What Is The Fish Extender On A Disney Cruise?

Fish Extender

If you have taken a Disney Cruise, or thought about it, you have heard of “Fish Extender”. The Fish Extender (FE) if not an official Disney experience. It is set up by cruisers between cruisers. It is a magical gift exchange. Don’t know what it is? Don’t worry, we are here to help.

Outside of your stateroom door on DCL, there is a fish. It is where they put your mail, notices, etc. This is where you hang your extender. Hence, Fish Extender. They can be DIY, bought or created. You can order custom ones online, go to a local craft store and make them. I have seen organizers with a little added touch of personalization. I have even seen reusable bags. Yes. Have fun with it.


There are many platforms to join a group for your specific cruise. Since it has become quite popular, they are easy to find and most already have it set up. Ask about participating in the Fish Extender. Sometimes you will run into multiples and that’s ok. This is a great way to meet fellow cruisers too. You will add your family to a group with an opening or to the person who is organizing it. Add some details like favorites, dislikes, and celebrations for everyone joining. Several members or families join and that will be your fish extender group. Estimate about 5 families in each group. They vary. Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy for every extender on the ship. It’s a fun way to get to know each other which makes the gifts a little easier.

Now you find gadgets and gizmos to drop off in their extender during the cruise. You only have to do it once throughout the sailing. We usually bring some extras as back up and for Pixie Dust! Pixie Dust is just a little extra magic you drop in other Fish Extenders. Gifts can be a small or large as you want. Just remember Fish Extenders aren’t very big. Have fun with it. Be creative. Go with a theme. Play on their likes. You can buy goodies or handmake them.

Dropping them off is half the fun. You get to navigate around the ships to the rooms in your group. There is magic all around so it’s fun to experience parts of the ship you may not have seen otherwise. Trying to sneak it in there while they don’t come in or out. Seeing all the decorated staterooms and fish extenders is fun. There are some awesomely unique decor people have. Candy, fun games, questions and even pin trading on staterooms doors! Depending on what the Fish Extender is, it plays a part in when I drop off. If it’s something they can enjoy during the cruise it’s usually the first night. If not, I usually wait mid-cruise. That way they get some goodies throughout the cruise.

Watching the kids check their fish extenders is fun. It adds to the magic. Coming around the corner and seeing their pocket filled with trinkets and their face lighting up. Even as an adult, we get some pretty cool souvenirs. It’s something fun to be a part of.

What has been your favorite Fish Extender gift? Interested in a Disney Cruise? My name is Jamie Porter and I am an independent travel agent with Amazing Magical Adventures. I am a Disney Addict and a current AP holder. My family loves experiencing the magic of Disney and I would love to help you take the worry out of booking. Jamieporter@amazingmagicaladventures.com.

Jamie Porter
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