Day 7 – Friday, May 1, 2009
Shortly after arriving at Castaway Cay, we took the tram to the beaches and rushed over to the Stingray Hut near the Teen Beach for our “Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure” excursion at 10 am. We were a few minutes late but we got our safety vests and just made it to the beginning of the orientation, which included educational facts about stingrays. We were divided into smaller groups and were assigned a feeding ramp in Stingray Lagoon. The water in Stingray Lagoon was cold, by the way! Our guide taught us how to feed the stingrays by placing a block of food between our fingers and laying our hands flat on a Mickey head. The stingrays have been trained to eat from the Mickey head! Chris and I both fed the stingrays a couple of times since our group was small. When they eat from your hand, you feel a sucking feeling like a low-powered vacuum as the stingray sucks the food into his mouth. I was naughty and didn’t put my fingers flat when feeding and the stingray bit me on accident! The teeth of a stingray aren’t sharp but are flat like plates. The bite wasn’t painful at all. I just felt a lot of pressure. When I examined my finger, it was indented with a bunch of little rectangles! It was a funny experience to be bitten by a stingray! (Unfortunately, an older lady pulled her hand while she was being bitten and actually bled!) We also pet the stingrays as they swam up and down the feeding ramp.
Stingray food and the Mickey head
Me feeding a stingray
Chris feeding a stingray
After the feeding, we had 30 minutes of free time to snorkel and swim with the stingrays in Stingray Lagoon. Swimming and snorkeling among them was amazing! Unfortunately, the water was pretty cloudy from all the sand being stirred up but I could still spot stingrays as they swam by me or hiding in the sand.
Overall, I thought this excursion was an amazing experience! I’ve heard other ports of call have stingray excursion but Disney trims the barbs on their stingrays so, even though being stung by a stingray is unlikely, it gives me greater piece of mind. Also, because it’s run by Disney and the stingrays live in Disney’s island, I have more confidence that these stingrays are treated well and what Disney does is environmentally sound. You should see how fat and happy these stingrays are! They seriously won the stingray lottery!
Chris in Stingray Lagoon
Me in Stingray Lagoon with the Disney Magic in the background
Snorkeling underwater photo of a stingray
UPDATE: In 2017, we visited the famous Stringray City in Grand Cayman and found that this experience at Castaway Cay was much better. There were much fewer people interacting with the stingrays at one time and the stingrays seemed a lot less stressed. If you were to choose one stingray excursion, I would highly recommend Castaway Ray’s Stringray Adventure.