Category Archives: Disney

Disney Cruise Grand Caymans Stingray City Excursion

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For our seven day cruise, we chose the Disney Cruise Grand Cayman Stingray City Excursion. We did not get great weather that day, but the boys were thrilled meeting the stingrays.

    • It is a long boat ride, so bring snacks and water. I think our boat did have some soda on it.
    • Check before the trip to see if your guide will take pictures. We paid for these on the boat ride back, and they airdropped them. We loved the images!
    • We were supposed to go see starfish, but the weather was just too yucky.
    • Grand Cayman was really beautiful, and the stingray experience was really fun!

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Disney Cruise Line Fish Extender Ideas

Really excited to share some Disney Cruise Fish Extender Ideas because this was one of my favorite parts of the Disney Cruise. To be honest, it was a lot to plan (because I was planning for two rooms and our group of six families) but it was so worth it and made the trip more magical. Did the kids love this? YES. Was it worth it? YES! And a fun activity on one of the at sea days when everyone is the ship and the other activities are more crowded.

What is a Fish Extender?

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There is a fish outside every stateroom where you can hang personalized fabric pouches. Usually you can buy these personalized on etsy (this was ours) or make your own. (I also saw this one from amazon, names i think were added with stickers?)Everyone’s name is on their pouch and personalized gifts are dropped into each pouch during your cruise. It was really fun coming back from the pool or dinner and finding surprises in our fish extender. The kids also really loved walking around the ship and leaving gifts for other people. Some people also bring extra surprises and “pixie dust them” in random fish extenders all over the ship.

How Do You Get in a Fish Extender Group?

The first thing to do is to find your Disney Cruise facebook group on Facebook. It will be something like June 3-10 Disney Fantasy Cruise. Once you join this group, usually someone has volunteered to organize the Fish Extender group. I think ours was a group of six families. We had everyone’s name, age, and favorite Disney character to shop for.

Fish Extender Ideas

Some good fish extender ideas depend on age of your person and you can spend as little or as much as you want. I think they recommend around 5-10.00. Some fun gifts we got were snack mixes and things from their state, a beauty bag with a fun face mask, etc. Other fun ideas I’ve seen are pirate patches for pirate night, Disney ears, personalized starbucks tumblers, Disney Jewelry , friendship bracelets, Disney card games, Disney Mad Libs, Lightsaber pens, (some of the items you can buy in a pack and split up) Disney headbands, Disney scrunchies, Disney notebooks, door magnets, Disney koozies, personalized tote bags, Disney stamps, Disney coloring sets, glow sticks, Disney socks, sticker books. We have seen where people have gifted large items like Disney monopoly. You really want to make sure your recipient will have room in their suitcase going home. Since we brought a lot of fish extenders in our suitcase, it did free up room to take things home. (and extra things we might have gotten on the ship like this game!) And don’t forget a fun tag to leave with your gifts so your group knows that your room participated.  I hope this gives you some great ideas for picking out your fish extender gifts! More fun ideas below!

Rubber Ducks

On Disney Cruises, several people hide rubber ducks all over the ship and my kiddos were so happy when they found one or two. This is also something optional you can participate in on the cruise!



Disney Cruise Packing List

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I really love researching and overplanning for trips. That’s just my personality – I want to be super prepared, but also know my options. I’m going to start with some fun things in this Disney Cruise Packing List that I would not have necessarily thought about, and also easy organization options.

Fun Items for Your Trip

Decorating your stateroom door is so much fun! We bought fun magnets for the door, one of Mickey and one celebrating Owen’s birthday. We also bought a pin trading board, which the kids loved. Don’t put any pins you love out there for sure, because some do go missing. We bought some pins to trade here. 

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Other fun ideas for the trip – the girls got matching visors. We got so many compliments on these everywhere we went on the ship, and they were so much fun. We also got some matching Disney themed sling bags which were fun to wear around the ship. You will probably want a bookbag and a sling bag size to bounce back and forth from when you are on and off the ship. We also loved the insulated bags they sold on the ship for storing drinks, etc. Search on etsy for some fun ideas for Disney themed visors and sling bags! The boys got matching Mickey hats similar to this one.

Fun Insulated Cups You can refill your cup all day, so it’s great to have an insulated one to carry around the ship. We did find one in the coffee shop on the ship, but they were hard to find and didn’t have that many left.

Pirate Night – so many fun options on amazon. We did get t shirts like these which were super fun!

Fish extenders – we did participate in this (see here for our experience and ideas) You will want a fun fish extender to hold all your goodies. We got ours here. 

