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Disney Castaway Cay Activities: The Ultimate Guide to Private Beaches and Events

Disney Castaway Cay Activities: The Ultimate Guide to Private Beaches and Events

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Are you heading on a Disney Cruise that stops by Disney’s private island in the Bahamas? If so, you won’t want to miss this guide to Castaway Cay! Scroll for all the info!
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One of the coolest shore excursions my family has done on a cruise is to Disney’s private island: Castaway Cay. We seriously couldn’t handle seeing our favorite Disney characters dressed up for a day at the beach!

If you have a Caribbean or Bahamas cruise on the Disney Cruise Line, there is a good chance you’ll dock at least once at this private island paradise run entirely by Disney.

While you are there there is an array of beaches and activities to discover. Whether you like to lay on the beach or prefer more adventure, there is never a dull moment.

This guide on the best Castaway Cay activities will help you break down what the island provides and what there is to do during the most anticipated port day on most Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy Cruises.

What to Bring to Castaway Cay

When you come off the ship, you won’t have to bring very much with you. Make sure you have comfortable clothes and swimwear.

Remember your sunscreen too. Because it’s so bright, a sun hat is a good idea. Towels are provided at the beach.

Castaway Cay Activities: a Complete Guide to Beaches and Events featured by top US Disney blogger, Marcie and the Mouse: Remember to bring a sun hat when visiting Castaway Cay on a Disney Cruise
Don’t forget your sun hat! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

You don’t need cash for souvenirs or food. You can buy items with your Key to the World card and the food is free.

There is plenty of all-you-care-to-enjoy barbecue on the island for no additional fee.

If you need strollers or wheelchairs, don’t worry about those either. you’ll find complimentary strollers and wagons for kids. Special wheelchairs with blimpy tires designed for the beach are also available.

Everything is designed to be as stress-free as possible, so all you have to worry about is how you choose to enjoy yourself during your time there.

That’s why I’ve put together this brief Castaway Cay guide, to show you what the island is like and what activities they have there.

The Layout of Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay is a private island where most of the area you’ll experience is a harbor with an enclosed lagoon segmented into separate beaches.

Castaway Cay Activities: a Complete Guide to Beaches and Events featured by top US Disney blogger, Marcie and the Mouse: Castaway Cay is Disney's private island paradise in the tropical waters of the Bahamas, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests. In a setting of crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white-sand beaches and lush landscapes, the 1,000-acre island offers one-of-a-kind areas and activities for every member of the family. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island paradise in the tropical waters of the Bahamas, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests. Photo credit: Matt Stroshane

One of the first things you can do is stop at the post office if you want to send anything out with a Castaway Cay postmark. There’s also a fun photo opportunity with characters before you stray too far.

There are two sides of the island adjacent to each other. The furthest side is accessible by bike or by tram. There you’ll find Serenity Bay (an adult-only area) and the Massage Cabanas.

Between the two beaches is a looping trail that leads to an observation tower for a sweeping view of the island.

Out in the water, there are lots to explore. Buoys on the water indicate sunken relics left for you to find, like a rusting old submarine from the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction that used to operate in Walt Disney World.

Castaway Cay Trams

When you arrive at Castaway Cay, you’ll have the option to walk through the little town and head to the beaches, restaurants, shops, and activities. Or you can hop on their tram.

The tram station is located at the end of the dock and it stops at the various beaches of Castaway Cay. The furthest out is Serenity Bay (adults-only.)

The trams are a very convenient way to get across the island, but if you prefer, you can also rent bikes.

Castaway Cay Activities

Castaway Cay is an amazing place to spend the day doing activities If you plan to spend the day doing more than relaxing on the beach.

Make sure you reserve your adventures ahead of time and be aware that any of these are subject to cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances.

When we were there in February, most of the activities were canceled due to the weather.

Castaway Cay Activities: a Complete Guide to Beaches and Events featured by top US Disney blogger, Marcie and the Mouse: At Disney’s private island paradise, Castaway Cay, guests have the exciting opportunity to swim and interact with Southern Stingrays in a private lagoon. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
At Disney’s private island paradise, Castaway Cay, guests have the exciting opportunity to swim and interact with Southern Stingrays in a private lagoon. Photo credit: Matt Stroshane

While visiting Castaway Cay, you can fish, snorkel, take a glass-bottom tour, jet ski, kayak, and paddleboat. If that’s not enough, there are plenty of games and sports to play on a designated beach.

If you prefer a more relaxing time, you can simply lounge in a hammock, or get a massage on Serenity Bay, a slice of paradise only for adults.

Castaway Cay Activities: a Complete Guide to Beaches and Events featured by top US Disney blogger, Marcie and the Mouse: Guests slide and splash on Pelican Plunge, an exciting water play area located within swimming distance from the shore at Castaway Cay. The 2,400-square-foot floating platform has two water slides—an enclosed corkscrew slide and a 140-foot-long open slide—that take guests on a twisting ride, ending with a splash into the lagoon. A giant "bucket dump" and water cannons soak guests on the platform. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
Guests slide and splash on Pelican Plunge, an exciting water play area located within swimming distance from the shore at Castaway Cay. Photo credit: Matt Stroshane

For kids, there’s Pelican Plunge, duel waterslides on a floating barge.

Be sure to take a look at all the scheduled activities on your Navigator app, as some are only offered at specific times.

Castaway Cay Kids Clubs

What’s extra awesome about Castaway Cay is that Disney brings the Kids Club experience to the island. This is a great option for parents who want to take advantage of the adults-only Serenity Bay.

Castaway Cay Activities: a Complete Guide to Beaches and Events featured by top US Disney blogger, Marcie and the Mouse: Scuttle's Cove kids club regstration at Castaway Cay
Scuttle’s Cove registration area. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Scuttle’s Cove

There is an opportunity for kids up to age 12 to have supervised fun on their own beach at Castaway Cay. As with the clubs onboard, Scuttle’s Cove allows free play in addition to optional programmed activities.

Some of the things kids can do are dig at Monstro Point, an excavation site, and play games in the sand. From soccer to building sandcastles there is no lack of opportunities for fun at this kids-only club.

Teen Hideout

Teens on Castaway Cay can reserve a spot on the Wildside Teen Adventure which is loaded with activities and a great opportunity for bonding with peers in a counselor-guided experience.

At the Teen Hideout, an exclusive beach for kids 14-17, they’ll have the opportunity to play games or chill out.

Castaway Cay Beaches

Castaway Cay is divided into several different beaches.

  • The long strip of private beach closest to the dock is segmented for families, sports, boats, and teens.
  • Scuttle’s Cove is a sandy section away from the shore just for kids.
  • Near the sports beach, there is a game pavilion for less athletic diversions.
  • The fifth beach is an isolated one just for adults called Serenity Bay.
Castaway Cay Activities: a Complete Guide to Beaches and Events featured by top US Disney blogger, Marcie and the Mouse: Boy holding up a shell at a Castaway Cay beach
Finding shells at Castaway Cay. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Private cabanas are available at both the Family Beach and Serenity Bay. Trams are available to take you to your beach, where you can enjoy your own style of paradise.

Shops at Castaway Cay

There are shops on Castaway Cay where you can pick up exclusive merchandise such as shirts, pins and beach accessories. It’s a small shopping area, so you probably won’t spend more than 5-10 minutes perusing the goods.

There are also rental shops for beach equipment and gear.

You don’t need to bring anything with you other than your ID and your Key to the World card to charge to your room.

Disney Characters at Castaway Cay

If you like characters, there are SO many opportunities to meet them throughout your day at Castaway Cay.

Castaway Cay Activities: a Complete Guide to Beaches and Events featured by top US Disney blogger, Marcie and the Mouse: Mickey and Minnie greet each other during a Castaway Cay character photo spot swap
Mickey and Minnie greet each other at Castaway Cay. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The Disney characters from the ship hop off wearing their special Castaway Cay outfits. There are photo spots set up along the way from the ship to Castaway Cay.

While you are there, there are designated meet and greets throughout the day, character dance parties, and more.

Mickey even surprised us while we were digging for whale bones!

Food Options on Castaway Cay

The buffet lunch on Castaway Cay is free and irresistible. You will smell the barbecue on the beach and it will make your mouth water.

At Cookies and Cookies Too, they have all-you-care-to-enjoy hot dogs, burgers, ribeye, and cajun Mahi Mahi. You’ll also be able to load up on side dishes, chips, and cookies.

There is also a bar in the middle of the Family Beach area for frozen drinks and cocktails.

Of course, you’ll also be able to enjoy soft-serve ice cream cones, just like on the ship!

Castaway Cay 5K Fun Run

Castaway Cay offers a unique port experience in its come-one-come-all 5K run. You can sign up for the event on embarkation day at Guest Services.

Castaway Cay Activities: a Complete Guide to Beaches and Events featured by top US Disney blogger, Marcie and the Mouse: On Castaway Cay, families can run, jog or walk in the Castaway Cay 5K, a great way to explore the island and take in the lush tropical landscape while staying fit. Each finisher gets to take away a special participant’s medal. (Disney)
On Castaway Cay, families can run, jog or walk in the Castaway Cay 5K, a great way to explore the island and take in the lush tropical landscape while staying fit. Photo credit: Disney

The night before you arrive at Castaway Cay, you’ll receive tickets and instructions for the race along with a meeting place and time.

Escorts will take you to the starting line prior to the start of this non-competitive event. At the end of the race, every participant receives a commemorative medal, and other 5K merchandise is available for purchase.

How do you spend the day at Castaway Cay?

