Extender Groups (FE Groups)
What is a FE Group?
Every stateroom on a Disney Cruise has a ‘fish’ beside
the door. This is a hook that Disney
uses to place notes, Palo Reservations and any other document they wish give
you during the cruise.
A Fish Extender is an item with pockets you hand on the
fish hook with pocket for other guests to put small gifts into.
A FE Group is a group of Disney cruisers that get together
before the cruise and decide they are going to exchange gifts with each
other. Typically the FE Group will consist
of 10-15 cabins; although there are no limit on how small or large it a FE
Group can be.
Getting Your Fish Extender
Getting a Fish Extender pouch is easy. You can order one on ETSY or EBAY or purchase
a plain pouch through Amazon Fish Extenders and decorate it yourself. Ideally you what a pouch for each family
member decorated with their names. Make sure your Fish Extender has a loop of
string/ribbon to hang from your Fish Hook.
DO NOT bring a fish extender that hangs from the top of the door edge…
that is not allowed.
How To Find an FE Groups To Join
Since FE Groups are unofficial and not sponsored or recognized
by Disney so all FE Groups are formed outside of Disney itself; typically on
social media websites. These days there
is almost always a Facebook group for every Disney Cruise and the group
administrator will help facilitate the creating and joining of the FE
Groups. To find the main Facebook Disney
Cruise group search on Facebook by “Ship Name Cruise Start Date”. For example: Disney Wonder June 15 2020. Facebook Disney Cruise groups are typically
private so you will have to request to join. If you are not on Facebook many of
the bigger Disney Forums will also have groups for the individual Disney
Cruises and FE Groups you can join. Typically
the Disney Cruise groups are created 1-2 years before sailing date and FE
Groups start to be created at that time.
FE Groups will be finalized about 30 days before sail date and lists of who
is in what group and their cabin numbers are made available to members of each
Of course there is no requirement that you have to go
through the main Facebook/Forum Disney Cruise groups to join a FE Group. If you are cruising with a large group you
can create FE Groups within that group and any number of people on a cruise can
get together outside of the standard social media cruise groups create their
FE Group Gifting
If you are a member of an FE Group you typically give at
least one gift to each cabin in your group.
I like to split up adults and children, giving one gift for the adults
and something different for each child. You
place the items in the cabins Fish Extender sometime during the cruise.
For the children I shop at Target and Michaels in the
discount section. For under $10.00 you
can get wonderful items such as glow sticks, notebooks/journals for the older
kids and little lipsticks and other makeup kits for the girls. The gifts do not
need to be Disney themed but the children seem to enjoy Disney the most.
The adults tend to be easier to find items for. Disney no longer allows the little ‘airline’
alcohol bottles which were a popular gift in the past but shot glasses and other
reusable cups can be given… especially if they are Disney themed. Other ideas include travel kits, sewing kits
and 1st aid kits. We love
getting magnets and Christmas ornaments.
One of my favorite gifts was a set of kitchen towels, one from Canada
(it was a Canadian cruise) and one embroidered.
There are no rules so use your imagination. Some people like to have simple gifts that
they deliver to the cabins at the beginning of the cruise and some people like
to have multiple small gifts that they deliver throughout the cruise. We love getting useful gifts and gifts themed
to Disney or the cruise destinations. If you are an active member of the Disney
Cruise Facebook group you can sometime gather ideas from your FE Group members
If you want to gift other people but don’t want to be a
member of a formal FE Group you can do what is called ‘Pixie Dusting’. This is
were you put gifts into peoples fish extenders without them knowing that you are
the person gifting them. It can be
people you’ve met during the months preceding the cruise or completely
random. After 10 Disney Cruises I rarely
join FE Groups but instead prefer to Pixie Dust empty Fish Extenders and people
that have been very helpful on the Facebook group.
Specialized FE Groups
It is typical that there will be special ‘themed’ FE
Groups. Recipe, magnet, mixology and Christmas
Ornament exchange groups will often be created.
The easy part. Just
put your Fish Extender hanger on you Fish Hook when you first unpack. If you joined a FE Group you will have gifts
arrive throughout your cruise. Make sure
you empty your fish extender often so there is always room. If you don’t join a
FE group and rely only on being Pixie Dusting you might go the whole cruise
without receiving anything. Most Disney
Cruise Facebook groups will setup a Pixie Dust list. This is so people can Pixie Dust in a
non-random manner. I recommend adding your cabin to this list if you are not
part of an established FE Group. Then
you can either Pixie Dust those on the list, Pixie Dust random cabins, or both.