A look at Cabana #1 on the family beach at Disney's Castaway Cay

One of the best know luxuries many long to try us renting a Cabana at Disney’s Castaway Cay.  For a price these cabanas day of  luxury in a tropical paradise.

As you might have figured out I am biased and think that the cabanas are a must-do and something everyone should do at least once if you can swing it. Come with me as I show what it’s all about and why you should join the club.

***Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Click here for more details.

Reserving a Cabana

Getting a Cabana is Harder than You Think

Let’s start at the beginning… it all begins long before you get on board.  Because before you can stay in a cabana you have to first score a cabana.

Typically all of the cabanas at Castaway Cay are reserved by the Platinum (over 10 Disney Cruises under their belt) and Concierge guests before they are ever even opened up to the Gold, Silver or first time cruisers.

Cabanas for Concierge and Platinum Castaway Cay Club Members open up at 120 days before your cruise.  Concierge folks have an edge because Concierge can ‘request’ a cabana at 125 days out but it is still not booked until 120 days.  Basically Concierge guests get to line up early.

The bottom line here is either become a Platinum Castaway Club Member, book Concierge or become friends with one of them early.

Castaway Cay Club Logo

What to Expect Before You Get to Castaway Cay

So you have succeeded in getting a cabana booked and now it is time for your cruise.  The day before you arrive at Castaway Cay you will receive some very special mail to your state room.

You will receive wrist bands for everyone in your party, your cabana number and directions for checking in the next morning.

Castaway Cay - Cabana writ band

Expert Tip: Your directions tell you to check in at a desk new ‘She Sells Seashells’ but you don’t need to waste the time.  Just head directly to your cabana.  The Concierge Cast Members that serve the cabanas will stop by and make sure you are settle ok.  No need to wait in line if you don’t have to.

You don’t need to race to the cabana so take your time and when you get there just relax.  And there is no need to bring towels, water, beach toys,sunscreen, etc.  It is all there waiting for you.

Remember you are experiencing luxury – not fighting for a place on the beach.

Disney's Castaway Cay Island Cabanas on the family beach

What’s Included In the Cabana

Once you step foot into your cabana you are going to realize this is not your average beach hut.  Within this three sided structure you will find a couch, two chairs and two small coffee tables.

In one corner is a privacy curtain (perfect for changing out of wet bathing suits) and above you is a ceiling fan to keep you cool on those hot days.  If it should rain there are shutter and curtains that can be closed to keep the rain out of the main living area.

If you head out back you will find another chair and two very inviting lounges.  Walk a couple more steps and you will find the hammock that sways in the shade.  Perfect for an afternoon nap.

you will never need to leave

  • a small fridge with sodas, water, fresh fruit and cold washclothes
  • a small basket of snacks
  • plates and utensils
  • a basket of towels (more in the closet if you run out)
  • sunscreen
  • beach toys

Disney's Castaway Cay Cabana #1 - it's stocked so you never have to leave

If you think you need anything else just push the button on the wall.  A cabana Cast Member will stop by and bring it right to you.

Tip: The first time we rented a cabana we didn’t order drinks using the button.  We thought it would be too expensive.  It wasn’t until our second time that we realized the drink prices are quite reasonable and there is no reason to walk if you don’t have to.

cabana drink menu (photo courtesy of www.disneycruiselineblog.com)

cabana drink menu (photo courtesy of www.disneycruiselineblog.com )

Your Private Beach

There really is no reason to leave your cabana with all the comforts Disney provides you, but there is a little thing out your door called a private beach that may sway you.

Note: The cabanas on the family beach have a private beach while the cabanas on Serenity Bay share their beach with the other guests (adults only).  So if you want a more private beach rent one of the family beach cabanas.

Disney's Castaway Cay Cabana #1 - wooden walkway with security making sure only cabana guests have access to the beach

There are two things about Cabana #1 that make it a bit different.  The first is that is has a wooden walkway to the beach because it is handicap accessible.  You can easily roll a beach wheelchair along the path and onto the beach.

The second is that you are right next to the family beach.  You get to see how crowded it is and also watch the Disney security stop people from coming over to your beach. (nothing like being a bit snobby and wanting the commoners to remian on their side of the rope 😉 )

Disney's Castaway Cay Cabana #1 - a beach all to yourself

The beach is wonderful.  There are enough chairs and umbrellas for each of the cabanas to have their own without invading each others space.

There are also stacks of float tubes and flat floats for everyone to have their own if they want.  These are included in the price of the cabanas.  Regularly this would run you a ~$10 rental per float.

Disney's Castaway Cay Cabana #1 - float tubes included in the price of the cabana

Everything Else that Is Included

Up until now you haven’t left the cabana or the private beach, but there is a lot included if you do want to go to other areas of Castaway Cay.

With your cabana rental you also get bike rentals (~$11 per hour), float rentals (~$10 per float) and snorkel equipment included  (~$32 per adult, ~$15 per child).

Disney's Castaway Cay bike rentals

You may even be able to recoup some of your expenses in rentals alone!!

Expert Tip: Another perk of staying in a cabana is the no need to rush back to the ship.  The cabana Cast Members will come by your cabana for last call and drive you back to the ship in a golf cart.

Is it worth it?

Now that is the question isn’t it?  For most people (even us) paying ~$400 to ~$900 for a place to sit at the beach is a big decision and eats into other things you may want to do on the cruise. I have included below a video with more of my thoughts.

For our family it makes sense.  We have a base of operation where we can leave our stuff and the Disney cast members make sure if we need anything they take care of it.

That means no having to wander off to get a drink or go to a bathroom to change a kid.

What it does mean is we get more time with the family and relaxing while we do it.  To us that is priceless but it is definitely not for everyone.

I am happy to answer any questions you may have and would love to know if you think it is worth it.

A look at Cabana #1 on the family beach at Disney's Castaway Cay