7 Castaway Cay Tips + What We Wish We Did Differently

What are the things to do at Castaway Cay? There are many activities for families, kids, and adults only at Disney Cruise Lines private island. Today we are sharing what we wish we knew and our guide for Castaway Cay island.

What is Included in Castaway Cay

The most frequent questions I get is what is included at Castaway Cay. There are many free and paid activities for guests to participate in.

The free activities include access to beach and water areas along the shore. The normal lunch buffet you would have on the ship is brought to the island and is included with your day. There is also unlimited soft serve on the island.

There is also a kids club on the island. The cast members from the Oceaneer club bring the fun to the island for the kids, so parents can visit the adults only beach.

Before you arrive on the island you can make reservations for the port activities. Guests can snorkel, rent tubes, rent bicycles, go kayaking, parasailing, and fishing. Learn more here.

Disney Castaway Cay also has a 5k fun run that is free to all guests on the cruise ship but you must register before you leave for vacation.

Related Post: Is a Disney Cruise Worth It? (Disney Cruise Pros and Cons)

Entrance to Castaway Cay during a Disney Cruise Vacation

7 Castaway Cay Tips (What We Wish We Did!)

Last year we were so excited to go on our first ever Disney Cruise. I had only heard wonderful things about the Disney cruise line and we all couldn’t wait.

Castaway Cay was going to be one of the highlights of our 3 day cruise and I was looking forward to endless amounts of soft serve ice cream and laying on the beach.

In other words I thought we would relax and enjoy the island life for the day.

Well…sometimes vacation doesn’t go as planned and it became one of those days that nothing seemed to work out right. The kids were tired, my husband wasn’t feeling well, and I was getting exhausted too.

Our cruise vacation was part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and we added a few extra days to visit Universal Orlando at the start. We were going on day 8 of our vacation and everyone was feeling a bit exhausted.

If there was any part of the vacation that we need a “do-over” for it is our visit to Castaway Cay. This list is all the things we wish we would have done and how we could have really experienced the best of Castaway Cay.

Food at Castaway Cay

One of the perks of being on a cruise is the unlimited food. There really is so much food and something for everyone. The greatest thing is the unlimited amount of soft serve ice cream.

At Castaway Cay you can enjoy a complimentary BBQ lunch and unlimited soft serve ice cream. There are also options to purchase snow cones and specialty drinks on the island.

You can use your Key to the World card for all purchases at Castaway Cay.

Family Fun Things to Do at Castaway Cay

Guests visiting Castaway Cay have so many things to do as a family. Included in your stay is volleyball, tether ball, and more games to play as a family.

Looking back I wish we would have rented bikes or took a stroll along the paths that go around the island. The bicycle rentals are $12.00/hour. There is an observation tour to explore off one of the trails that I would have loved to explore.

Rent Snorkel Gear from Gil’s Fins and Boats

Snorkeling at the island was one of the activities I was most excited and nervous about. At the time my youngest was 6 and none of us had ever been snorkeling.

We knew of the underwater Mickey and Minnie statues and we couldn’t wait to explore.

Snorkeling didn’t go as planned when we barely made it past the shore line. Between sand in our flippers and not really being able to figure it out, it was kind of a disaster.

I’m sure now that the kids are a year older we would be a bit more successful and would try to make it out. It’s definitely something we would like to try again.

Character Meet and Greets at Castaway Cay

As soon as we arrived at Castaway Cay we saw Captain Jack Sparrow doing a meet and greet. We stopped and visited of course! Jack Sparrow is as fun to meet as he is on the big screen.

From there we didn’t meet a single other character. Even though I knew Mickey, Donald, and Goofy were around to meet in their island outfits. We just didn’t make it happen.

Meeting Characters at Disney’s Castaway Cay

There is also a dance party with Lilo and Stitch that my family would have loved…and we missed it!!! Sometimes that is the way it goes on vacation but we would prioritize meeting the characters during our next visit.

Update: We had a chance to visit Castaway Cay again in 2020 and made a point to meet Mickey and Goofy!

characters on the disney cruise

Water Slides and Splash Pads at Castaway Cay

The big play area for the kids is Pelican Plunge. This has 2 twisting water slides that send guests right into the lagoon. There is also a giant bucket that soaks the guests below.

I’m still wondering why we didn’t venture out to play on this. I think my kids were totally spent at this point. I know this is at the top of their list for next time. There is also a water play area called Spring-a-Leak that is great for the younger kids.

Adults Only Private Beach and Kids Club

Disney’s Castaway Cay has Serenity Bay which is an adults only beach area. You can drop the kids at Scuttle’s Cove and take the shuttle to the quiet beach for some couples relaxation. Scuttle’s Cove has activities for the kids and is supervised by the counselors from the Kid’s Club on the ship.

Relax and Take it Slow

One of my biggest Castaway Cay tips is to take it slow. Our biggest regret of our day at Castaway Cay is approaching it like we approach the Disney parks.

We are on the go from morning to night at the parks and we love it that way. We like to see and do as much as possible. This is NOT the way to approach Castaway Cay.

There may be lots of things to do at Disney’s Castaway Cay, but it is important to slow down and enjoy the moments. Take life at a slower pace and really let yourself be part of this island vacation.

Next time we find ourselves at Castaway Cay you will find me with my toes in the sand sitting on the beach enjoying my family and an ice cream cone.

Read Next: Awesome Disney Dream Activities with Kids To Do On Your Disney Cruise Vacation

Disney's Castaway Cay Tips

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