By Tom Bell
What started out as a friendly gift exchange among fans of the DISboards on one of the early Panama Canal sailings aboard the Disney Magic has taken on a life of its own. Let's talk about some Fish Extender basics, including what they are and how you can participate.
As I said, DISers planning a Disney Cruise Line vacation aboard the beautiful Disney Magic were looking for a way to get to know each other during a long sailing through the Panama Canal and came up with the idea of a gift exchange. Containers or bags were hung from the fish outside their staterooms and the Fish Extender was born.
What exactly is a Fish Extender?
A Fish Extender can be anything. As simple as a plastic grocery bag...ok, maybe not THAT simple....or elaborate as some of the ones in this article. They can be homemade or purchased online.
How do I participate?
A DISboards fan named "IrishCowboy" over on the Disney Cruise Meets subforum has made it very simple for you to find folks that are taking the same cruise as you are. Here are some direct links to help you out: 2014: Magic Wonder Dream Fantasy 2015: Magic Wonder Dream Fantasy Within those threads, IrishCowboy has links to every meet for every sailing. Find your thread and say hello. Get to know the folks that will be traveling with you and ask about participating in the Fish Extender gift exchange.
What goes in a Fish Extender?
The short answer is anything. Gifts can be as small or as large as you like, just have fun with it. Gifts can be centered around a theme such as your hometown, Disney, pirates or the beach. Gifts can be homemade or purchased. Gifts can be given all at once, or can be spread out over the course of the cruise. In a future article, I'll share some simple, and not so simple, Fish Extender gift ideas that we've given and received on our Disney cruises.
Why should you participate?
The kids love coming back to their stateroom and seeing what's waiting for them, but my favorite part is going from stateroom to stateroom, checking out what everyone's Fish Extender looks like and sharing just a little bit of Disney magic. I encourage you to join in the fun on your next Disney Cruise Line vacation. Fish Extenders are a great way to create some family time, both making the the gifts before the cruise and sharing in the fun during the cruise. There's always room in the suitcase for our Fish Extender!