Earlier this year I had the privilege of being invited by Disney to take my first cruise and, since then, all I have been thinking about is my next one. I wrote a few pieces about my experience that I encourage you to visit if you are even thinking about doing a Disney Cruise! In light of the Cruise Critics naming Castaway Cay the “Best Cruise Line Private Island” for its 2018 Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards, 3 years in a row, I thought it would be a great time to revisit the island.
Castaway Cay, originally Gorda Cay, was leased from the Bahamian government for 99 years by the Disney Cruise Line in 1997, intending the cay as the line’s private island for its then-planned two ships. While Castaway Cay is part of the “Disney World” officially now, it played a part in the first step of the Walt Disney Company being the global leader it is today. The first Touchstone Pictures film Splash (1984) was filmed near Serenity Bay, the adults-only beach. The Touchstone Pictures brand was a new film distribution label of Walt Disney Studios created in 1984 but then CEO Ron Miller to distribute more mature films aimed at an adult audience which led to the company expanding into what it is today.
But of course it would not be a Disney property without a rich detailed backstory and Castaway Cay has that indeed.
By the numbers, Castaway Cay is 1000 acres with approximately 55 of those developed. It has three beaches (a family, a teen, and the adult beach at Serenity Bay), three BBQ locations for some great food, and four bars where you can charge drinks back to your stateroom. There are also a few shops, both Disney and local Bahamian arts, along with a real working post office where you will have a special Castaway Cay postmark on anything you send out. As with everything Disney Cruise Line, you can do anything from snorkeling and bike rentals to taking part in the Castaway Cay 5k or just sit and relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery while enjoying a col drink.
Now it wouldn’t be Disney without some characters and some fun Easter eggs and both can be found across Castaway Cay.
The only downside of visiting Castaway Cay is you only have a few short hours to explore this beautiful island. There is so much to see and do you will surely run out of time.
I say this as someone who never had any interest in going on a cruise for most of my life: if for no other reason than Castaway Ca,y book a Disney Cruise out of Florida it is something you will remember your entire life!
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.