Organization Options 

The first organization option I would recommend is magnetic hooks. These were so great for hanging bathing suits, lanyards, etc. (Yes, bring your own lanyard for your room key if you can’t use a magic band on your ship. And if you have a passport card, you can keep it in your lanyard for when you leave the ship, too.) We left our passports in the safe on the ship.

I would also recommend a toiletries bag with a hook. There is not a lot of space in the bathroom, so it’s great to be able to hang it and use it easily.

Another thing you can pack is towel bands to keep your towel on the chair and also save your spot. A waterproof phone bag is another good idea for excursions off the ship or just sitting by the pool. (I kept this on my phone when I put my feet in the pool and watched the kids) I also got to use this kayaking this summer so it’s been a good thing to have and keep around. I did notice other people with waterproof bags, too, which might have been good the day we were in Grand Cayman and it rained while we were on a boat outside. None of these are necessary but something to think about to make things easier.


Things I brought were my phone, airpods (we did use the gym/walking track on the ship) kindle, apple watch, (I like to know how many steps I’m taking) a wall charger where you can charge multiple devices at once, and an anker for when you are off the ship or need a quick charge. We shared a wifi account where you could only use one device at a time, so I really didn’t use the ship’s wifi much. You can also message on the ship without wifi using what’s app or the Disney Cruise Line app. We gave our kiddo an old phone to use with the app so he could message us from the kids’ clubs.


Don’t forget to bring more than one bathing suit. We mostly wore casual workout clothes around the ship during the day or bathing suits/cover up or shorts. In the evening, we wore a little bit nicer shorts/t shirts, a button down for formal night for the boys, and I wore dresses a few nights.  For shoes we brought, crocs (waterproof birkenstocks for me) a pair of sneakers for everyone, and I brought my regular birkenstocks. We did bring the Disney shirts we had and on Owen’s birthday, we all had birthday squad t shirts which was so fun to surprise him with. You can also buy some fun t shirts on the ship. Don’t forget to bring a sweatshirt because it can get cool, and a hat or visor. We did not get super formal on formal night. Michael wore a button down and nicer shorts, I wore this dress. There is really no stress, just wear what you feel comfortable.

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Other Things Not To Forget

I needed seabands. I knew this from our last cruise. Sometimes they have them on board if you forget them, but I would rather know that I have them in case anyone gets sea sick.



Medications – prescription and any non prescription you might need like advil, etc. A tip I read was to bring imodium because they do not sell it on the ship. We didn’t get sick, but I was glad i had it, just in case.

All travel documents, passports, your luggage tags from Disney

We did do laundry on the ship – you can bring small pods or travel detergent.

Things We Did Not Pack But We Saw Other People Did 

Sand Toys (I also saw these for sale on Castaway Cay)

Disney Kids Costumes like Princess Dresses

And last, don’t forget your favorite travel buddy! 

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Disney Cruise Line

How We Got There 

  Ready for our trip at Fast Park & Relax RDU disney cruise line 3 P I N this to pinterest   Finally sharing details from our Disney Cruise on the Disney Cruise Line this summer. First of all, we used Heather Lawson for our travel agent – follow her on insta here.

2.We had some flight credits so we chose to fly. We flew in the night before so we didn’t have to stress about cancelled flights or missing the ship the next day.

3.We always use Fast Park & Relax at RDU and have always had such a great experience.

Favorite Flying Essentials 

-downloading netflix or other shows to watch on the flight.

-airpods or noise cancelling headphones to watch the shows:)  (I have this brand, Michael has this one) depending on how long the flight is. I like airpods for short flights but the big headphones for long ones.

pacsafe bookbag (we bought these when we moved to Europe in 2019. They have held up so well and our always our go to when traveling)

ipads for the kiddos. always a must.

-healthy snacks

-any medicines or things you just don’t want to get lost for the trip

Kindle – I love my kindle SO SO much, so it’s always in my carry on.


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La Farm Bakery RDU airport                                                                                                                                                                                                                             4. Treats from La Farm Bakery RDU is always a must before/after flying.       

Yes, we checked bags for this trip. We participated in fish extenders so definitely had to check a bag or two.

5.We took a shuttle from orlando to our hotel but might try an uber next time.disney cruise line 2P I N this to pinterest6.Stayed at the Springhill Suites at the port with our Marriott points. It was super nice, breakfast was awesome. Make sure you call and reserve your shuttle time to the port. Their shuttle was on time and awesome. We didn’t go too early and did not wait long to board the ship!

7. Let me know any questions you have about getting to Port Canaveral and planning a Disney cruise!

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When traveling to Disney, it can be overwhelming sometimes to think of what to pack, especially if you go during the winter months when temperatures can fluctuate quite a bit. (60’s one week, 90s the next) We travel to Disney quite a lot, so I wanted to include some of my favorite travel staples.

