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Castaway Cay Enhancements - Preparing for the Disney Dream

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Preparing for the Disney Dream - Castaway Cay Enhancements

While onboard the November 7th Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Disney Magic, I had the opportunity to get a peek at some of the new developments on Castaway Cay. I know that some folks have expressed concerned about how the new development is affecting the island, so I will address this first.

Disney Cruise Line (DCL) is doing an excellent job of keeping the construction impact to a minimum. As of my sailing, all island facilities were open to guests. As you walk around the island there are many construction fences, but the construction is well contained inside the fences.

Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

The only significant impact to the island is in the area between the Heads Up Bar, located on the far side of the family beach, and the teen beach.

Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Portions of the lagoon are closed in this area for construction of the new Pelican's Plunge slide and for the barge/crane for Pelican's Plunge and the cabanas. The rest of the beaches, paths, and facilities are still wide open, and the island is just as beautiful as ever.

After the Magic docked at Castaway Cay, I noticed that they had begun pier enhancements for the larger ships. It looks like this process was not started too long ago. As far as I could tell, they have not started dredging the channel yet.


Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

DCL has already constructed the new tram stop for the tram running from the pier to the family beach. It has been moved across the path from the old tram stop, about 80 feet closer to the ship. This means that guests no longer have to cross the tram path to get to the tram stop, and it seemed to make the foot traffic flow better. The tram has also been extended from 3 cars to 4 moving the crowds along much faster.

Old Tram - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

New Tram - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Arriving at the family beach, I spotted the new Castaway Ray's Stingray Adventure , one of the Castaway Cay shore excursions. It is now located between the boat rental area and Gil's Snorkel Rentals. The building and stingray lagoon are double in size from the original stingray area by the teen beach.

Castaway Ray's Stingray Adventure - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Castaway Ray's Stingray Adventure - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Castaway Ray's Stingray Adventure - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Castaway Ray's Stingray Adventure - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Castaway Ray's Stingray Adventure - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

The family beach area and Cookie's BBQ remain unchanged. Most of the construction is in the area surrounding the sports beach and the teen beach on the far end of the family beach. The bike rental hut has been moved closer to the Grouper Game Pavilion.

Bike Rentals - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Bike Rentals - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Bike Rentals - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

The former site for bike rentals has been leveled and will become the new Spring-a-Leak water playground.

Spring-a-Leak - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

I also noticed that the tram stop from the family beach to the Serenity Bay adult beach is being rebuilt. My guess is that they might be extending the tram route from the ship to this point, helping to move more guests to the far end of the family beach.

Serenity Bay Tram - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Next, I checked out the new Pelican's Plunge slide. It is in its permanent location and is now being prepped for its opening in summer 2010. There are two large slides, one enclosed and one unenclosed. All of the equipment is on a floating platform that will be stable, but has the ability to rise and fall with the tides. The slides are accessed by a spiral staircase and end up in the lagoon. There is also a water spray area and a large bucket that will fill with water and dump over onto the “castaways” below.

 Pelican's Plunge - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

 Pelican's Plunge - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

 Pelican's Plunge - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

 Pelican's Plunge - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

 Pelican's Plunge - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

I took a peak at the new beach cabanas and they look very fun. One of the cabanas was very close to completion, but the rest have a ways to go. Once finished, they will be in a prime location right near Pelican's Plunge.

 New Cabanas - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

 New Cabanas - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

 New Cabanas - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

 New Cabanas - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

 New Cabanas - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Behind another construction wall, the buildings for Cookies Too, the new family lunch buffet area are well under way. It is my understanding that the building in the back will be the food service building, the building to the left will be a seating area, and the Grouper Game Pavilion will be converted into a second seating area.

 Cookies Too - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

 Cookies Too - Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

A new shaded structure, In Da Shade Game Pavilion will be located near the Family Beach.

The original Castaway Ray's building is still on place, no word on the future of this structure.


 Castaway Rays- Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line

Serenity Bay, the adult beach, remains unchanged at this time and there is no construction in process. The only additions that have been announced are some of the new Beach Cabanas and also a few additional massage cabanas.

Castaway Cay is looking great and I think Disney Cruise Line has done a great job keeping the effects of construction to a minimum. They placed a letter in my stateroom apologizing for any inconvenience or construction noise, but I did not have any problems. I was there on a Friday, and no construction was going on, so it appears they are trying to get work done on the days when no ships are in port.

The new changes are very exciting, and it looks like when the changes are completed next summer, Castaway Cay will be more magical than ever.

Check out the Disney Cruise Line Press Release on Castaway Cay's Enhancements.

Mike Dion is a 19 year old sophomore at the University of Florida (UF) and is pursuing a bachelors degree in International Business. Born in Grand Rapids, MI he fell in love with Walt Disney World on his family's many trips to Orlando. In 2002, he and his family moved to Orlando and have been WDW annual pass-holders ever since. Mike's favorite ride is Splash Mountain, and his favorite restaurant is Ohana. Mike took his first cruise on the Disney
Wonder in 2006 and has since taken 11 cruises with 7 on Disney Cruise Line. In 2008 Mike visited Disneyland for the first time, returning in 2009 as part of the D23 expo. During the school year Mike performs improv comedy at UF.


The previous post in this blog was Gingerbread House at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa .

The next post in this blog is Bluezoo - Walt Disney World Dolphin - A Review.

Comments (7)

Elizabeth:

Thanks for the update Mike, My family and I are heading to the magical caribbean spot in 46 days! (we're a wee bit excited, this will be my 2nd visit) I had figured some construction would be underway whilst we were there. I'm glad to see that it's being done in such a way that it doesn't take away the magic and relaxation this wonderful island offers.
Thanks again for the information and great blog.

Joan:

Mike - Thanks for all the great information. I loved the detail and the pictures are terrific. Your blog brings back wonderful memories for me and I can't wait to get back to Castaway Cay to see all that they have done. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this.

Brenda:

Thanks for the update. My family and I were just there last week. We had the pleasure of taking our first ever cruise on the Disney Wonder at Thanksgiving time! We went to Castaway Cay on Saturday and there was no construction at all, but you could tell big, exciting things are coming! Looking forward to our next cruise.

chad armstrong:

thanks for the pictures mike, I didn't notice the slide when we were there this week. do you have any idea if they'll be able to do anything with the seaweed (or whatever that stuff is) surrounding the adult beach?

Nathaniel Powe:

I know my question has nothing to do with Castaway Cay but where you able to see any of the new Disney 3-D shows on the ship?

"THE Disney Fanatic"

Ashley:

Oh looks like so much fun I'm gonna go. The only thing my kid will eat is applesauce do they have any on Castaway Cay or any f the Disney cruise line ships?

Gwendolyn Anderson:

I thought that I remembered the "Black Pearl" ship from the movie being anchored at Castaway Cay? I am correct & where is the ship that they used in the movie?

Thanks.

P.S. We are planning a Cruise on the Disney Wonder - November 2014 & we were curious about the ship.

AllEars: The ship was removed a few years ago.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 1, 2009 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Gingerbread House at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa .

The next post in this blog is Bluezoo - Walt Disney World Dolphin - A Review.

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