Step off your Disney cruise ship and onto an island where the sun-kissed beaches beckon, crystal-clear waters tempt you, and adventure awaits around every corner. Welcome to Castaway Cay, a tropical paradise in the Bahamas that’s all about creating lasting memories for you and your family.
Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxing day on the beach, seeking thrilling adventures, or eager to savor delicious dining options, Castaway Cay has something special in store for everyone. In this guide, we’re going to delve into the heart of Castaway Cay, uncovering free activities, exciting excursions, and culinary delights.
Get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of this captivating island – where every moment is an opportunity to make cherished memories.
Castaway Cay Layout
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Covering a massive 1000 acres, Castaway Cay is a special place just for Disney Cruise Line guests. It’s stunning turquoise waters, soft sandy beaches, and lush tropical scenery everywhere you look!
When you set foot on the island, you’ll discover a perfect mix of Disney magic and the beauty of the Bahamas. To make your visit a breeze, let’s break down the island’s layout and highlight some key areas:
- The Post Office
After stepping off the cruise on Castaway Cay, one of the first things that catches your eye is the island’s own post office. It’s a charming little spot where you can send postcards and letters, and here’s the extra touch – they’ll stamp them with something special, making them unique souvenirs of your visit.
- Two sides of the island
Castaway Cay has two distinct sides, each with its own unique experiences. To get to the far side of the island, you can hop on a tram shuttle or pedal your way there on a bicycle. On this far side lies Serenity Bay, a special adults-only haven that even features Massage Cabanas.
- Looping Trail
A looping trail winds through the island’s interior between the two main beaches on Castaway Cay. This scenic trail offers glimpses of the isle’s lush vegetation and is ideal for wanderers and nature enthusiasts.
- Observation Tower
Take a leisurely walk along the meandering trail, and you’ll stumble upon an observation tower that gifts you a jaw-dropping, 360-degree view of Castaway Cay. It’s a front-row seat to soak in the island’s natural beauty and the breathtaking seascape that stretches out all around.
- Underwater Exploration
Beyond the sandy shores, Castaway Cay invites you to plunge into an underwater realm teeming with hidden treasures. Look out for buoys marking the spots where sunken relics and artifacts lay waiting to be uncovered.
One remarkable discovery is the rusting hulk of an old submarine, a nostalgic remnant from the iconic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction that once enchanted visitors at Walt Disney World.
Getting Around Castaway Cay
Before we dive into all the amazing stuff you can do on Castaway Cay, let’s talk about the different ways you can get around this tropical paradise:
- Walking: Castaway Cay is all about taking it easy. Most of the island’s attractions are a leisurely stroll away from the cruise ship dock. Picture yourself strolling along sandy paths, soaking in the beauty and Disney charm.
- Tram Service: If you’re in the mood for a quicker ride, jump on the tram. They zip around the island, making sure you make the most of your time.
- Bicycles: Want to add some adventure to your day? Rent some bicycles! You’ll spot rental spots near the pier. Biking is a great way to explore more while enjoying the natural beauty of Castaway Cay.
Things to Do on Castaway Cay
Free Things to Do on Castaway Cay
Get ready for a ton of activities that suit everyone, no matter your age or interests. Many of them won’t even cost you a dime!
From calm beaches to fun character meetups, this magical island is full of free adventures for everyone to have a blast:
All the beaches on the island are free to access. The two most popular ones are the Family Beach, close to the Cruise Line dock, and the adults-only Serenity Bay, tucked away at the far end of the island.
This floating water attraction near the Family Beach is a blast! It’s got two super fun water slides, a giant bucket that drenches you in joy, and water cannons for epic splash battles.
To ride the slides, you need to be at least 38 inches tall, but if your littles are not quite there, no worries – they’ve got life vests to keep all riders safe and soaked.
Just a heads-up: Pelican Plunge isn’t your regular pool; it’s like an ocean adventure. Get ready to swim out because there’s no tiptoeing in these deep blue waters.
And here’s a pro tip: This place gets busy, so if you want to ride the wildest waves at Pelican Plunge, be an early bird!
Character Meet and Greet plus Dance Party with Disney’s Finest:
It’s not unusual to spot your favorite Disney characters like Mickey, Pluto, or even Captain Jack Sparrow hanging out on the island and taking photos with fans. The beautiful setting and short lines make Castaway Cay perfect for meet-and-greets and snapping memorable pics.
Plus, there’s a DJ booth near Cookie’s BBQ that hosts a dance party with Disney royalty. It’s a blast for kids of all ages.
