of $4,500 for 16 guests. With additional guests costing just $20 per person (age three and older), Disney Castaway Cay is definitely worth considering for the couple looking for an exquisite Disney experience.

Disney Cruise Castaway Cay Wedding

A beautiful backdrop for your wedding at Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay

Disney offers several picturesque locations on the island for your ceremony. That being said, it is important to remember that all ceremony locations are based on availability and are subject to change, with Disney Cruise Line confirming times and locations approximately 45 days before the sailing date.

Whenever possible, you should plan far in advance and use the services of a Disney travel agent. They can quote different prices for your Disney wedding and handle all the reservations and logistics.

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How do you spend the day on Castaway Cay?

Visiting Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, is an unforgettable and magical experience. Castaway Cay has something to offer everyone, from family-friendly activities to adult-only seclusion.

A few highlights of the island include the Family Beach for sunbathing and swimming, Serenity Beach for adults-only relaxation, Pelican Plunge with slides, the “In Da Shade Game Pavilion” for games and sports, the Scuttles Cove for children up to 12 years old, and the Spring-A-Leak water playground.

Among the activities, Disney offers rentals for bikes, aqua trikes, kayaks, paddleboards, floats, snorkeling gear, banana boats, and cabanas along the beach.

Additionally, Castaway Cay offers exciting fishing excursions, parasailing lessons, stingray encounters, and Disney character encounters. Disney Cruise Line offers limited availability of fee-based activities and excursions, so reserve them in advance.

No matter what you do, Disney’s private island of Castaway Cay is sure to make your day exciting, magical, and filled with lasting memories!

What is Castaway Cay known for?

Castaway Cay is a popular private island of Disney Cruise Line, renowned for its combination of stunning white sand beaches and expertly cultivated Disney magic. Guests can disembark directly onto the beach to enjoy exciting activities, superb service, and numerous amenities. Not to mention the tropical paradise landscape you can only find on the secluded islands of The Bahamas. All in all, there’s nothing quite like Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island!

Are there Pools on Castaway Cay?

Castaway Cay is known for its beaches and water sports, but there is no pool on the island. Among the other activities on the island are land and water equipment rentals, water slides, water jets, volleyball, basketball, and soccer.

Is Disney Castaway Cay worth it?

From its pristine beaches to its endless activities and delicious food, Disney’s Castaway Cay takes the Disney cruise experience to a whole new level.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience or an exciting aquatic adventure, Disney’s private island has something for everyone. Additionally, Disney Cast Members will make sure everyone has a great time!

The beautiful weather and paradise-like atmosphere make Disney Castaway Cay a top destination for Disney lovers or anyone who wants to visit paradise! There is no doubt that Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, is worth a visit!

Are You Ready to Book Your Disney Cruise to Castaway Cay?

Booking a Disney Cruise to Castaway Cay is easy with The Vacationeer, an Earmarked Diamond-level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Their extensive experience with Disney Destinations allows them to find the best Disney cruise itineraries for families and couples.

Your dedicated Vacationeer will assist you with all of your requests, whether it’s finding the cheapest month to cruise, renting a cabana, booking an excursion, explaining Disney cruise tipping policies, or sharing tips on saving money on your Disney cruise. They aim to help you find a cruise that will fulfill your vacation dreams.

Additionally, you’ll deal with the same travel planner from beginning to end, so you won’t need to speak with different people every time you call. It eliminates the stress and hassle of planning and booking a Disney cruise yourself. A vacation planner is truly the best way to go if you’re cruising with Disney for the first time.

Contact The Vacationeer for a free quote right away. Their services are completely free, so there’s nothing to lose!