Disney’s private island Castaway Cay features an airplane landing strip. Why is this here? Was it added by Disney to add to the island’s story? Nope, not at all. You see mon, this island has a colorful history. The island was called Gorda Cay and had many uses: Pirates frequented the island in the 1700’s, farmers then used the island because of the fertile soil, and later drug smugglers discovered the island. Yes, drug smugglers. In the 1980’s the island was so overrun by these smugglers that property owners on the island were no longer welcome and would be run off by the smugglers with their guns and dogs.
Wow, but back to where the landing strip came from. In the 1960’s a man by the name of Alvin Tucker owned around 150 acres of the island and he built the landing strip so that he could easily travel to his island getaway. It was too bad that this landing strip made it very attractive to the smugglers.
Years later, Disney purchased the island and spent 1 ½ years along with $25 million dollars to turn 55 acres of the 1000 acres into an island paradise. Today around 70 cast members live on the island maintaining everything for the cruise ships that stop throughout the week. If you do get a chance to visit, be sure to stop by the post office and send off a postcard home with the Castaway Cay post mark!