Castaway Cay

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Castaway Cay
Disney's Castaway Cay logo
Castaway Cay is located in Bahamas
Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay is located in Caribbean
Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay
LocationThe Bahamas, Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates26°05′38″N 77°32′00″W / 26.093753°N 77.533332°W / 26.093753; -77.533332Coordinates: 26°05′38″N 77°32′00″W / 26.093753°N 77.533332°W / 26.093753; -77.533332
ArchipelagoLucayan Archipelago
Area1,000 acres (400 ha)
DistrictSouth Abaco
Population≈ 120

Castaway Cay is a private island in the Bahamas which serves as an exclusive port for the Disney Cruise Line ships. It is located near Great Abaco Island and was formerly known as Gorda Cay. In 1997, The Walt Disney Company purchased a 99-year land lease (through 2096) for the cay from the Bahamian government, giving the company substantial control over the island.[1]

Castaway Cay was the first private island in the cruise industry where the ship docks on the island, eliminating the need for guests to be tendered to land.[2]

The island is still largely undeveloped as only 55 of the 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) are being used. Castaway Cay now has approximately 140 Disney Cruise Line permanent residents who keep the island running daily;[2] the numbers fluctuate between the busy and off seasons.


Gorda Cay was first settled in 1783.[3] Gorda's airstrip (now Castaway Cay Airport) was once used as a stop in the 1930s for bootleggers[4] and later, drug runners.[5]

Gorda Cay had also been used for filming in 1983. The beach where Tom Hanks first encounters Daryl Hannah in Splash is on the island.[3] Part of the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was filmed on the island.[4]

In 1997, the Disney Cruise Line purchased a 99-year lease for Gorda Cay from the Bahamian government and renamed it Castaway Cay, intending for it to be the line's private island. The company spent $25 million while construction took 18 months.[5] This included dredging 50,000 truckloads of sand from the Atlantic Ocean.[6] The pier and its approaches were constructed to allow the Disney ships to dock alongside, thus removing the need for tenders to get the passengers ashore.[5] To create the mooring site for the ships, workers dredged sand and used explosives to blast coral to form a 1,700-foot (520 m) channel about 35 feet (11 m) deep and ranging from 200 to 400 feet (120 m) wide.

An additional race, Castaway Cay Challenge, was added to the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend series in 2015 with the 5K race taking place on Castaway Cay.[7]

On February 26, 2015, a 38-year-old man from New York died after drowning at the adult beach at Castaway Cay.[8] A death from a medical condition occurred on March 1 of that year on a ship docked at the island.[9]


Disney Fantasy at Castaway Cay (34702733835).jpg

A post office on the island has special Bahamian postage and postmark specific to Disney Cruise Line.[5] The island is developed in the theme of a castaway community with buildings made to look as if they had been improvised after a shipwreck. The facilities are maintained like any other Disney theme park; the shops accept guests' stateroom keys for payment. Food service is operated as an extension of the cruise package. A variety of activities are available to guests including bicycle rentals, personal watercraft rentals, massages overlooking the ocean, snorkeling, parasailing, volleyball, and basketball. There are monkey bars and a rope for children to climb across set about 30 metres (98 ft) into the ocean on one beach and a slide about 25 metres (82 ft) into the ocean on another beach. There are three beaches for guests: one for families, one for cabana guests, and another exclusively for adults, called Serenity Bay.[5]

Two submarine-ride vehicles from the now-closed 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage ride at Walt Disney World lie underwater in the snorkeling area.[4] The Flying Dutchman pirate ship, from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, was formerly on display in the lagoon, but as of November 2010, it had been removed and taken to another location on the island where it was dismantled.

Castaway Cay has facilities for the exclusive use of the ships' crews, including beaches and recreational areas. Approximately 140 Disney Cruise Line crew members, boat captains, drivers, landscapers, lifeguards, and maintenance personnel live and work full-time on the island[2] and are supplemented by crew from the ship when one is in port. Food and other supplies are brought in by the cruise ships. Sea water is desalinated for drinking with reverse osmosis water processors.[citation needed]


Castaway Cay Airport
Airport typePrivate
ServesCastaway Cay
Locationthe Bahamas
Elevation AMSL5 ft / 2 m
Coordinates26°5′26.0″N 77°32′23.9″W / 26.090556°N 77.539972°W / 26.090556; -77.539972 (Castaway Cay Airport (Castaway Cay))
MYAG is located in Bahamas
Location of Castaway Cay Airport in the Bahamas
Direction Length Surface
m ft
14/32 945 3,100 Asphalt

Castaway Cay Airport (ICAO: MYAG) is a private use airport located in Castaway Cay, the Bahamas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Heimbuch, Jeff (February 4, 2011). "The Colorful Story of Castaway Cay". Disney Dispatch. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Disney Cruise Line Fun Facts". Disney Cruise Line News.
  3. ^ a b Fritscher, Lisa. "How Disney Cruises Started". USA Today. Gannett. Demand Media. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Lyn, Diane (January 29, 2013). "Secrets Revealed About Disney's Castaway Cay". Today’s 101.9. CBS Local Media. Archived from the original on June 4, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e Saunders, Aaron (October 1, 2013). Giants of the Seas: The Ships that Transformed Modern Cruising. Seaforth Publishing. pp. 76–78. ISBN 1848321724. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  6. ^ "Disney's `Deserted' Island Is Ready For Its Cruise Castaways". Orlando Sentinel. 8 June 1998. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  7. ^ Mauney, Matt (January 14, 2015). "Disney's private island hosts inaugural 5K challenge". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  8. ^ "American Cruise Ship Passenger Drowns At Castaway Cay". Tribune242. February 27, 2015. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Maycock, Denise (March 4, 2015). "Second Disney Passenger Has Swimming Accident". Tribune Freeport. The Tribune Limited. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  10. ^ Airport record for Castaway Cay Airport at Retrieved 2013-08-08
  11. ^ Google (2013-08-08). "location of Castaway Cay Airport" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2013-08-08.

External links[edit]