Inside Disney's private island – which only some holidaymakers can visit

DISNEY is known for its theme parks and cruises, but many may be shocked to know that they also have their own private island.

Here is everything you need to know about Castaway Cay.

Where is Disney’s private island?

The island is called Castaway Cay and is only open to people who are on a cruise with Disney Cruise Line.

It opened in 1998 in the Bahamas, near to Great Abaca Island and was the first private island in the cruise industry.

It’s just 3.1 miles wide and 2.2 miles wide – small by island terms, but even has its own private airport, Castaway Cay Airport.

Where have I seen Castaway Cay before?

Parts of the island were used to film some of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

It was also used for scenes in Splash, when Tom Hanks first meets mermaid Daryl Hannah.

Can you stay overnight at Castaway Cay?

Castaway Cay is only open for day trips when on a Disney Cruise – you can’t stay overnight, though some staff who work on the island live there year-round, such as the island’s manager and landscaper.

One user on the Cruise Critic forum explains that ships normally depart the island at around 5pm due to the biting bugs which come out at sunset.

They said: “If anyone did overnight, we'd never hear about it, the bugs would eat them!”

Island manager Guenter Schmid told Oh My Disney: “We have about 150 people living here, but we also have crew members who come in the morning and leave in the evening.”



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What is there to do on Castaway Cay?

Disney ships dock directly at the island so passengers can set foot on the island as soon as they step off the cruise.

You then get on a tram that takes you to the island’s amenities.

Once you’re there you can take part in a wealth of activities, such as biking, volleyball, massages, basketball, or simply chilling out on the beach.

There are two beaches with Serenity Bay being adults only.

Food-wise there are barbecues at Cookie’s BBQ and an adults-only bar called the Castaway Air Bar at Serenity Bay.

Of course, visitors will also get a healthy dose of Disney and will see their favourite characters wandering around the island while they’re there.

There’s also a souvenir shop which is the only place you can buy Castaway Cay memorabilia as well as a post office, which has a special Castaway Cay postmark.

What would happen if you got left behind on the island?

Users on forum Disboards have revealed that this sometimes happens.

People who have missed the ship have had to catch the ship up by speedboat, or meet the cruise at a port further down the trip if the cruise liner is too far away.

How much is a Disney cruise?

Disney cruises start from £1,028pp for a three-night cruise starting in Florida, sailing around the Bahamas with a day trip to Castaway Cay.

Seven night cruises start from £2,249pp around Alaska, or £2,261pp around the Med.

Their newest ship is the Disney Wish cruise ship, which launches this summer.

Are there any more private Disney islands?

In 2020, Disney revealed plans for their new private island, Lighthouse Point.

The new island will be exclusively for Disney cruise passengers when it opens in 2023.

Disney isn't the only cruise to have a private island, as Royal Caribbean has their own private island CocoCay, which was given a £142million revamp in 2018.

And in 2019, they opened their Perfect Day attraction on the island which features the tallest water slide in North America.

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