By John Benson
It’s cold out but warm inside the tropical confines of Cedar Point’s year-round indoor waterpark resort Castaway Bay.
Even though the park boasts 82-degree temperatures inside its 38,000-square-foot venue, going in one may be skeptical.
Sure, the water may be warm, but what happens when you get out and walk around?
Will you freeze?
Well, on a recent weekend that myth was put to rest when my family spent the majority of an entire day slip-sliding around the numerous amenities without a hint of what Mother Nature was doing outside.
However, that’s not altogether true.
An indoor massive hot tub actually opens into an outdoor area where the cold temperatures tease your mind while your body stays toasty from the massive jets working out that one spot of your back that tends to act up.
Perhaps the one concern about going into such an indoor waterpark venue is the limited space would mean a limited amount of offerings.
Instead, Castaway Bay dispels this notion with a slew of well-conceived activities that don’t overlap or, even worse, grow boring.
Basically, a warm mini-vacation destination — with modest accommodations that include a fridge and microwave in every room to allow mom and dad to save money on a meal or two — providing a relaxed and playful atmosphere without breaking the bank is what Castaway Bay offers families seeking, well, special family time.
The highlight of the waterpark is invariably the Rendezvous Run water coaster, which puts riders in a raft that is shot around the interior and even exterior of the massive venue.
The best moment comes halfway through the ride when you fly out of a dark tube, down a hill and actually catch some air.
Speaking of thrills, the Tropical Tube slides feature three fast-moving rides through a seemingly darkened labyrinth.
As our family found out, the triple action is perfect for racing.
Just a hint, it turns out bigger doesn’t make you faster.
When it comes to waterparks, the obligatory attraction aside from slides is a wave pool.
Despite the fact it’s indoors, the 100,000-gallon Castaway Bay Wave Pool gets the job done with the youngsters feeling the rough seas while mom and dad watch — along with plenty of lifeguards — comfortably from Adirondack chairs set up along what would be the beach area.
Naturally the kids always want to stay active, with Cargo Crossings allowing them to traverse a small pool filled with floatable objects below and a rope above without falling into the drink.
It seems as though the popular reality television show “Wipeout” has had an effect on this attraction, allowing the kids to feel as though their life and livelihood is on the line.
For the toddlers and kids who have yet to embrace the fast-moving attractions, there are numerous splash things to do in the Lookout Lagoon Family Funhouse — complete with a water-dumping bucket that douses anyone below every few minutes — and the Toddler’s Tide Pool.
The adjacent Crabbie’s Quarter Deck Arcade features videogames galore; however, focused parents on a tight budget can easily keep the kids entertained in the water without any additional costs.
Finally, the Big Daddy’s Snack Shack offers plenty of things to eat, as well as adult beverages for those parents who really want to kick back without shelling out a lot of cash. Which brings up the idea of taking in Castaway Bay in the first place.
If you’re not going to Florida this year or are just in the mood for a nice family night or weekend getaway, this Sandusky venue provides just such a respite to recharge your batteries one tube slide at a time.
For more information, call 419-627-2106 or visit castawaybay.com.