How to reserve a cabana on Disney Castaway Cay

You have your Disney Cruise Line vacation planned and you are ready to add some extra magic to your sailing. One of my favorite splurges is to reserve a cabana on Disney Castaway Cay. However, there are not very many of them, and the demand is very high.

How do you reserve a cabana on Disney Castaway Cay?

In theory, you would reserve your cabana at the same time you book excursions and other onboard activities like spa treatments or mixology classes. These activities are available for booking in the MyDisneyCruise section of the DisneyCruise.com website.

Once you have logged in, your itinerary comes up, and you will be able to book cruise activities based on your location each day of your cruise. You simply select Castaway Cay and book it… if there are any available, and there usually are not.

All about Disney Castaway Cay Cabanas

Cabanas are private huts available to rent on both the Family Beach and Serenity Bay (which is for adults only). To learn more visit

What you need to know about cabanas on Castaway Cay

 

Cabana 21 – The Grand Family Cabana
Cabana 19 (right) and Cabana 20 (left)
Gate allowing entrance to the cabanas on the Family Beach.
Welcome Cabana Guests
View of the cabana from beach chairs.
Cabana 12

But you logged in the moment your activities window opened, and they are all gone. How can they all be reserved?

The first reason is simply supply and demand.

Cabanas 1-21 are located on the Family Beach side of the island. Funny enough, there is no Cabana 13 (though I really wish there was – especially at Halloween) and Cabana 21 is the Grand Family Cabana.

Cabanas 22-25 are located at Serenity Bay and are for adults only.

So, only 24 cabanas on the island, and up to 4,000 guests per ship. They go fast.


Your booking window

The other reason that the cabanas may be booked up before you even have a chance at them is that Disney Cruise Line allows guests to book activities based on how many times they have sailed with DCL in the past.

Image Courtesy DCL
  • Platinum Castaway Club members who have completed 10 or more cruises: 120 days prior to sailing
  • Gold Castaway Club members who have completed 5 or more cruises: 105 days prior to sailing
  • Silver Castaway Club members who have completed at least 1 cruise: 90 days prior to sailing
  • First time DCL Guests: 75 prior to sailing

And Concierge Level guests also can begin selecting their cruise activities – including cabana rentals – at 120 days prior to sailing.

So, if this is your first or second cruise, lots of guests will have had the opportunity to reserve a cabana on Disney Castaway Cay weeks before you.

Is it like this for all activities?

Yes and no. Yes, Castaway Club members have first access to lots of things, but that certainly doesn’t mean that everything will be booked solid at the 75 day point.

I like to think of Cabanas like a Flight of Passage or Slinky Dog Dash FastPass… nice if you can get it, but there is so much else on the island to enjoy.

Also, if there was nothing left to do on their first cruise, do you think all of these Castaway Club members would be returning to Disney Cruise Lineagain and again for their vacations?

How to increase your chances to reserve a cabana on Disney Castaway Cay

1 – Log in to your MyDisneyCruise account on midnight on the day your planning window opens. It will be clearly stated in your MyReservations area on DisneyCruise.com. Don’t delay.

2- If Concierge Level cruising is in your budget, give it a try. Concierge Guests on Disney Cruise Line get many perks, including first booking opportunities for cabanas.

3- Sail on the Disney Magic or Disney Wonder on an itinerary that includes a stop at Castaway Cay.

Why? The Disney Magic and Disney Wonder carry a little over half the number of guests as the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Fewer Guests = Less Competition

However, you have to look carefully at each itinerary as these two ships do not stop at Disney Castaway Cay every time they sail to the Caribbean or Bahamas.

4 – Get on the wait list. 

Once you board the ship head over to the Guest Services desk and/or the Port Adventure desk and inquire if they are accepting names for the cabana wait list, and ask to be added. You may be directed to the Port Adventures desk, and sometimes the Port Adventures desk directs you to Guest Services… so don’t be alarmed if the Crew Member you need to speak to is at the alternate desk. It happens.

And check back at the desk the day prior to your day at Castaway Cay. When we had our first cabana, we were on the waitlist and didn’t know until the night before which cabana we would have, but we had one!

Wrapping it up

If you don’t get a cabana, don’t despair, you are still in for an amazing day. I love Disney Castaway Cay. Sometimes we have a cabana and sometimes we don’t.

Be sure to read The Best Place on Castaway Cay to Set up for the Day, to find my recommended non-cabana locales for you to set up your home base on the beach.

How to reserve a cabana on Disney Castaway Cay | DCL Prep School