A Guide to Fish Extender on Disney Cruise Line


Fish extenders are a great group activity for your next Disney cruise! This is everything you need to know to participate and plan for the Fish Extender activity. Imagine being able to create your own magic on your next Disney cruise. You don’t have to wait for magical moments to happen to you; instead, you can be the one to make the magic happen by participating in something called Fish Extenders on the Disney Cruise Line.

Pro Planning Tip: We recommend using Jessica Lieb with ET Family Travel to book your Disney Cruise!

Fish Extender Gifts

What is a Fish Extender?

Fish Extenders are pouches that hang from the fish outside your cabin door on a Disney cruise ship. Participants use them to exchange presents throughout the voyage. Fish Extenders have been an ongoing Disney Cruise Line trend for almost 20 years. A passenger initially created them to get to know other travelers before disembarkation. Over time, Fish Extenders have evolved into a gift exchange similar to Secret Santa. Participants purchase small gifts to distribute to other participating passengers once or on multiple days of the cruise. Disney has no affiliation with this trend. Participants find each other online, typically through a Facebook group created specifically for their unique cruise date and ship.

How do I Join a Fish Extender Group?

Facebook is the primary place to find a fish extender group. You can easily search for cruise planning groups based on your ship and sail dates. Many of these groups organize fish extender exchange groups. To locate a Fish Extender group, search for your cruise on Facebook. Enter “Disney Cruise,” your sail dates, and your ship name in the search bar. Ensure you join the correct group for your ship and sailing dates. By joining a Facebook group, you can not only get information on Fish Extenders for your cruise but also have the opportunity to meet new people before you even set sail.

Where do I Purchase a Fish Extender?

If you wish to participate in the Fish Extender activity, purchase a pouch before boarding the ship. Plenty of options are available for purchase on sites like Amazon or Etsy. You can buy blank pouches and personalize them or purchase pre-personalized ones with each person’s name. 

What Should I Give for Fish Extender Gifts?

Many options exist when it comes to giving Fish Extender gifts. Some people enjoy creating homemade gifts, while others prefer to buy ready-made items. You can search Amazon or Etsy for ideas. Generally, the price range for gifts is between a few dollars to $15 per person. It is recommended that you ask your event coordinator for specific guidelines. Most cruisers prefer smaller gifts as they need to pack them to take them home. No particular gift rules exist, but you can sign up for specific exchanges such as recipes, ornaments, or magnets. You can also get information on the people in your group, such as their favorite characters, to help you choose the perfect gift. Also, let your creativity run wild, or use some of the standby suggestions below.

Fish Extender Gift Ideas

When you sign up to participate in a Fish Extender, remember that you are making a commitment. Other participants are preparing gifts for you, so you need to make sure to prepare gifts for them as well. Signing up ahead of time and planning are definite requirements.

Pixie Dusting

Are you hesitant about planning or committing to a specific cabin but still want to participate? Then you might want to try Pixie Dusting. Pixie Dusting means you do not have a specific cabin assigned for the exchange. You can prepare as many or as few gifts as you want and drop them in hanging Fish Extenders along your travels.

Add Fun to Your Sailing

Remember, Disney does not sponsor or participate in Fish Extenders. This is simply an interaction between passengers. You are not obligated to participate in Fish Extenders or Pixie Dusting to have a magical time on a Disney Cruise. There are so many activities to explore and enjoy on your cruise. However, creating your magic feels appropriate, so consider joining the fun on your next adventure!

Disney Cruise Travel Agent Jessica Lieb

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