Fish Extender: Best Ideas List

Submitted by Aurora Meyer

If you want your faith in humanity restored, look no further than the people who participate in Fish Extenders and Pixie Dusting on Disney cruises. [Fish Extender: All You Need to Know]

For every Disney cruise sailing, there are groups of strangers who come together to gift each other and fellow passengers trinkets throughout the cruise.

According to legend, Fish Extenders started out on a Panama Canal sailing on the Disney Magic.

A Fish Extender is an extension of the fish hook outside the staterooms. They can be elaborate or a simple bag (we recommend at least a canvas tote bag). There are links and Facebook groups for almost every sailing. In those groups, you’ll find ways to sign up to participate in a Fish Extender.

If you book late or didn’t know about Fish Extenders before you sail, don’t worry! Lots of passengers participate in Pixie Dusting, which can be a surprise version of Fish Extenders. Many people who participate in Fish Extenders pack a few extra to spread Pixie Dust to other cruisers.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best Fish Extenders as voted on by the Disney Cruising Facebook group. One caveat, there are a lot of personal preferences and what you pack may be determined by whether you are flying or driving to the port. Also, bear in mind, you should never pack or bring aboard any of the prohibited items. Some people prefer items to be used on the cruise and some prefer things that can be used after disembarking and returning home.

Here are some of our best ideas!

  • Toppings for the ice cream station (be mindful of dietary preferences and be sure to keep in original packaging. Hint: look for fun-sized packages)
  • Beer and Wine exchanges for those guests 21 and over (reminder, check the alcohol policy)
  • Items from your home city (for example a Disney Tokyo eraser that one pre-teen used to the last nub, candy specific to a state or region such as hot sauce bottles from Texas with a little chili pepper ornament with it, maple syrup from Canada)
  • Customized Magnets with the Family Name and other details
  • Holiday magnets, particularly if you are going on a holiday sailing
  • Personalized key chains or lanyards
  • Personalized or cruise specific canvas or tote bags
  • Earbuds
  • Fleece blankets (if you can’t sew, try a no-sew version!)
  • A deck of cards
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Ornaments (if giving an ornament, find a way to also gift packaging so it can get home safely!)
  • Water bottles
  • Mugs
  • Mini Legos to build a replica ship
  • Pins to trade (link to the post about pin exchanges)
  • Coasters
  • Custom bookmarks
  • Activity and coloring books (bonus if you include crayons or colored pencils!)
  • Disney cookie cutters (bonus if you include your favorite cookie recipe!)
  • Beach bags
  • Customized dry erase boards
  • Photo frames
  • First Aid kits
  • Mini flashlights
  • Personalized koozies
  • Kitchen towels
  • Paintbrush (to help brush away the sand after a day at the beach)
  • Notepads
  • Stickers
  • Luggage tags
  • Highlighters (perfect for the Navigator!)
  • Beach drink holders (the kind with a pointed bottom to stick in the sand)
  • Car Decals
  • Beach Towels
  • Movie kit (2 mini cans of soda, 1 large chocolate bar, a little bag of chips, popcorn tub)
  • Beachballs
  • Sand toys
  • Personalized photo mats
  • Autograph book
  • Pirate night items (eye patches, temporary tattoos, kerchief)
  • Glowsticks
  • Wet bags
  • Kid-sized Disney utensils (the dining room utensils are pretty heavy for little fingers)

General tips, keep in mind the age, gender, likes and dislikes of the recipient. They may be quite different from your personal tastes and that is ok! Try to avoid giving clothing items as even socks can easily be the wrong size and one size truly does not fit all.

Most Fish Extender participants will Pixie Dust an item that isn’t a good fit but if you are participating in a Fish Extender you should do your best to give items that would be appreciated.

Additionally, shy away from overly glittered items and unwrapped candy.

Most importantly, have fun! The point of Fish Extenders and Pixie Dust is to spread some Mickey Magic!