Disney’s Castaway Cay is a private island in the Bahamas operated by the Disney Cruise Line. Our review is from our March 2018 cruise on the Disney Wonder. We have included a video and several photographs from our day. We also give our opinion on this exclusive private island.
Disney’s Castaway Cay is a private island in the Bahamas operated by the Disney Cruise Line. In 1997 the Walt Disney Corporation signed a 99-year lease for the island from the Bahamian Government. It is located near Great Abaco Island and was formerly known as Gorda Cay. Gorda’s airstrip (now known as Castaway Cay Airport) was once used as a stop for drug runners.
Despite its colourful past, Disney makes no reference to smugglers or pirates, although Jack Sparrow does make appearances when you visit. Instead, the theme is of a shipwreck community. All buildings are made to look as if they had been improvised after a shipwreck.
Castaway Cay is about 1000 acres but to date only around 50 acres have been developed. There are around 50 permanent residents on the island who are all Disney Cruise Line employees. These employees make sure there is smooth running of the island. Restaurants, shops and bars on the island are all staffed by the visiting ships.
There are three excellent beaches for guests on the island. One beach is dedicated to families. Whilst there are additional beaches exclusively for teens and another exclusively for adults, called Serenity Bay. Separate areas have been designated for snorkelling, swimming and watercraft. Disney employs a large number of lifeguards to maintain guest safety.
In addition, Disney has developed shops, bars, restaurants, kid clubs, games areas, water parks & extensive recreational activities on the island. There’s a real working Post Office if you want to mail back home. Guests who want a little extra luxury can hire one of twenty private cabanas. These are not cheap but do book up fast.
Whilst there are plenty of included activities Disney also offers several excursions. Most of these are water-based activities including glass-bottomed boats and fishing adventures. Guests who want to be more adventurous can hire bikes to explore the island.
Disney also makes sure their characters make appearances too. You can meet many of your favourites in their vacation gear for a unique photo opportunity.
Lunch is included in the price of your cruise and Disney serves an impressive barbecue lunch. There are three places to eat on the island. Cookies and Cookies Too are on the family beach and serve the same food including chicken, ribs, fish, & burgers. Serenity Bay has its own food and the menu often has a few more adult type offerings.
Our Opinion on Disney’s Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay is beautiful and maintains its theme of being a town created by a shipwreck community well. However, this is not the true Caribbean but Disney’s fantasy recreation of a Caribbean Island. You will not experience any genuine Bahamas’ culture here but you will receive Disney’s classical good service & fun.
Our day in Castaway Cay was full of fun. We enjoyed snorkelling off a fantastic beach, had cocktails looking out at the sea and had a great barbecue lunch. It might not be the real Caribbean but Castaway Cay is great fun.
You can read more about our Orlando 2018 adventures including the Disney Wonder here.