Posted On: Jan 2, 2023
Whoever said the journey is more important than the destination clearly didn't have a couple of kids in the backseat of the car heading toward a fun-filled getaway at Castaway Bay Resort. A road trip to Sandusky — a waterpark capital and roller coaster mecca — is often peppered with abundant use of the phrase, "Are we there yet?" followed by excited chatter when the destination finally comes into view across the water, just beyond the giant Cedar Point Amusement Park sign at the corner U.S. Route 6 and Cedar Point Drive.
The Caribbean-themed waterfront resort with its balmy indoor waterpark has long been a big draw for families seeking a recreational refuge from inclement weather in colder months or those looking to extend a summer itinerary including a trip to Cedar Point. The amusement park's parent company, Cedar Fair, reopened Castaway Bay this spring following a multimillion-dollar renovation and reinvention of the property from the outside in. The exterior evokes a colorful island village with bright, top-mounted louvered shutters over some of the windows and portholes in place of others. Beachy landscaping surrounds the entrance, while a waterfront boardwalk connects outdoor spaces along the sparkling Castaway Bay inlet.
Once inside, it's more than just a waterpark hotel; it's a lifestyle complex with on-site restaurants, retail shops, a 6,000-square-foot state-of-the-art arcade, mini golf, bowling and an escape room. Plus guests get the added value of spending an extra hour at Cedar Point, free parking at the theme park and other perks with the purchase of a ride-and-refresh package.
Castaway Bay Has Character
Starting now, a whole new chapter of the Castaway Bay story unfolds with costumed characters, fun activities, immersive exhibits and extra touches especially designed to delight younger guests. The large shipwreck stranded in the lobby sets the scene for an elaborate tale of high-seas escapades undertaken by a motley crew of friendly animals, including the loveable Gordy, a curious and adventure-seeking sea turtle. During check-in, Gordy and the other animals hop, swim or swoop in to say hello via large digital porthole windows behind the desk. It's here that every child receives a Pathfinder Pouch that not only serves as a tour guide to all the excitement at the resort during the stay, but also includes a lanyard, stickers, puzzles and a storybook. "Gordy and the Story of Castaway Bay" introduces the animals who inhabit Castaway Bay, but its ending is just the beginning of the many adventures to come.
The family will have a chance to interact with Gordy and friends throughout the resort from sunup to sundown. Join Gordy for morning yoga in the lobby. Gordy and other characters will also be walking around during breakfast at the High Tide Cafe, a large open-layout dining area with a Caribbean village feel, complete with palm trees. Take part in a Bon Voyage Party if you're heading out to Cedar Point for the day. At night, get your groove on at the night-time dance party.
Club Castaway has a ton of other free activities to keep the kids occupied, such as playing FloGo, the Castaway Bay version of BINGO named for the resident flamingo. Check out the digital aquarium on the third floor. Make art with recycled or repurposed materials at the second floor craft room overseen by Fernando the tree frog. The activity director will show you how to create your own fish, then work some high-tech magic to make it parade around the resort via the digital displays in the lobby and beyond.
The Pathfinder Pouch is the key to unlocking more entertaining digital interaction around the resort, including some in the hallway to your guest room.
Settle Into Your Habitat
Each floor is themed to match one of the resort's three island environments — land, sea and air. If your room is on land, you'll be transported to a lush rainforest with bold green foliage covering the walls. On an air-themed floor, the wall covering reveals an expansive panorama in blue tones. On the sea floor, you'll be immersed in an underwater scene drenched in shades of turquoise and coral.
Whether you're staying in a standard room with two queen beds, a King Suite with bunk beds or a multi-bedroom suite, you'll also have family-centric essentials, such as microwaves, mini-fridges and free wireless internet. But it's the unexpected details that add a touch of whimsy to the 237 rooms and suites. Large round portholes, many of which have views of the bay, make it seem like you're on a ship.
Make Some Waves At The Waterpark
It’s time to soak up all the action at Castaway Bay's 38,000-square-foot waterpark, which has levels of play for all ages, from the young to the young at heart. The little ones can play with interactive water pipes and spraying nozzles at Fernando's Tadpole Pool. Others prefer to bob in the 100,000-gallon Castawave Pool or make their way across floating obstacles at the School Crossing.
When you're ready to rocket down one of the slides, you have a couple of options. Go up against two other competitors on the Air Racer Rally, made up of three separate 35-foot-high body slides that descend from a tower, coil through serpentine tubes and end with a splash into a shallow pool. Or you can share a two-person raft on Rocket’s Canopy Coaster. Everyone will have fun at Hank's Hangout, the huge interactive play structure at the center of the waterpark, where you can climb, crawl, slide or spray. When the hangout's giant bucket reaches its tipping point, it unleashes a flood of water over the people gathered below, sending a ripple of cool wind through the air. Parents and other guests 16 and up will find a relaxing refuge at Gordy's Getaway, an indoor/outdoor spa with a waterfall.
Make It A Multi-Day Getaway
Castaway Bay has always been a great choice for a tropical family getaway in the heart of Ohio, but — if you haven't guessed by now — it's better than ever. If you're looking for a resort with lots of character and plenty of ways to keep the kids engaged and entertained for days on end, Castaway Bay is a great place to make happiness bloom and waves of joy wash over everyone who visits.
Plan Your Getaway
A Family Getaway: Book your room in the Caribbean-themed hotel. With the porthole windows, you'll wonder if you're staying in Sandusky or getting ready to set sail on the high seas. → Learn More
Splash Away: Stay and play at Castaway Bay's 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, jam packed with activities for all ages. → Learn More
Get to the Point: Get an extra hour of Cedar Point thrills, not to mention free parking and access to Cedar Point beach. Book the resort's ride and refresh package. → Learn More
For more family fun things to do and amusement & indoor waterparks, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org.