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!
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What is a Disney Cruise Fish Extender?
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.)
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.
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
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.
- Nail Polish
- Hair Accessories
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 brushes.
Fish Extender Gifts for Kids
- 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- Disney Cruise Pins – Give the family an assortment of Disney pins, enough for one per person. If you do not know what pin trading is, check out our guide to pin trading at Disney!
- Keepsake Picture Frame
- Disney themed game for the family to play – Disney Yahtzee or Tic Tac Toe
- Custom dry erase board – With a dry erase board for the door the family can leave each other messages. Gift this on the first night.
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!
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!
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