Sandusky, Ohio is known around the world as the "Roller Coaster Capital" thanks to a small little place called Cedar Point. However it almost can be known as the "Indoor Waterpark Capital of the World" as well thanks to the large number of facilities in town (there are currently 5, rivaled only by The Dells area located in Wisconsin), that have now given families a reason to visit the area year around!
Our family is no stranger to these wintertime oasis's, and for years we've wanted to visit Castaway Bay so recently we decided to go for it! We had no idea the surprise we were in for! Below we've compiled 10 reasons why you should give Castaway Bay a visit the next time you need an escape!
One big advantage Castaway Bay has that's a benefit to all is the wide range of available room configurations. Boasting a whopping 237 rooms with 13 different room configurations, ranging from double beds to multi-room suites! In addition, all rooms feature a mini fridge / microwave and balcony or patio, many with views of the beautiful Sandusky Bay and if you're lucky, a view of Cedar Point's breathtaking Roller Coasters in off in the distance. With a large family like ours, the different room options are a plus that prevents us from needing to book two separate rooms.
2. Dining Options
When visiting an Indoor Waterpark, especially in the Winter, You'll want to minimize the need to leave the resort (I mean who really wants to leave the comfort of a tropical paradise and venture out into the cold cruel world we know as reality), And Castaway Bay definitely has you covered here.
On-site you'll find several dining options where you can grab everything from a quick bite to eat and a coffee (Starbucks of course) at Ebb and Eddy's, a Full Blown Breakfast Buffet at Mango Mike's (surprisingly this isn't your typical buffet fare where you feel as if you've engulfed slop and start to question you purpose in life afterwards, The food is actually quality), Pizza, Pop (Or Soda depending on your area of upbringing) Pretzels, Ice Cream and the regular fare the kids gravitate towards inside the waterpark at Big Daddy's Snack Shack.
For a filling sit down meal, rather lunch or dinner, there is a massive Quaker Steak & Lube located on site serving everything from appetizers to ribs and of course their legendary wings. In the Winter months, sit inside and view the Bay via the large windows that surround the restaurant and watch your favorite sporting event on one of the many TV's, however in the summer, feel free to sit out on the large deck that connects to the boat docks and abuts the Bay.
No need to load your car down with snacks and other items, located within the main lobby concourse are 2 stores where you can purchase everything you need to complete your trip:
Pearl's Swimwear- Great spot to buy all your Castaway Bay branded merchandise from Swimwear and clothing items to Cedar Point posters, maps and all the souvenirs you want to keep the memories alive well after your return home.
Nick Knacks- Since each room has a fridge and microwave, why not stop in and grab all of your convenience items such as snacks, milk, food in additions to medicine and hygiene items.
Lets face it, there aren't many of us that can walk out of our front door and into 82 Degree weather year round. Located in Sandusky, Ohio, Castaway Bay is 1 hour from Cleveland and only 2 hours from Detroit, Michigan or Columbus, Ohio. In other words, you'll be pulling up in the parking lot before your kids have the chance to ask "Are we there yet?"
5. Water Water Water
I mean this is what your here for right? The centerpiece of the resort is the Waterpark and boy is she lovely! Now some will be discouraged due to the fact that its not as large as Kalahari, however I actually like the fact that its not.
Large enough to keep kids and adults entertained for the day but small enough to where you wont have to worry about loosing track of your group (which is a God send when you have 6 little ones to watch out for).
Some of the water attractions include:
3 Tube speed slides that wind their way around the exterior of the building before entering back inside and ending in a triumphant splash landing at the bottom.
Home to one of only two indoor wave pools in northern Ohio, 100,000 gallons worth of waves in fact!
A large water play area with basketball hoops and climbing obstacles
Zero depth play area with slides for the lil' tots to splash around in and prepare for the days they can tackle the big slides
Several stories tall playhouse with water slides, climbing nets, water jets, geysers, tunnels and anything you can think of to combat any chances of remaining dry... O and to top it of, a Huge bucket that yep... drenches everyone and everything in the area
6. It wouldn't be a Cedar Point property without a....
Roller Coaster.. well not technically Roller Coaster, but its home to one of two Water Coasters in the area. Now its definitely not in the same class as the Magnum XL-200, but it provides just enough thrill to entertain adults and make your little ones feel like they have overcome their fears at the finish line!
8. Year round its 82 degrees inside
Need I say more? when we visited in Late December it was literally 7 degrees outside with snow and ice abound so yea... The tropical climate is a welcome change!
Castaway Bay is a complete family resort and they cater to families not only in regards to amenities but also financially. With rooms priced for every budget, your sure to find a price point that agrees with your wallet. We originally were going to book via Groupon when we found the same room on Booking.com for $20.00 less. However if there are not discounts available, the resort itself is still priced below other waterparks in the area (as of the time I wrote this, a Starfish suite with a bayview, 2 queen beds, a pull out lounge chair and waterpark passes for 5 is only $226 plus tax on a Saturday per the Castaway Bay website)
An additional perk is that during the regular Cedar Point operating season, as a guest of Castaway Bay you have the option to purchase park tickets at a discounted price and gain early admission into the park.
This last bullet point could actually take precedence over all the others as this goes a long way. I can say that the professionalism exhibited by everyone in the staff from the Housekeepers and Maintence personel down to the Front Desk staff and Lifeguards, is something I have never witnessed in any of the places we have stayed (THE Ritz Carlton included).
The Lifeguards would stop and talk to the kids while asking what rides they liked the most. The hotel staff would joke with them in passing with one even saying as we were walking down the hallway "Watch out for that puddle!" making all the kids stop and double check the carpet they were walking on.
The guest experience here is bar none and is definitely a big influence on why we want to go back (After frequenting the much more expensive Kalahari for years, I can honestly say that in comparison, there is no comparison when it comes to the overall guest experience outside of the water attractions)
Hopefully these 10 reasons will provide you with the information needed to make a wise decision and visit Castaway Bay! There are many more that I didn't touch on such as Club Castaway where kids can join in on free daily activities and movie nights plus take pictures and hang out with the one and only Peanuts Gang!
Please head on over to the Castaway Bay site and take a look around and while your there don't forget to sign up for the birthday club that will afford your child a free day pass on their special day!