There are many ways to spend a day at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. Here’s a sample itinerary that can help you make the most of your time:

Arrive on the island and pick up beach towels and snorkeling gear if desired. You can also drop off your kids at Scuttle’s Cove, the island’s supervised children’s program.

Head to one of the island’s beaches, such as the family-friendly Castaway Family Beach or the adults-only Serenity Bay Beach. Grab beach chairs, umbrella, and beachside cabana if desired.

Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea and try out some water activities like snorkeling, paddleboarding, or kayaking.

Grab lunch at one of the island’s quick-service dining locations, such as Cookies BBQ or Cookie’s Too BBQ. You can also enjoy a frozen drink or cocktail from one of the island’s beach bars.

After lunch, participate in some of the island’s organized activities, such as a bike ride around the island or a volleyball game on the beach.

Take a break from the sun and head to the island’s shopping area, where you can pick up souvenirs or relax in a hammock.

Return to the family beach for more relaxation, swimming, and sunbathing.

As the day winds down, head back to the ship to freshen up and get ready for the evening’s onboard activities, such as dinner at one of the ship’s restaurants, a Broadway-style show, or a movie under the stars.

Of course, there are many other activities and experiences you can enjoy on Castaway Cay, depending on your interests and preferences. It’s always a good idea to check with Disney Cruise Line or your travel agent for a full list of available activities and amenities.

Castaway Cay Activity FAQs

Is Castaway Cay exclusive to Disney Cruise Line guests?

Yes, Castaway Cay is exclusive to guests of Disney Cruise Line. The island is privately owned and operated by Disney, and only Disney Cruise Line ships are able to visit and dock at the island.

This exclusivity means that guests can enjoy a unique and immersive experience that is tailored specifically to Disney’s standards of quality and entertainment.

During a Disney Cruise Line sailing, Castaway Cay is typically included as one of the ports of call on the itinerary. Guests can disembark from the ship and spend the day on the island, enjoying its many amenities and attractions.

While Castaway Cay is only accessible to Disney Cruise Line guests, it is one of the most popular ports of call in the Caribbean, thanks to its pristine private beaches, crystal-clear waters, and wide range of activities and experiences for guests of all ages.

What is the weather like on Castaway Cay?

Castaway Cay is located in the Bahamas and enjoys warm, tropical weather year-round. The island has a tropical maritime climate, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (mid-20s to mid-30s Celsius) throughout the year.

In the summer months, from May to September, temperatures can be quite hot and humid, with occasional thunderstorms and rain showers. During hurricane season, which typically runs from June to November, there is a higher chance of tropical storms and hurricanes in the region.

In the winter months, from December to April, temperatures are typically cooler and more comfortable, with lower humidity and fewer rain showers. This is a popular time for tourists to visit the island, as the weather is ideal for outdoor activities and relaxation on the beach.

Overall, the weather on Castaway Cay is generally warm and sunny, making it a great destination for a beach vacation. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your trip and to pack appropriate clothing and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.

Is everything on Castaway Cay free?

No, not everything on Castaway Cay is free. Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas that serves as a stop on some Disney Cruise Line itineraries.

While many amenities on the island, such as the beaches, lounge chairs, and character meet-and-greets, are included in the price of your cruise, there are some activities and services that come with an additional fee.

What costs extra at Castaway Cay?

While many amenities on Disney’s Castaway Cay island are included in the price of your Disney Cruise Line fare, there are several activities and services that come with an additional fee. These may include:

  • Water sports equipment rentals such as snorkeling gear, paddleboards, and kayaks.
  • Guided tours such as fishing excursions, bike tours, and nature walks.
  • Private cabanas and beachside massages at Serenity Bay.
  • Alcoholic beverages and specialty items like smoothies and ice cream.
  • Souvenirs, such as clothing, hats, and Castaway Cay-themed merchandise.

It’s important to note that the cost of activities and services at Castaway Cay can vary depending on the time of year and availability, so it’s a good idea to check with Disney Cruise Line or your travel agent for the most up-to-date information.

Is there a waterpark on Castaway Cay?

No, there is no waterpark on Castaway Cay. However, the island offers a variety of water activities and attractions, including swimming, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, and more.

The island features a family-friendly beach called Castaway Family Beach, which offers a variety of water activities such as water trampolines, paddleboats, and snorkeling.

Castaway Cay Excursion Wrap Up

I hope you can see why this is one of our favorite port adventures! Disney cruises has amazing customer service and that definitely extends to their private island in the Bahamas.

You’ll get to see your favorite Disney characters, enjoy a buffet lunch, play in the turquoise water, and explore this beautiful island! It’s fun for the whole family!

Looking for more Disney Cruise content? Check out Disney Cruise pin trading, must-have Disney Cruise experiences, what NOT to do on a Disney Cruise, and how to save money on a Disney Cruise.

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