Are you planning a Disney Cruise Line vacation and wondering what a Fish Extender is? If you’re new to cruising, or this is your first Disney Cruise and have yet to hear of this unique tradition, Sunset Chasers has got you covered. In this guide, we’ll dive into the world of Fish Extenders, exploring everything from joining a Fish Extender group to selecting the perfect Fish Extender gifts. So, let’s jump right in!
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A Fish Extender is a pocket organizer that hangs on the small metal fish outside your Disney Cruise stateroom door. Its purpose is to facilitate door-to-door gift exchanges among fellow passengers, creating community and fun during the Cruise. Disney Cruise Line does not officially endorse the Fish Extender program, but it has become a popular tradition among cruisers.
The origin of Fish Extenders can be traced back to online Disney Cruise communities. As cruisers started connecting on platforms like Facebook groups and forums, they came up with the idea of exchanging small gifts with their fellow passengers to get to know each other.
The first ever Fish Extender happened in 2005 during a long Panama Canal trip. The cruisers wanted to get to know each other throughout this longer Cruise and came up with the idea to exchange little gifts with different people on the Cruise.
The name “Fish Extender” refers to the fish-shaped metal plaques found outside most Disney Cruise stateroom doors, which serve as a convenient hook for hanging the pocket organizers.
Do not worry – if your Disney cruise ship does not have the metal plaque in the shape of a fish, you will still have a Fish Extender gift exchange.
To participate in a Fish Extender exchange, you must first find or create a Fish Extender group. You can do a Facebook search for groups dedicated to your Cruise so you can join the FE Exchange. Typically these Facebook Groups have the name of your ship and the date of your Cruise.
Once you are in your unofficial Disney Cruise Facebook group, feel free to join the additional Disney Cruise Fish Exchange Group so you can get a good idea of different Fish Extender gifts (FE Gifts) to purchase or make.
If you need help finding an existing group for your sailing, consider starting your own and becoming the FE Group Coordinator! Create a Facebook page or post on Disney Cruise forums to gather interested participants.
Provide details like the cruise date and ship name, allowing others to join your group. As the Fish Extender group coordinator, you must communicate with your members, share guidelines, and keep everyone updated.
Make sure you join the Fish Extender group as soon as you realize you want to participate; many Coordinators close the group 2-6 months before the sailing, so participants have plenty of time to buy or make the gifts. Typically
Getting a Fish Extender for your Disney Cruise is easy! There are multiple ways you can make or purchase one:
Remember, the most crucial aspect is having a pocketed organizer that hangs on your stateroom door to hold the gifts. Whether you make one or purchase it, having a Fish Extender adds excitement and participation in the gift exchange tradition during your Disney Cruise vacation.
Selecting the right Disney Cruise Fish Extender gifts is fun and creative. The gifts can be small tokens of appreciation or themed items that reflect your favorite Disney characters or the overall cruise experience. Here are some great Fish extender gift ideas
Remember, the value of Fish Extender gifts is not about the price tag but the thought and effort put into selecting or creating something meaningful. One of my favorite Fish Extender Gifts to bring from New Orleans is a couple of pralines. Only some people have had Pralines before, and I can buy them individually wrapped from the grocery store! Pralines usually stay fresh for about a week or so.
When participating in a Fish Extender exchange on a Disney Cruise, it’s important to remember that the value of the gift is not the main focus. Think about it much like Secret Santa – the joy of giving and receiving surprises is what truly matters.
Make sure you set a reasonable budget for yourself and your family. Consider your overall cruise budget and allocate a portion for Fish Extender gifts. This can help you stay within your means and ensure a fair participant exchange.
Ultimately, there is no set rule or the specific amount you should spend on a Fish Extender gift. Participating with a genuine spirit of generosity and thoughtfulness is crucial. Choose gifts that bring joy and create a memorable experience for your fellow cruisers, regardless of price. If you are still determining how much to spend, you can spend between $5-10 per person or $20 per cabin.
Transporting your Fish Extender gifts safely and conveniently is important to consider when preparing for your Disney Cruise. The best way to bring all the gifts is to bring an extra suitcase for your gift bags. This will provide ample space to organize and protect the gifts during transportation.
When packing your gifts, clearly label each gift with the corresponding cabin number or name of the recipient. Even though it is time-consuming, this will help you stay organized and ensure that each gift reaches its intended recipient with clarity.
Once you deliver all the gifts, you will have an empty suitcase to place all the goodies in!
Delivering the Fish Extender Gifts is half of the fun! If your FE coordinator doesn’t have rules on fish extender deliveries, then you can do one of these delivery methods during the duration of the Cruise.
I like to drop off my presents on a sea day to explore the ship, see all the different door decorations at participating cabins and ensure I’m taking my time at the end of my trip.
Pixie Dusting is a term commonly found in Walt Disney World and Disney Land when a cast member surprises you with a special moment. On the Disney Cruise Line, guests like to Pixie Dust other cabins.
If you didn’t participate in a Fish Extender program or brought extra gifts on board, you can Pixie Dust other passengers by placing small candies or other items in their fish extenders.
Both Pixie Dusting and participating in Fish Extenders are entirely optional.
Participating in a Fish Extender exchange on a Disney Cruise offers a unique and magical experience. It allows you to connect with fellow passengers, spread joy, and create lasting memories.
By participating, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, make friends, and bond with fellow Disney enthusiasts. The surprise of finding small and thoughtful gifts in your Fish Extender pocket each day adds an extra touch of magic to your vacation.
Ultimately, the Fish Extender exchange allows you to fully embrace the Disney magic and enhance your cruise experience. It’s a joyful and memorable tradition that the Disney Cruise Line is part of, providing an opportunity to connect, surprise, and bring smiles to the faces of your fellow cruisers. So join a group, prepare to give and receive, and prepare for an extraordinary journey filled with Disney enchantment.
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