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The Ultimate Guide to the Disney Cruise Fish Extender

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The Ultimate Guide to the Disney Cruise Fish ExtenderIf you want to take your Disney Cruise to a whole new level, take part in a Disney Cruise Fish Extender Exchange. It is when cruisers exchange gifts with each other without even having to meet. 

Think of it like a Secret Santa Exchange, but on a cruise ship with people you don’t know. 

Want to know more? 

The Ultimate Guide to Disney Cruise Fish Extender Exchange

Disney Cruise Stateroom Door FishWhat is a Disney Cruise Fish Extender?

When you arrive at your Disney Cruise stateroom door, you will find that there is a fish marker tell you the state room number.

This “fish” is not just decorative, often room stewards attach tickets, bills and other written information to the top of it.

Fish Extender on Disney CruiseOver time, guests began using it as a way to communicate with other guests and as time went on, it developed into an actually set of pockets that attached to the “fish,” or as we call it now, a Disney Cruise Fish Extender. 

This pocketed Fish Extender is a device that has pockets for the purpose of allowing other guests to leave goodies, gifts and treats for other cruisers.

What is a Disney Cruise Fish Exchange?

The Disney Cruise Fish Exchange is a when a group of fellow cruisers sign up to send gifts to each other while on the cruise.

These fish exchange groups are usually set up on a message board and involve between 10-15 families.

Each family is responsible for buying or making gifts to give each person in the other groups. 

During the cruise, you deliver the gifts to their stateroom by placing them in the Disney Cruise Fish Extender that hangs beside their stateroom door.

How do I Participate in a Disney Cruise Fish Exchange?

There are a few different places to sign up for a Disney Cruise Fish Exchange, but the most popular is through Facebook groups.

Just do a search by the cruise ship name & date of cruise. For example: Disney Dream November 29, 2019 will give you this result. 

Another great resource for finding a Disney Cruise Fish Exchange Group is to look on

You can search to find the ship and date of cruise and usually someone in the message boards start a Disney Cruise Fish Exchange.

Disney Cruise Fish ExtendersWhere do I get a Disney Cruise Fish Extender?

While Disney Cruise Fish Extenders are easy to make, some people just don’t have the time or might feel like they aren’t crafty enough. 

If you do want to make your own and you know how to use a sewing machine to at least make a straight stitch, I have the perfect Disney Cruise Fish Extender sewing tutorial for you. 

What type of Gifts do People Give for a Disney Cruise Fish Exchange?

When you receive your Disney Cruise Fish exchange list, it will have the names of everyone in the stateroom along with their age and possibly favorite character. Take this into consideration when deciding on gifts. 

Gifts can be as simple or as extravagant as you choose to make them. 

We have participated in several Disney Cruise fish exchanges and each time we come home with many different types of gifts. 

What else you need to know about Disney Cruise Fish Extender & Exchange Groups

  • Remember that every gift will have to be packed. I’m always amazed at the effort some people will go to in these Disney Cruise fish exchange groups. For example, if you plan on giving 25 plastic tumblers, just remember that you will have to pack 25 plastic tumblers in your luggage. 
  • Make sure that you label each gift with name & room cabin number. This will make things much easier for you when you make your deliveries. 
  • Bring a bag to deliver your gifts. It is much easier than trying to carry them all over the ship by hand. 
  • Disney Cruise ships are enormous. Make a delivery plan before heading out to give out gifts so that you can save yourself time and energy. 
  • Be sure to plan out when you are going to deliver Fish exchange gifts based on down time on the cruise. Many people choose the day at sea or at the end of the evening.
  • Don’t have expectations as far as gifts go. Some people will go crazy and spend a ton of money, while others will go on the cheap. People simply do what they can afford. Don’t spend time in judgement, just be thankful for the effort!

Guide to the Disney Cruise Fish Extender

Have you taken part of a Fish Extender exchange group? Do you have any tips to share?

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Friday 23rd of August 2019

Iwe are going on a 15 day cruise; our first with a Disney, in March 2020. With that said, with the fish extender-if I’m in a group of 10 families, I will need to purchase 10 gifts for those 15 days?


Saturday 7th of September 2019

You will purchase a gift for each person in the group.

Eileen Caraballo

Thursday 23rd of May 2019

We are taking our first Disney Cruise on the Wonder to Alaska in August. What do you recommend to pack?