What is a Fish Extender? Disney Cruise Insider!

After I booked my reservation for the Disney Dream, I was told to be sure to bring along a “fish extender”.  She stated that people frequently hang a fish extender from their cabin door aboard Disney Cruises and that it is always fun to participate.  Not wanting to appear like I was not a Disney Cruise Line insider, I did not ask the agent what in the world she was talking about.

I did not want to feel left out though once I got on the Disney Dream, so I began to do some research.  What I found was that a fish extender is a mail box, of sorts, that hangs from a string, held together by a set of dowel rods along the top and bottom of the fabric.  The fish extender has 2 pockets made from fabric which are added along the front.  Here is where I posted how to make a fish extender.  Once onboard, I did as I was told and hung it outside my cabin door.

Fish Extender for Disney Cruise Line

Fish Extender for Disney Cruise Line

On our first evening aboard the Disney Dream, my family went to dinner with our fish extender newly hung.  When we had finished our dinner and night’s showing of The Golden Mickeys (a nightime show aboard the Disney Dream), we returned to our room.  My son and I peered inside the extender to see what was there.  We found that someone had added bubbles, candy, pictures and some information about the next day’s activities to our fish extender!  We were so excited!  It was as though we had a really GOOD mailbox that spawned gifts for us while we were away for the day (instead of the normal bills we receive from our mailbox at home!)

Throughout our stay on the Disney Dream, we continued to receive daily gifts.  Most were from our travel agent, some from the others sailing aboard.  The fish extender really added a level of fun to our stay!  While they are not at all necessary when sailing, they are definitely fun!  If you want to participate in the fun, are not too difficult to make.  This being said, people enjoying bring a fish extender with them on their cruise whether traveling in a group.  If you decide to bring your own, perhaps bring a few gifts along for others with fish extenders too!  This enriches the fun for everyone!

Looking to better afford your upcoming cruise?  Be sure to pick up a copy of Strategies for Paying for Disney, a book dedicated to helping you save for and afford your Disney dream vacation!

Strategies New Book Cover

And be sure to come over to our Facbook page to share a photo of your Fish Extender!


13 comments for “What is a Fish Extender? Disney Cruise Insider!

  1. March 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I hope to go on a Disney Cruise one day and this was a great post I’m going to save as a nice reminder! FYI the link to your how to make the fish extender doesn’t work. :)

  2. August 7, 2012 at 12:56 am

    The Fish Extender gift exchange is very fun. The FE itself should have one pocket for each family member with their names on them.

    If you really want to participate, you need to go to http://www.DISboards.com. There you’ll find discussions on all things Disney. Look for Disney Cruises then find the “thread” for your specific cruise. It’s a great way to meet other cruisers before the ship sails. It’s nice to “meet” other families with kids the same age and folks from other countries. The Fish Extender gift exchange is organized by someone on the thread and you “sign up” to participate.

    A few weeks before the cruise the list is compiled so everyone know which cabins are playing and who you’re giving gifts to… kids, parents, singles, babies. Some participants give one gift per cabin, others give one per person or any combination. If there a wedding, birthday or other special occasion that information is generally shared on the thread and “magically” a few extra goodies make their way into the special person’s FE pocket.

  3. Natalie
    March 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    I booked a cruise for February 10 2014 on the Magic, I went to the disney discussion board and am unable to find anything about the fish extender group for this cruise. Am I looking in the wrong place or is it too early?

  4. Tluvspluto
    May 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for this post. I have been reading up on FE’s – and was so pleased to find your post explaining it all. We’re signed up for the Fantasy 21st Dec, 2013 cruise – a newbie family of 4 to cruising. Think my girls (aged 13 and 14) will absolutely love this. Can you help me a little further; what sort of things are exchanged. Inspiration welcome. x

  5. Maria
    July 15, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I cant find a FE group for Disney Dream. We’re leaving on July 28, 2013 for a 4 day bahamian cruise. I hope someone can help me. Thanks.

  6. September 4, 2013 at 1:42 am

    Yes, your tweens will love the FE and helping with the gifts is a great way for them to pass the time before your cruise. My tween daughter helps select the gifts for her age group and the younger kids in each cabin.

    Usually the coordinator provides updates as the cabins sign up. The FE list typically closes 4-6 weeks before the cruise date to allow time for everyone to get ready. The list will provide details for each participating cabin. Example: Cabin 2007 – Turner Family – DH Will, DW Elizabeth, DS3 Will, Father-in-Law “Bootstrap” Bill Turner. Celebrating their 4th Anniversary :-)

    Gifts are usually age specific / appropriate (coloring books, snap bracelets, magnets, bottle cap necklace, photo album, etc.). Sometimes a family gift is given to the parents and individual gifts to the kids (holiday ornaments, photo album, baby toy, pirate tattoos). Some cruisers make their gifts; others buy items. (Check DCL current rules before making food items.) Sometimes gifts match the theme of the cruise (Halloween, Pixar, etc.) or ports of call (San Francisco, Castaway Cay). Some cruiser bring gifts that represent their town, state or country (Australian koala clippies, Boston Baked Beans candy, etc.).
    Many gifts are Disney, tropical or pirate themed. Some gifts are very simple. Others are very elaborate (We received a personalized embroidered tote bags the last cruise).

    Make it fun – what every you select is perfect!

  7. phyllis Parker
    September 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    m having trouble finding an fe group for disney dream 10/2/13. Can someone help I’m bringing my 2 granddaughters and want them to join in on the fun!

  8. March 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I am hosting a group for August 14th-17th 2014 on the Dream…feel free to join us:)

  9. Amie
    March 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I am hosting one for Dream August 14th-17th…feel free to join us.

  10. March 24, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Please feel free to join us for the Dream August 14th 2014 Fish Extender….



  11. Katharine Thompson
    August 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Hello my two children ages 13 son and 16 daughter will be cruising on the Disney Wonder 12/17/14. I am thrilled to find out about these fish extenders. (I am a total crafting geek). Since we are traveling during Christmas time some of the gifts are a no brainier but I was wondering if anyone can give an idea of numbers. I know it depends on how many sign up but just a guess? Not only a crafting geek but a planner too. Any suggestions?

Talk to Us!