For all you Instagram-lovers out there, Castaway Cay is a treasure trove for your feed. Honestly, this place is a photographer’s dream.
Check out the “Castaway Cay Instawalk Adventure” map – it reveals hidden, picture-perfect spots that are just made for your Instagram and sure to become cherished memories.
Family-Friendly Things to Do on Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay has a bunch of fun activities that will keep kids of all ages entertained. There are interactive water playgrounds, beach scavenger hunts, and even cool hangout spots for teenagers. There’s something for everyone in the family, so let’s get right into it:
Right by the first tram stop on Castaway Cay, you’ll find Scuttle’s Cove – a fantastic place for kids to have a blast. They can build sandcastles, have epic water balloon fights, and just enjoy endless fun while grown-ups sneak off to Serenity Bay for some peace and quiet.
It’s like Disney’s kids’ club right here on the island, so your little ones will have a blast, and you can catch a break. Keep an eye out for surprise visits from beloved characters like Mickey Mouse and Goofy to make your island adventure truly magical!
Spring-A-Leak Water Playground:
Spring-A-Leak is where the youngest travelers can have a splash-tastic time. It’s a water play area filled with fountains, sprinklers, and all kinds of wet and wild surprises that’ll have your kiddos giggling with joy. Every step here is a new adventure just waiting to happen!
In Da Shade Game Pavilion:
If you need a break from the sun or want some family-friendly fun, head over to the In Da Shade Game Pavilion. They’ve got a special area for tweens, and you can even watch crab races happening around the island.
Whether you’re into ping pong, chess, checkers, shuffleboard, or basketball, you can play them all in the shade here. And if you’re up for a little friendly competition, they have a Free Throw challenge around noon that’s loads of fun and a great way to create some cool memories!
Teen Hideout Beach:
Teens looking for their own paradise on Castaway Cay should check out the Teen Hideout. This special spot, designed for 14 to 17-year-olds, has a private beach with comfy lounge chairs, stylish umbrellas, and cool athletic games.
It’s conveniently close to the Pelican Point Tram Stop, so teen adventurers can easily soak up the sun, groove to some tunes, and make new friends in style.
Beach Activities on Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay’s Family Beach is like the heart of all the beach fun on the island. It’s packed with things to do for beach lovers of every age.
Whether you want to take a refreshing dip in the ocean, pamper yourself with a soothing massage, or get active with some sports, there’s a little something here for everyone to enjoy.
Swimming and Sunbathing
Castaway Cay’s waters and pristine white sands are an open invitation to unwind. You can take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear Caribbean sea or simply lounge on the beach, soaking in the sun’s warmth from your comfy beach towel.
It’s the ultimate recipe for relaxation, with nature as your stunning backdrop.
P.S. Don’t forget your sunscreen for sun protection!
Beach Cabanas for a Touch of Luxury
If you’re craving a bit of luxury, think about splurging on a private beach cabana. These exclusive hideaways are your ticket to beachfront comfort, complete with plush loungers, a private deck, and top-notch personalized service.
You can find them at both the Family Beach and the Serenity Beach. They might be a bit of a splurge, but they’re totally worth it for a day of pure relaxation.
While the kids are having a blast at Scuttle’s Cove, treat yourself to a beachside massage in one of the private open-air cabanas. Disney Cruise Line’s Senses spa offers fantastic treatments, including massages right on Castaway Cay.
Whether you’re on your own or with a loved one, these tailored massages are pure bliss. To make sure you snag a spot, be sure to book your spa session on the ship early, as they tend to fill up quickly.
Water Activities on Castaway Cay
Dive into the waters around Castaway Cay for a splash of aquatic fun! Whether you’re up for a leisurely float or a thrilling jet ski tour, there’s a water activity for every family member:
Float in Bliss:
Lounge on a float or tube and gently drift on the mesmerizing turquoise waters of Castaway Cay. You can easily rent these comfy floats and tubes for a full day of aquatic relaxation.
Castaway Cay offers an adventure perfect for families with elementary-aged kids. At Boat Beach, you can rent two or four-person paddle boards for thirty-minute sessions.
It’s an ideal activity for exploring the serene Caribbean waters with your loved ones (kids should be at least five years old).
For those craving underwater excitement, Castaway Cay’s snorkeling experience is a top pick. Dive into the beauty of marine life with a touch of Disney magic. Explore remarkable fish, sunken ships, and intriguing artifacts beneath the waves.
