Disney Cruise Line (DCL) offers a unique experience for families and individuals seeking a fun-filled adventure at sea. One of the most popular traditions on board DCL ships is the Fish Extender (FE) program.
Need Disney Cruise fish extender ideas? Here are 17 Disney Cruise fish extender gift ideas that are sure to bring back fond memories for years to come.
One of the unique things about Disney Cruise Line is that guests join small groups before their cruise and “meet” other guests before the trip.
They can then sign up to make small gifts for the guests in their group, and in turn, they receive small gifts as well. Sometimes they are for each member of the family and other gifts are per family.
Whether you are already looking for ideas or just curious as to what in the world a fish extender is, I’ve got you.
If you are looking for creative DIY Disney Cruise fish extender ideas for your Disney cruise or perhaps you already have one, but you need some ideas for fish extender gifts to give to the other families participating with you, this is the place!
Are you planning a Disney cruise? If it’s your first time, you may have come across the concept of fish extenders in your research.
What Is A Fish Extender?
Fish extenders are small hanging organizers that are hung outside your stateroom door on the fish or seahorse hook for the length of your cruise. Participating guests leave little gifts in each other’s fish extenders each day of the cruise. You can find Fish Extender groups on Facebook or in Disney fan forums for your specific cruise date.
The fish extender tradition isn’t operated by Disney, but it is allowed. Volunteers arrange everything, and it can be a lot of fun, but don’t let it stress you out. You don’t need to buy expensive gifts to participate in the exchange. In fact, many of the gifts are handmade, which makes it all the more special.
If you’d like to participate in the festivities during your upcoming cruise, you’ll find several cute fish extenders and the best fish extender gifts in the list below.
How does the Fish Extender program work?
To participate in the Fish Extender program, you must sign up in advance on a dedicated Facebook group or other social media platform for your specific sailing date and ship. Once you have joined the group, you will receive information about how to create or purchase a Fish Extender and what types of gifts are appropriate to include.
The program is designed to be a gift exchange, so you are expected to give and receive gifts from other participants. Many guests choose to give small trinkets, toys, or other souvenirs that represent their hometown or favorite Disney characters. Some guests even create personalized gifts like embroidered towels, t-shirts, or other handmade items.
On the day of embarkation, you will receive a list of stateroom numbers of other participants in your group. You will be expected to visit each stateroom on the list and leave a small gift in their Fish Extender pouch. Similarly, other guests will visit your stateroom and leave gifts in your Fish Extender pouch.
What are the benefits of participating in the Fish Extender program?
The Fish Extender program is a great way to meet new people and make new friends on your cruise. It’s also a fun way to get creative and come up with unique gift ideas that will surprise and delight your fellow guests.
In addition to the social benefits, the Fish Extender program is a great way to make your Disney Cruise Line vacation even more memorable. Guests who participate in the program often look back on their experience with fond memories of the fun and excitement they shared with their fellow cruisers.
DIY Disney Cruise Fish Extender Ideas
If you are planning a Disney Cruise then you came to the right place for Disney fish extender gift ideas for adults and children. These DIY fish extender gifts will be perfect for your new Cruise friends and will bring back wonderful memories once they travel home.
A simple hanging organizer is Disney-fied with Mickey and Minnie bats. These are perfect for Halloween on the High Seas, which runs in September and October on select Disney cruise ships! In addition to bats, you might look for clipart featuring Mickey pumpkins, ghosts, Frankensteins, and more. Yes, you can really find clipart for all of those! You can also find out more about what fish extenders are, how to find the groups, and ideas for what to put in fish extenders by clicking the link above. (via Just is a Four Letter Word)
If you want to make a fish extender on the cheap, using inexpensive tote bags is a great idea! Use your Cricut and the Disney cartridge to create the designs and names on the front. Then, add some ribbon and embellishments, attach the bags together, and you’re all set. They’re perfect for holding plenty of gifts and trinkets if you’re participating in a larger fish extender group. (via A New Dawnn)
For those who don’t like to sew, this no-sew fish extender is genius. Using a nursery organizer and your Cricut, you can come up with a beautiful Disney-themed design that fits your family in no time flat. (via Liz on Call)
This is another cute take on the fish extender made from a nursery organizer, but any door hanger will do. The anchor ribbon rim was a nice touch that’s very fitting for a cruise! (via We Got the Funk)
We love how colorful this Small World fish extender is! The project is simple as far as sewing goes, but you’ll need a sewing machine because it requires zig-zag and straight stitches. You could use this idea to create a fish extender in any fabric patterns you’d like. (via Momfluential)
This inexpensive closet organizer makes a lovely fish extender with some vinyl decorations made on your Cricut. It’s perfect for a little family of three, or you can double them up if you have a larger family. (via Mama Cheaps)
Here’s a fun one! It incorporates all of our favorite Toy Stoy charactersóMr. Potato Head, Bo Peep, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear. It’s absolutely perfect for kids who are obsessed with the Toy Story movies. (via A Mother’s Random Thoughts)
Now, if you’re looking for cute ideas to put in everyone’s fish extenders, take a look at these ideas!
Disney Cruise Fish Extender Gift Ideas
This cruise survival kit is genius! It includes lots of things that can come in handy, like socks, paper and pen, magnets, and movie night snacks. However, you can create a similar gift with items that you†feel are cruise must-haves. (via Play Party Plan)
These little Disney magnets make great fish extender gifts! The stateroom doors are metal in most areas, and guests are permitted to decorate their doors with magnets. (via The Savvy Mama Lifestyle)
This is a cute idea if you’re sailing in spring before Easter. These instructions are for using blown-out eggs, but those are too fragile for packing. Use wooden eggs instead to get the same gorgeous look. (via Fun Money Mom)
This is a wonderful option for any Tinkerbell-obsessed little girl. These necklaces are easy and inexpensive to make! (via Sugar, Spice, and Glitter)
5. Felt Rose
Inspired by Beauty and the Beast, these felt roses are just gorgeous! They’re inexpensive to make, too, which makes them great fish extender gifts. (via My Poppet)
An autograph book is a must for those character experiences on board. And what could be cuter than a Mickey-themed autograph book? (via The Scrap Shoppe)
Dory and Nemo-themed bookmarks are cruise-appropriate! They’re made with glitter and sequins (but held together in a plastic sleeve), so they’re a sparkly addition to any bookworm’s bookmark collection. (via A Pumpkin and a Princess)
Keychains are great fish extender gifts for adults and kids alike. Kids can clip them onto their backpacks or luggage! These Mickey keychains are made out of felt and are fun no-sew crafts that the kids can help you with. (via Farm Girl Gabs)
Pirate necklaces, keyrings, eyepatches, and of course, some gold coins and a couple of real dollars are a great pirate party favor or fish extender gift. The Mickey pirate ship on the front of the pillow boxes was made using the Cricut. (via Clever Pink Pirate)
These are super easy and totally inexpensive gifts! They’re made with pop rocks and look so pretty. All ages will enjoy them! (via My Crazy Good Life)
The Fish Extender program is a fun and unique way to connect with other guests on your Disney Cruise Line vacation. By participating in the program, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, exchange fun gifts, and create lasting memories. So, if you’re planning a Disney Cruise Line vacation, be sure to sign up for the Fish Extender program and get ready to have a blast!
Are you excited to participate in the Disney Cruise fish extender activities on your cruise? Let us know how it goes! Pin this list to save it for your next cruise. You can never stop at one!