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Ten Fun Photo Ops at Disney’s Castaway Cay

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Disney’s private island Castaway Cay is a port stop on almost all Disney Cruise Line sailings in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Here are some ideas for fun ways to document your visit. Note: Click on the small images to expand.


There are several large maps located across the island to help you get your bearings.
1. Glamour Shots of Your Ship

If you want photos of your ship, either on its own, or as a backdrop for your family shots, Castaway Cay is the best place to do this. Since Disney owns the island and only docks one ship there at a time, you won’t have any distractions in the background – just your own beautiful vessel.

There are three perfect spots for great ship shots. The first is the area just before you get to Marge’s Barges – the check in desk for most of the Castaway Cay port excursions. This is quite close to the ship entrance/exit point. As an added bonus, there is often an official ship photographer stationed there first thing in the morning.


The second is your ship framed under the Castaway Cay archway. This is also close to the docking point. To get the best vantage point, you’ll probably have to knell or at least bend down a bit. To include your family in the shot, have them stand at the post on either side of the sign or sit cross-legged in front of the rope.


Disney Wish under a sign at Castaway Cay.
Frame your ship under the Castaway Cay sign.

A third good option is along the walkway from the ship to the first family beach. You’ll have to skip using the tram if you want these shots, but it can be well worth it.

2. Your Ship from Above

Disney does not allow drones on Castaway Cay. (Seriously, don’t try to bring them onboard; they’ll just be confiscated upon embarkation.) But that doesn’t mean you can’t get some absolutely awesome aerial photos of your ship and the island. To make this happen, sign up for the parasailing port adventure. In my opinion, parasailing is peaceful and relaxing – and I say this as someone who gets woozy looking out the window of a tall building.

You’re welcome to bring any camera equipment you want on your adventure boat and up into the air; however, DCL claims no responsibility for anything you drop into the ocean. I’ve never been brave enough to bring my full DSLR camera parasailing with me, but I know several people who have done this with no ill effects. I’ve had good success with old iPhones and point-and-shoot cameras clipped onto a laynard. My only word of warning is that the parasailing excursions will be cancelled if there’s even a hint of poor weather on the island.

And while you’re up in the air, don’t forget to give a camera to someone remaining on the boat to get some shots of you up in the sky.


3. Your Ship on the Horizon

If you’re looking to get a little exercise on your own time, take a walk or bike ride to the island’s Observation Tower. You’ll see your ship off in the distance – far enough away that you can pose with it in your hand.



4. Mount Rustmore

One of the most classic photo backdrops is “Mount Rustmore” a collection of four giant objects painted with images of classic Disney characters.

5. The Big Buoy

Not far from the ship, next to the never-open post office, is a giant buoy marked with the words Castaway Cay and its geographic coordinates. In the morning, you’ll often find a ship photographer stationed there.

6. Ocean Life

Grab a waterproof camera or waterproof case for your phone and take it with you while you swim or snorkel. There is ocean life everywhere at Castaway Cay.

7. The Empty Island

As the ship is docking on the island, head to the outdoor seating area at the pool-deck buffet restaurant (Cabanas or Marceline Market). From there you’ll be able to shots of the island while it’s still unpopulated by guests.

Empty Castaway Cay.
8. Your 5K Swag

If you run (or walk or crawl) the Castaway Cay 5K route, they’ll give you a free medal when you’re done. Be sure to show off your swag!

Castaway Cay medals are available at the bike barn.


9. Flippin Your Fins

The classic Instagram shot is less popular than it used to be, but one of the quickest ways to say “vacation” is a shot of toes on the sand or in the water.


10. Characters

During the morning you’re likely to see half a dozen or more characters stationed on Castaway Cay. Check out our full post on meeting characters during your cruise for more information on how to find them.


Bonus Shots: Holiday Decor

During the winter holidays, Disney festoons Castaway Cay with special holiday decor. Be sure to take loads of photos while you’re there!



If you’re looking for additional advice and planning assistance with any Disney Cruise Line sailing, be sure to check out the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line or ask for a free quote from one of our expert travel agents.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

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