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Castaway Bay 2022 Update
Cedar Fair used the pandemic as an opportunity to update Castaway Bay for the future. It undertook a major renovation of the property and plans to open it back up in Spring 2022. The Cedar Point blog recently shared updates on the renovation.
Recently, I was able to take a few of our kids (and a cousin) to Castaway Bay Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. Our family absolutely loves waterpark hotels. We’ve been to Castaway Bay several times before, but it had been a few years so it was great to get back. Now that our kids are older, it’s a somewhat different experience.
Our Room at Castaway Bay
We stayed in the Tarpon Bay Suite. My wife couldn’t make the trip so I got the big bed all to myself! I love that Castaway Bay has hotel rooms with a separate kids’ room with bunk beds. Our kids love having a room of their own (and their own TV) and I love not having to hear them all night. The room is more than adequate for our group of 5 this trip.
Castaway Bay has tons of different room options for families of 3 up to 8. Pricing varies for each room. We’ve stayed in a few different room types over the years. They aren’t luxury rooms, but they aren’t meant to be. We don’t plan on being in our room too long anyways.
The Staff at Castaway Bay
We’ve always had pleasant experiences at Castaway Bay and much of that is because of their staff. We were able to check in right away and the front desk staff was super helpful. Our experience with staff in the waterpark was similar, as well as while dining, and from the rest of the staff.
Breakfast at Mango Mike’s
We opted for the buffet breakfast at Mango Mike’s. There’s nothing spectacular about the food, but it’s better than the food at most restaurants with buffets. They had enough variety that all of our picky kids were more than satisfied.
Ebb and Eddy’s
If you stay at Castaway Bay, a trip to Ebb and Eddy’s is a must. It’s a great spot for mid-day or evening snacks as well as coffee refueling for adults. They have an excellent selection of pastries, ice cream, beverages, and a few healthier options as well.
Pro Tip: Ebb and Eddy’s donuts are half off after 6 pm. Grab some at a discounted price for breakfast the next day (or eat them right away!).
Quaker Steak & Lube
The last time we were here, the attached restaurant was a TGI Friday’s. We are big fans of Quaker Steak & Lube so this was a welcome change. You can’t go wrong with wings. I think the food prices are a little higher than at a normal Quaker Steak, but normally food within a resort is more expensive anywhere you go. It’s not so bad if you know that upfront and plan for it.
Amenities and Services at Castaway Bay
Crabbie’s Quarterdeck Arcade
It’s near impossible to escape a trip to Castaway Bay with our kids without spending time (and money) in the arcade. We just got one arcade card and shared it. Family favorites were the pop-a-shot, skeeball, and Deal or No Deal. I totally picked the right briefcase and won Deal or No Deal so that alone made the entire trip.
- I actually won Deal or No Deal so I am a Crabbie’s Quarterdeck Legend!
The Peanuts Gang
We ran into Charlie Brown a couple of times during our stay. Our kids are older so it wasn’t a big deal to them. I still think it’s a cool experience for kids. There is also a Peanuts Dance Party, Karaoke fun, and more at Castaway Bay.
Souvenir T-shirts and Backpack
A fun activity for kids to do at Castaway Bay is to design souvenir t-shirts and backpacks. There is an extra cost for this activity. We’ve never done this, but have talked to other families who loved this experience.
Free Board Games
Castaway Bay keeps several board games at the front desk for guests to borrow and play. If you need to take a break from the waterpark or want something to do before bedtime, why not some free family fun with board games?!
Castaway Bay’s Waterpark
As nice as the hotel is, families make their way to Castaway Bay for the waterpark. And the waterpark is amazing! Our kids love it! I thought as our kids got older they would prefer a larger waterpark, but they really love Castaway Bay. It’s the perfect size for families and has something for every age.
Our Favorite Attractions at Castaway Bay
If you haven’t had a chance to ride this water coaster, you are missing out. It’s such a unique ride in that it goes uphill too. The line can get a little long at times, but that’s because it’s awesome. Make it a point to get to the waterpark early and get in line immediately. As a dad, I love this ride because I can scream really loud for the whole park to hear and embarrass my kids.
Castaway Bay Wave Pool
Castaway Bay offers a decent size wave pool. It’s not too big and it’s well attended by lifeguards to keep things safe. There’s plenty of room for older kids to get up close and personal with the bigger waves, while small children can wade at the edge.
Perhaps our family’s favorite is the giant grotto hot tub. This hot tub is always full and often has a line too. Our kids love the fact that you can sit inside or outside. They especially love sitting outside if it’s freezing or snowing outside.
Fun fact: There is one specific hot tub jet on the outside portion of the grotto spa that packs a major punch. It’s almost too much. Once we discovered it, we made it a point to always sit in that area and take turns trying to sit in front of it.
Other Attractions at Castaway Bay
There is plenty more to do at Castaway Bay’s waterpark. They have a swimming pool with basketball hoops and floating creatures you can climb on. There’s a sweet rope crossing that our kids love to try and conquer. Castaway Bay has several tube waterslides of various sizes for everyone.
If you have little ones, Castaway Bay has a play area, called Toddler’s Tide Pool, dedicated to young kids and their parents, complete with smaller slides and various interactive elements kids will love.
Lookout Lagoon is another favorite of Castaway guests. Of course, there is the giant bucket that dumps tons of water on everyone below. The interactive structure has other slides, rope crossings, tipping buckets, and other fun too.
All of the attractions have specific height requirements and other guidelines guests must follow. Be sure to check ahead of time to become familiar with Castaway Bay’s rules.
Life Jackets are available in various areas around the waterpark. Certain attractions require the use of life jackets if guests are under a certain height. Life Jackets are located near the Wave Pool as well as Cargo Crossing.
Our preference is to stay onsite during our adventures. If that’s not an option, Castaway Bay does sell day passes to the waterpark. If you are a Cedar Fair Platinum Passholder, you are eligible for discount day passes.
Castaway Bay Deals
Often Castaway Bay has deals to help families save money and enhance their visit to the resort. Click here to see current deals.
Tips for an Enjoyable Family Stay at Castaway Bay
Here are some tips to help your family enjoy their time at Castaway Bay and create an awesome experience:
- Take advantage of all the free perks like the Peanuts Gang activities and board games in the lobby.
- Get to the park early. You would be surprised how many people don’t do this.
- Pack snacks and drinks in a small cooler.
- Pack a separate bag for all your swimsuits and clothes to change into when you are done.
- Pace yourself. If you need a break, leave the waterpark for a bit or break for a snack. Waterparks can be an overwhelming experience.
Why Castaway Bay is One of the Best Indoor Waterparks
Every year more indoor waterparks pop up around the country. While we haven’t visited most of them, we still love Castaway Bay the best! Here’s why we think it’s tops:
Castaway Bay isn’t too big or too small. It’s the perfect size for all of our kids.
Castaway Bay is big enough that kids don’t get bored but small enough that (for the most part) you can see your kids from just about anywhere. If you can’t see them, it doesn’t take as long to find them as at other parks. We feel much more comfortable letting our kids go off by themselves here than at other waterparks.
I don’t know if Castaway Bay is cleaner than other waterparks. It looks cleaner, though. It’s tough for a waterpark to be completely sanitary, but they seem to do a great job at this.
Castaway Bay will always be a Family Money Adventure favorite! It’s the perfect spot for a winter weekend getaway. It’s also a great place to stay when visiting Cedar Point.
If you are looking for waterpark deals, be sure to follow Castaway Bay on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Be sure to sign up for their email newsletter too to stay up to date on all the latest resort news.
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Have you ever visited Castaway Bay? What’s your favorite part of the waterpark? Let us know in the comments below!
Kevin Payne is the budgeting and family travel enthusiast behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com. He’s also the host of the Family Money Adventure Show podcast, where he helps families learn to manage their money better so they can afford to do the things they love.
Kevin is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance and travel. He is a regular contributor to USA Today, Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Fox Business, Credible, and CreditCards.com.