Disclosure: I received 1-nights hotel stay and water park admission in exchange for reviewing the below product. I can assure you the opinions expressed are from my own assessments. The included contest is in no way affiliated with Facebook, Google, Pinterest or Twitter.
I’m going to say what you’re thinking: this has been a miserable winter. Here in Michigan, we’re experiencing record-breaking temperatures and snow levels. It’s ridiculous. Speaking of breaking records, Cedar Point is no stranger to that accomplishment. However, there in no Cedar Point in the winter…or is there?
I’d like to introduce my readers to Castaway Bay, the “Cedar Point” of Indoor Water Park Resorts. Located 2 hours south of Detroit in Sandusky, Ohio awaits a year-round tropical-themed paradise that’s as relaxing, as it is fun. Let me emphasize FUN. Also, it doesn’t matter what temperature mother nature throws at us, it’s always 82 degrees inside Castaway Bay.
Checking into Castaway Bay Resort is as easy an operation as one can expect. The front desk is located across from a pirate ship that’s crashed into the building. It’s a fantastic aesthetic touch that had my kids tugging on shirt tails to explore. Just so happens there are resident parrots exchanging stories on-board the ship, perfect for entertaining kids as mom and dad learn about the daily resort activities.
Also in the lobby area is a small store with travel goods and souvenirs, a surf shop for swimming gear, and small coffee and snack bar, along with the resort restaurant, Mango Mikes. Mike’s served us delicious pizza and salad for dinner, but the real bounty is in the breakfast buffet. Do not miss this breakfast!
Overall, hospitality is welcoming and above standard. In my previous jobs in service, I’ve conditioned myself to listen for greetings and identify good customer service. Castaway Bay focuses on both. The hotel is also very clean and relaxing, despite the busy tropical decorative treatments. It becomes clear Castaway Bay wants you to forget what’s going on outside their walls, and if it weren’t for the windows, you just might.
Castaway Bay’s tropical theme extends well into the rooms. Our dual queen bed room (called “The Starfish”) was spacious and offered the expected amenities, including flat-screen television and refrigerator. The rooms were clean and well-stocked, but on-par with most hotels our family frequents. But we didn’t exactly come here for the rooms.
The Water Park
Let’s get the elephant out of the room, there are many indoor water parks in these neck of the woods. But Castaway Bay has the distinct advantage of Cedar Point vicinity and just-the-right-size footprint. The water park is spacious and extremely well-designed. It’s also got, hands down, the most alert lifeguard staff I’ve ever seen. The crown jewel (IMO) is the wave pool. This dude is large, with powerful waves that could train the Big Kahuna in the off-season. There’s a toddler area right in the center of the park; probably kudos to design, but I was able to hang here with my toddler while still able to keep an eye out for my oldest. He adventured into the massive family splash zone. We were worried he might not be able to enjoy the water slides due to his “in-between” height, we faced this same issue at Cedar Point last summer- but the slash zone contained enough mid-range tubes for our 6-year old to get his thrill-on. There are some bigger slides and even a water-coaster, but we couldn’t (this is entirely our shortfall) partake in them this trip. Look for a review on them later in the year. We plan to be back soon!
There are daily activities for families to enjoy when they aren’t splashing around in the tropical oasis. We each got to color our own Castaway Bay beach towels while enjoying an ice cream social. I think the kids ended up with more fabric-pen on their hands, arms and clothes then the actual beach towel, but they had a blast doing it. Keep an eye out though, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang can sometimes be found patrolling the resort. They love taking photos! Just upstairs from the lobby is Club Castaway. Here kids can enjoy movies, story time and dance parties have been known to break out too. Castaway Bay loves to entertain kids!
Castaway Bay also features a large arcade that hangs off to the side of the water park. It’s got pretty much all the new ticket-dispensing games. Our favorite (it turned into a team effort) was the fishing hook game. That’s where you reel-in as many large fish as they swim by your boat. It takes strategy as well as plenty of arm energy. Oh, and it “pays” good. My toddler especially enjoyed riding with Snoopy in his sweet ride. My only concern is the lack of coin-operated games, everything seems to be moving towards the credit-card style. I must be getting old.
How would you like to take the family to Castaway Bay’s fantastic water park for a day? Get out of the cold for a day this winter, or hang onto them, to cool off after your Cedar Point excursion this summer. I’m giving one of my readers 4 single-day passes ($100 value) to do just that! Leave a comment below stating “I want to win!” and then complete the entry form. Good luck and thanks for reading!