The Caribbean

The Best Kept Secret at Disney’s Private Island | Castaway Cay

We recently spent a day on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. This 3-acre long plot of land in The Bahamas is leased by Disney Cruise Line, and they dock here for a day on nearly all their Caribbean cruises. It’s always the highlight of the itinerary thanks to the turquoise waters, sandy beaches, and Disney level of service. But did you know there’s a best kept secret at Disney’s private island?

While on board, guests receive a Disney Navigator that lists all the activities and dining options for each travel day. The same happens for your time at Castaway Cay. On this trip, we noticed that there was a children’s activity called ‘Whale Dig’ happening in the early afternoon. It sounded like a unique experience, so we decided to pop in before heading back to the ship.

Best Kept Secret at Disney's Private Island
A view of Castaway Cay with the Disney Dream in the background.


The Best Kept Secret at Disney’s Private Island


After a morning spent playing in the sand, enjoying tropical drinks, and eating a delicious BBQ lunch, we headed over to the Whale Dig site. We were told to wait just a couple more minutes for the Professor to arrive before we could get started. We figured they had a Cast Member who would dress up and act in character to entertain the kids. What we did not expect was to see Mickey Mouse wander over in full archaeologist gear! Wow!

Disney's Private Island Castaway Cay
Showing Mickey Mouse her whale bones!

The kids were handed tools and brushes, and together with Mickey Mouse they began to dig for whale bones and teeth. They were told to shout, “DISCOVERY” each time they found something and proudly bring it over to Mickey to show. He would hi-five them, gives quick hugs, and give them an enthusiastic thumbs up. There were maybe 8 children there with their parents – and three of those were ours! It was like a private beach party with the main Mouse! It was very special.

There was nothing on the schedule about Mickey Mouse attending this event. There’s a special character greeting section on that Navigator paper and this was not included. The only reason I can think of them not publicly announcing it is because they don’t want it to turn into a formal meet and greet. We were told that we couldn’t stop and pose with Mickey. The point was for everyone to play together. That was fine by us!

For twenty minutes the children ran around finding bones and proudly showing them off to Mickey Mouse and his assistant. After he left, the kids continued to dig for another twenty or so minutes before the event wrapped up.

Months later, our family is still talking about this Disney Cruise Line highlight! I’d never heard any other Disney friends talk about this event, so we’d never have known about it had we not decided to wander over. That’s why I’m sharing this best kept secret at Disney’s private island with you!

I hope you’ll get to experience this kind of magic during your Castaway Cay stop! It’s a memory I know we’ll never forget.




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