Do you know what Fish Extenders are? If you are planning a Disney Cruise, you need to learn about this fun custom!
First of all, allow me to simply explain what “Fish Extenders” means. Fish Extenders is a secret-Santa-style gift exchange that takes place on Disney cruises.
The term “Fish Extender” is used to describe both the activity and the hanging containers that the gifts are placed in. The “fish” part comes from the fish embellished hooks/clips outside your cabin door. That’s where you hang your container, and it is also where you will find messages from the crew.
How to sign up for Fish Extender Gift Exchanges:
You can sign up for a Fish Extender group on your cruise by checking for a Facebook Group for your Cruise date. If you are traveling with a group, like we did as part of the Disney Social Media Moms, there may be a Fish Extender sign up just for you. We did both!
How to Get or Make a Fish Extender Hanging Container:
Fish Extender hanging containers range from the simple and homemade (think embellished tote bag) to the elaborate and custom decorated Fish Extender wall hangings available on Etsy and Ebay.
I chose to make my own, with a Small World theme using “Smiles around the World” fabric from Alexander Henry. It’s not Disney official but it’s so adorable and reminds me of the Small World kids. It came out so cute! Here’s a link to how I constructed my fish extender.
What to give as Gifts in Fish Extenders:
When you sign up for Fish Extender groups you will give info about your family and get info about your giftees. Fish Extender gifts are Disney themed and can be individual or for the whole cabin. They can be handmade like these DIY Disney bottlecap necklaces and magnets or store bough items. There are many ideas on Pinterest if you are shopping for inspiration.
We made bottle cap magnets and necklaces from bottle caps using vintage Disney prints and thrifted books. Here’s a link to our Vintage Disney Bottle cap Projects.
Some other Fish Extender Considerations:
- Not all gifts are crafts – there are a ton of options for gifts on Amazon and at local dollar stores.
- Plan to make labels so that you can tell gift recipients who your gift is from
- Items that are useful on the ship are a thoughtful gift – try to distribute these on the first night
- Don’t drive yourself too crazy – remember the whole point is to have fun!