A good bookbag  or diaper bag if you are bringing a stroller. When my kiddos were super small, we loaded up the stroller with snacks, and a good decent bag you can put in the bottom of the stroller. If you don’t have a stroller, a good bookbag to carry snacks, hand sanitizer wipes, and water is key. (You can bring refillable water bottles  and refill them in the park) If you are bringing bottles, it’s nice to have a bag you can stow in the bottom of a stroller and keep the bottles upright.

Which, if you are bringing a stroller, I’m going to highly recommend this one  or something similiar. We tried going the umbrella stroller route and it hurt our backs badly and it was just no fun for any of us. Also, there’s no storage in umbrella strollers. With all the walking you are doing, you will want a good decent stroller, that folds up easily (for parking trams) You can also rent strollers at Disney, and I’m going to recommend the same concept of a decent stroller. It will save your back. We also didn’t like bringing double strollers because it was easier to navigate the crowds with each of us pushing a stroller instead of trying to get a double stroller around fireworks crowds, etc. Just personal preference.

With a baby, I also loved having a carrier so that when we were standing in lines, it was just easier. Also, if we were going out to dinner to ride a couple of rides in magic kingdom, it was easier to baby wear  around the fireworks crowds.

Comfortable shoes This is a must at Disney. If it’s your first trip, it’s kind of hard to believe just how much walking you do at Disney. Walking, walking and then more walking. A good pair of tennis shoes is a staple at Disney. I have worn Birkenstocks  and Rainbows, but sneakers are always a favorite to keep aching feet at bay.

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Cheap, super compact ponchos  you can throw in your bookbag. We try to bring the least possible amount of things in the park. I would love if I could go bagless but with kids right now, it’s just not possible. (Standing in the bag line takes a while) So cramming raincoats into a bookbag we are trying to keep light just doesn’t work out that well. Cheap ponchos work great when it’s sunny one minute, rainy the next, and then back to sun.

Clothes. It’s usually hot and gross, so just like with shoes, make sure you bring comfortable clothes. I love workout clothes for Disney, because it is a big workout and who cares how nasty your workout clothes get. If you are not going to have a washer and dryer, make sure you pack enough clothes for one clothing change a day in case you come in from the parks and want to change clothes. Unless you are going to an upscale dining experience (it will say it has a dress code when booking) all of the Disney restaurants are casual.

You may want a light jacket or sweatshirt in the winter months. I’d always bring a coat/sweatshirt just in case during those months can that be iffy. You never know how the weather can change from one day to the next.

Disney shirtsIt is one of those things, that when you get down there, everyone just wears Disney everything at Disney. So stock up on cute cheap shirts before your trip and check etsy for a lot of personalized ones.

AnkerWe love, love our Anker on long park days. It’s something great to have in the bookbag to charge your phone whenever anyone needs more power. The constant fast pass checking, etc, can really drain your phone.

If you think your kids will be interested in pin trading. Our eight year old recently got interested in this, and it’s been a lot of fun trading with cast members, make sure to get some pins for trading before you go. These are pins your child isn’t attached to and wants to trade with cast members. You can check amazonfor pins – just make sure they have good reviews and you aren’t getting fake Disney pins. Pins in the park start around 9.99 so it’s good to get cheap ones to trade before you go.

To bring or not bring your camera. I obviously love taking pictures, so I always bring my camerawith me. My husband usually carries the light bookbag and I only bring a super small camera bag kind of like this one that will only hold my camera and like nothing else. I hate carrying a lot of stuff at Disney, and will sometimes use my phone, but love having my camera with me too. I do not bring a big camera bag or extra lenses. Don’t forget to pack all of your prescriptions, favorite toiletries and beauty products.

Don’t forget the sunscreen. You do not want to end up miserable and burnt in Florida. You can also pack cute Disney hats to help with the sun. Cooling Towels  and small, portable fans are popular in the parks on sweltering days. Any light up toysare also fun in the parks at night.

Other travel supplies.

Love this suitcase. I also love how packing cubes can make your life so much easier. We have these(so many great reviews and inexpensive) in different colors for each family member. You can just get lost watching so many great packing cube/packing videos on you tube, too.

A great pair of headphones, especially if you’re flying.

My must and go to is my kindle. I love it so much for traveling, I don’t know how I lived without it!

I’m sure I’ll keep adding to this list and we go on so many trips. What are your favorites to pack for Disney?

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Rebecca Keller is a family photographer featured in People Magazine who spends her time sipping iced coffee, chasing after her two little ones, reading, going to Disney and editing. Because we chat a lot about our personal lives on the blog, we may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles. Contact Rebecca Keller Photography for more information about Spring Mommy and Me Mini Sessions Raleigh and Raleigh family photography.