– If you have your own gear, snorkeling is free; just grab an inflatable yellow life vest at no cost.
– Don’t have gear? No problem! Rent equipment and follow the beginner-friendly Discover Trail.
Once you’re comfortable, tackle the more advanced Explorer Trail and be on the lookout for the hidden Captain Mickey among the submerged treasures.
Banana Boat and Sea Kayak Rentals:
Boat Beach, your aquatic playground on Castaway Cay, offers various watercraft rentals, including Aqua Trikes, sea kayaks, and thrilling banana boat rides. If you’re up for a dose of moderate excitement, hop on a banana boat with up to five companions.
You’ll be towed behind a motorboat for 30 minutes of exhilaration. Prefer a leisurely pace? Explore the coastline with single and double sea kayak rentals, available near the Castaway Cay entrance.
Thrill-Seeking Things to Do on Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay offers an exhilarating lineup of activities that guarantee an adrenaline rush right in the heart of paradise:
Get ready for an exhilarating adventure and a one-of-a-kind view of Castaway Cay with parasailing. After receiving safety instructions, you’ll soar 600 to 800 feet above the water, gazing down at your massive Disney cruise ship. It’s a thrilling and unforgettable experience with breathtaking views.
To secure your spot in the sky, it’s highly recommended to book in advance. Don’t worry, if the weather doesn’t cooperate, you’ll get a full refund.
Head over to Marge’s Barges, conveniently located near Boat Beach, to sign up for this exciting journey.
Castaway Cay has a variety of island adventures, but one of the most sought-after is the Aqua Trikes experience. It’s open to guests aged 5 and up, and you’ll embark on a half-hour escapade aboard these pedal-powered watercraft.
To start your journey, head to Boat Beach, conveniently located near the ship, where you can rent an Aqua Trike for 30 minutes. While paddling over the crystal-clear waters, you’ll not only get a bit of exercise but also enjoy stunning views of your Disney Cruise Line ship docked at Castaway Cay.
It’s an active and picturesque way to explore this beautiful island paradise.
The Stingray Adventure:
For a truly memorable experience on Castaway Cay, you can’t miss the Stingray Adventure, lasting about 90 minutes and suitable for both adults and kids aged 5 and above. During this excursion, you’ll learn about, pet, and even feed stingrays – a thoroughly unique and engaging encounter.
Afterward, you can snorkel in deeper waters to encounter even more stingrays.
Please note that the snorkel equipment provided is for the duration of the adventure. If you wish to continue snorkeling, separate equipment rental is available. There’s also an option called Castaway Snorkeling with Stingray.
Rest assured, the stingrays are safely contained within a designated area. Guided by experts, you’ll have the chance to interact with these gentle creatures up close.
To secure your spot for this extraordinary adventure, consider booking the Stingray Adventure in advance.
Excursions on Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay is more than just beautiful beaches. Dive into thrilling excursions to explore marine life, fish, or cruise in a glass-bottom boat:
Deep Sea Fishing:
For those eager to give angling a shot, Castaway Cay offers exciting fishing excursions. You can reel in local fish like snapper and grouper.
Whether you’re an experienced angler or just want a fun day on the water, fishing here is a must.
These excursions cater to various preferences, from deep-sea fishing adventures to catch-and-release trips. You can rent the necessary equipment and head out with experienced local experts who can help you catch a variety of fish species.
Glass-Bottom Boat Tours:
If you’d rather not snorkel but still want to witness underwater wonders, try the 60-minute Glass-Bottom Boat Tour. It’s perfect for families with younger kids who want to experience Caribbean sea life.
You’ll hop aboard a small motorized watercraft, holding about 25 people, and venture around 15 minutes into the ocean. The boat’s floor has “windows” that provide views of the sea life below.
Throughout the journey, a local guide narrates and shares insights about the fish and natural elements you encounter.
The tour typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour, including outbound, return, and viewing time along the reef near Castaway Cay. It’s an enlightening and enjoyable way to explore the marine world without getting wet.
Nature Activities on Castaway Cay
Get closer to nature on Castaway Cay with these activities:
Castaway Cay 5K:
Ready to burn off those buffet calories and have some island fun? Join the Castaway Cay 5K – it’s not a race against the clock, just a leisurely island jog, walk, or run.
Sign up on the Disney Cruise Line app or at the Port Adventures desk on the ship. You’ll get to enjoy beautiful island views and snag a Castaway Cay medal as a souvenir.
No registration fee, just a waiver to fill out. They’ll give you race instructions the night before you arrive on the island.
It’s a relaxed event, and everyone gets a special commemorative medal to remember their island run.
Yoga on the Beach:
Start your day right with a soothing beachfront yoga session. This is available on select sailings and is your chance to do yoga surrounded by Castaway Cay’s natural beauty.
It’s a great way to relax and connect with nature, setting a peaceful tone for the rest of your island adventure.
Explore Castaway Cay at your own pace with a rented bicycle. For a small fee, you can pedal around and discover the island’s sights while staying active.
It’s perfect for those who want to uncover hidden gems and experience the island’s charm in their own way. Plus, you’ll ride on the same path as the Castaway Cay 5K, adding a little more adventure to your island journey.
Restaurants on Castaway Cay
After a day of sun and adventure, your appetite will be in high gear. Luckily, Castaway Cay has some fantastic dining options to tame those cravings.
Even better, two of these eateries, Cookie’s BBQ and Cookies Too, come included with your Disney Cruise Line experience. That means you can feast on all the delicious food and ice cream you want without any extra charges.
Cookie’s BBQ and Cookie’s Too BBQ:
These two buffet spots offer plenty of covered seating, including picnic tables and high chairs in different sizes for all guests. You can enjoy classic grilled fare like burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and mouthwatering pork ribs.
Pair your main course with sides like corn on the cob, baked beans, coleslaw, and German potato salad.
And don’t forget to visit the delightful fruit bar, indulge in soft-serve ice cream, and savor some banana bread for a sweet ending. Every restaurant on Castaway Cay has a self-serve drink bar with a variety of beverages, from soda and iced tea to coffee for the grown-ups and milk for the kids.
Castaway Air Bar, Conched Out Bar, Sand Bar, and Heads Up Bar:
These four beach bars are your ticket to a mix of beer, cocktails, and frozen drinks to quench your thirst. Keep an eye out for friendly wandering waitstaff offering refreshing buckets of water and tempting rum punch specials throughout the day.
Olaf’s Summertime Freeze:
For an extra treat to cap off your island adventure, make your way to Olaf’s Summertime Freeze. This cool frozen drink stand has a wide selection of beverages, including soft drinks, smoothies, and non-alcoholic frozen cocktails. It’s the perfect way to beat the heat and savor the taste of the tropics.
Shopping on Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay has some fantastic shopping opportunities with a variety of stores to browse. Keep in mind that you can only find Castaway Cay merchandise on the island, so it’s a good idea to grab some souvenirs before heading back to the ship.
She Sells Sea Shells… and Everything Else:
This gift shop is a treasure trove of exclusive Disney Castaway Cay merchandise. They have everything from T-shirts, polo shirts, hats, pins, keychains, to magnets and towels.
And the best part? You can have your purchases conveniently delivered to the ship by Disney cruise staff.
Buy the Sea Shore:
This shop complements “She Sells Sea Shells & Everything Else” and offers a diverse selection of Castaway Cay-exclusive items. You can also find beach essentials like towels and sunscreen, making it your one-stop shop for island-inspired souvenirs and beach must-haves.
Step into the world of local Bahamian artisans and explore their unique handmade items, jewelry, and artwork. From intricately hand-carved wooden sculptures to vibrant paintings, these treasures capture the essence of the Bahamas and make for meaningful keepsakes.
Things to keep in mind for Castaway Cay
As you plan your visit to Castaway Cay, here are some important tips and considerations to ensure you make the most of your experience:
- Think about booking your shore excursions ahead of time, especially if you have your heart set on popular activities, especially during peak cruise seasons.
- Don’t forget to bring along a waterproof camera or a waterproof phone case. You’ll want to capture those amazing underwater moments while snorkeling or enjoying water-based activities.
- Sun protection is essential! Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats to shield yourself from the Caribbean sun, which can be quite intense.
- Be sure to pack your beach essentials, including swimwear and a change of clothes if you think you’ll need it. Comfort is key for a day in the sun.
- While most purchases on the island can be charged to your cruise account, it’s still a good idea to have some cash or credit cards with you for additional expenses.
- If you have specific dining preferences or dietary restrictions, consider making dining reservations in advance. Keep in mind that breakfast isn’t served on the island, so be sure to eat beforehand.
- Most cruise lines provide beach towels, so there’s no need to bring your own. Just grab them on the ship before heading to the island.
- Lastly, let’s be mindful of the environment. Help keep Castaway Cay’s natural beauty intact by disposing of trash in designated bins and respecting the local wildlife and coral reefs while enjoying snorkeling activities.
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