Friday, April 12, 2013
Disney's Castaway Cay
Disney’s Castaway Cay
Disney’s Castaway Cay is their private island for guests of the Disney Cruise Line. A stop at Castaway Cay is an enjoyable day “stranded” in a tropical paradise. It is located off of Freeport, Bahamas.
Castaway Cay was not always filled with Disney Magic. Back in the 1770s it is said that Gorda Cay (now Castaway Cay) was a pirate haven. In the early 1990s the gentleman, a real estate developer that owned this small beautiful island for years decided he had to sell. He had found that drug runners had taken over his island. They were using the airstrip he had built on the island for his personal use to bring in drugs to the United States.
In the late 1990s Disney went looking for an island and they came across the beautiful 1000 acre Gorda Cay. With the help of Bahamian and US law enforcement Disney booted out the drug running pirates and renamed the island Castaway Cay. You can still see the remains of the airstrip and in fact you use it as part of the trail to head to the adult Serenity Bay area of Castaway Cay.
Disney has not developed much of the island, approximately 85% of the island remains in a wild state. Guests are not allowed into the undeveloped area.
Approximately 100 Disney Castaway Cast Members lived full-time on the island. These brave souls sign up for a six-month stay on the island. They maintain the equipment, clean the facilities, train stingrays and repair storm damage.
Castaway Cay was hit by both hurricanes Francine and Janine in 2004. They have been hit by many hurricanes before and since this time. Francine and Janine took out the majority of the amenities of Castaway Cay. Yet within two months over 90% of the repairs were done. For the safety of the Castaway Cast Members Disney has built a hurricane bunker. Those living on the island can find shelter there.
There are at least two Castaway Cats! Nobody knows exactly how these fastidious felines decided to join the House of Mouse. Everybody is fairly sure that the cats did not come in on one of the Disney Cruise Ships. (Disney cruise ships are the only cruise ships to stop there.) It is possible that the cats came in on one of the local Bahamian supply ships. One of the cats is black and appears to be missing part of one of its ears. This beauty seems to have picked up the name of Casey (I saw one report saying his name is Stitch) from its adoring fans and even has its own Facebook page. Many stories tell of Casey walking up to guests to get his ears scratched and he’ll often settle down next to guests as they sit on the beach. The second cat is a red tabby. Casey’s buddy is not as friendly and tends to stay as far away from people as he can. I know I’ll be looking for both of theses ‘s cats when I go on my next cruise!
You may wonder why the Disney cruise ships always leave Castaway Cay long before sunset. The reason is simple, sand fleas. These vicious little bugs come out after sunset. By having guests off the beach long before this the guests are saved any discomfort and inconvenience.
Castaway Cat Facebook Page: