Cedar Point’s indoor waterpark in Sandusky offers 82-degree escape to Caribbean
While driving along U.S. Rt. 250 near Sandusky, we pass several indoor waterparks on our way to Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay. This must be the Vegas Strip of indoor waterparks, I think as I observe colorful tubes snaking out the sides of one hotel after another.
Castaway Bay isn’t the largest, showiest one on the block. With a 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, it’s smaller than the nearby 173,000 square-foot Kalahari Resort and bigger than the 33,000-square-foot Great Wolf Lodge.
For us, it was just right. Castaway Bay is perfect for anyone looking for an excuse to don a bathing suit in an 82-degree-controlled environment when Ohio’s outside temps aren’t cooperating. The contrived, Caribbean theme – with painted blue skies, synthetic palm trees and animatronic parrots that squawk and talk – also is convincing enough when you just can’t get to the real thing.
We ventured two hours north from Columbus to Sandusky on a cold, winter weekend, eager for an excuse to pretend it was summer. If you stay the night, you have access to the waterpark for two days. Check in is 4 p.m., and check out is 11 a.m.
The resort offers 237 hotel rooms and suites and several onsite restaurants. Prices for a room-and-waterpark combo start at $149 when I checked the resort’s site in March. Day passes to the waterpark are $29 each.
We stayed in a Starfish Room with two double beds, sleeper chair, private screened balcony, small refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker. The room accommodates up to five guests and comes with four waterpark passes.
We started our adventure by picking up an “Island Times” at the front desk. The one-sheeter states the times and locations of daily activities, such as decorating T-shirts and bags with fabric paint, and visits with Snoopy and other Peanuts characters.
We made our way to the 6,000-square-foot arcade to play unique crane games. One had us vying for large bouncy balls at $2 a pop. We didn’t win anything.
We spent the majority of our time in the waterpark – nearly seven hours playing and splashing. We bypassed the Toddlers Tide Pool in favor of the following:
Castaway Bay Wave Pool
This 100,000-gallon wave pool periodically produces 3-foot waves. A buzzer signals the arrival of waves that continue for roughly 10 minutes.
Lookout Lagoon Family Funhouse
It’s a multistory, interactive play area with a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket and twisty slides.
Tropical Tube Slides
There are three enclosed, tubular body slides that protrude from the side of the building. One affords a speedy slide through complete darkness.
This 35-foot-high, 520-foot-long water rollercoaster propels riders uphill using water jets. It winds near the ceiling and partially goes outside, and you must be 42 inches tall to ride.
For more information, visit www.castawaybay.com.