Less than 2 weeks from now, the Disney Fan family will be on our way North to Alaska! We’ve got our pre-cruise hotel plans settled, our giftcards purchased and while our suitcases aren’t quite all packed, I do have my packing list complete. The only things I have left to do are finalize a couple fun things that we do to add a little extra magic.
Did you know the stateroom doors are magnetic?
Yep, they are! And if you’ve ever been on a Disney cruise before, you know that a magnetic door provides a blank canvas for showing off your creative side with any number of door magnets! Some people spend months planning their doors, searching for just the right images and while it IS fun to look at all the possibilities from the designers over on the DISboards (there’s a whole area for ‘em), I usually take a dozen or so magnets, specific to our cruise, and call it good.
The best part about a decorated door? It’s easily findable among all the other similar doors if you’re on one of the long hallways Just look for your magnets and you’ll never get lost!
Want to get started on your own magnets for your next cruise? It’s pretty easy as long as you have a printer and either magnetic paper (what I use) or heavy duty paper and magnet strips. If you’re creative, you can go wild and come up with designs on your own, but if not, never fear – there are several design threads over on DISboards.com filled with designers who are happy to create a design for you. Just make sure to give them lots of lead time and follow their specific instructions on how to request something.
A Fish What?!?!
Ok, in that picture above, you may have noticed a metal fish hanging on the wall next to our door. Every room has one, even on the new ships. Their original purpose was to provide a place for the cruise staff to leave messages or paperwork for you.
But, once again, an innovative Disney cruiser (again, someone from the DISboards, I believe) thought it would be great to make something that provided even MORE room to leave little gifts for fellow cruisers you met along the way, and thus, the fish extender was born.
Originally, the fish extender/gift-giving concept was a way to connect with a few people here and there, but now, several years later, it’s spawned a whole cottage industry of it’s own. DISboards members now set up “fish extender (FE) gift exchange” groups for EVERY Disney cruise. And, if you aren’t crafty or don’t have time to put together a fish extender yourself, there are several Etsy stores that sell pre-made and custom ones.
You can visit the Disney Cruise Meet section of the Disboards to find the group for your specific cruise.
We’ve participated in the FE exchange on our last 2 cruises and will be participating again this time. It is so much fun for the kids to find gifts waiting at our door whenever we come back and we’ve gotten some really neat stuff along the way. Some people go all out, making personalized bags, personalized jewelry, or the like while others provide things like candy, first aid kits, etc. No matter how much time and money are put into the gifts, every one is put together with pixie dust and is always appreciated! I haven’t quite finished the things I am making this time around and I usually don’t post pictures of the final product until after the cruise anyway (don’t want to ruin any surprises!), but here’s a little teaser of a few of the supplies I used this time. I’ll make sure to post the final pictures once we get back!
Of course, none of this “extra magic” is nearly as special without the people who participate along with us. Both the door decorations and participating in the FE exchange have connected us with people that we might not have met during our cruises and we have met some really great people. Seeing familiar faces around the ship and even out on excursions makes the experience that much better but being able to connect even after the cruise is over is one of those things that I truly love about the Disney community!