Are you taking your family on a Disney cruise? Have you heard about the fish extender gift exchange? Find out everything you need to know to participate!

custom fish extender from etsy

The Mommy Travels Fish Extener

What is a Disney Cruise Fish Extender?

Fish Extender

Click to buy: Custom Disney Cruise fish extender (This is the gal that made mine!)

A Fish Extender is a long, narrow item that you can hang from the fish hooks outside of your cruise door. Typically, these have multiple pockets, one for each person in the cruise cabin. I bought mine off of Etsy last minute, but many people make their own. I am not crafty enough to make something like this at all! (I highly recommend the gal that made our family’s fish extender. I waited until less than two weeks out, and she accepted my order anyway. Total rockstar and she has no idea I am writing this.)

Disney Cruise Fish Extenders

How to Participate in a Fish Extender Group.

In order to participate, you need to find other people that are going to be on your Disney cruise that are up for participating too. This may sound difficult, but it was surprisingly easy.

You will find these groups on Facebook. The name of the group will include words like: fish extender, the name of the ship, and the dates of the cruise. In the group, there will be a signup form. As soon as you are assigned a room number you can sign up to participate. In the form, you add details about your family, so others have an idea and what to put in your Fish Extender.
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 Someone will organize everyone who signs up into groups. I was in a group with five other families, but I know some groups were over 10 families. You will be busy enough on the cruise, so I recommend sticking with a smaller group. Next time I think I would only do a group of four or maybe specify a group with similar aged children. My kids got some stuff that was for much younger children and since they are teens and tweens it was a total miss.

Fish Extender Gift Ideas

Fish Extender Gifts

Fish Extender gift ideas

Now that you have signed up to participate you have to find the right gifts for all the families in your group. If you want to customize them using the Disney font you will have to download Waltograph font to your computer.

Fish Extender Gifts for Tween and Teen Girls.

  • Make-up
  • Nail Polish
  • Hair Accessories

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Hair Accessories are a perfect gift for any girl, tween, teen, or mom. We had several teen girls that we were giving gifts to, and I went with makeup and travel hair brushesimg 7705lrg dsc01564

Disney Fish Extender bracelet gifts

Click to buy: Disney Fish Extender bracelet gifts

Fish Extender Gifts for Kids

  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Bubbles
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Lanyards – Lanyards are a fantastic gift to give. Your kids will need to carry their room key with them everywhere they go and if they have a lanyard they have somewhere to keep it.
  • Candy

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Homemade Fish Extender Gifts

We got some really cute homemade gifts in our fish extender including a couple of sunglasses cases, sea shell bag holders, and coffee cozys.

I have included a couple of video tutorials I found on how to make these. They are both surprisingly easy make or at least they seem easy. I do not know how to sew, so don’t hold me to this. lrg dsc01556

Here is a video I found with a tutorial on how to make a coffee cozy.

Here is a video tutorial on how to make sunglass holders. Again, you just need some sort of Disney fabric.

Sea shell bags – This was my favorite thing out of everything the kids got! I took their little bags with us to Castaway Cay and we all collected sea shells together.

sea shell bags

Here’s a little video I put together explaining what fish extenders are, how to participate, and what kinds of gifts to give.



Disney Fish Extender Gifts for Adults

Disney fish extender gift - a Disney Cruise cozy

Click the photo to buy: Disney fish extender gift – a Disney Cruise cozy

Sadly, I got no booze gifts and I am not exactly sure how they managed to exchange booze gifts. As far as I know, you are only allowed to bring two bottles of wine onboard or a six-pack of beer. I saw these on Pinterest and from what I can tell lots of people are exchanging these tiny rum themed gifts. I am going to do more research on this and when I find a solid answer I will update this post.

Alcoholic fish extender gift

Pirate Fish Extender Gift for adults

Fish Extender Gifts for moms

Fish extender gift for families

Fish Extender Gifts for the Whole Family

If you do not want to get individual gifts, you can stick to giving gifts suited for the entire family.

Door Decorations!

In addition to hanging up Fish Extenders, people decorate their doors on a Disney Cruise. I ran out of time to order door decorations, but I definitely will next time. It makes it so much easier to find your room!

Disney cruise door decorations

Click the photo to buy: Disney cruise door decorations


Have you participated in a Disney cruise fish extender gift exchange? How did it go? What was the best gift you got? I would LOVE to hear about your experience!

Check out the Disney Fantasy cruise ship!
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