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Trip Report: Maui Sands

By Craig Webb Published: July 9, 2014

No it is not Kalahari.

No it is not Great Wolf Lodge.

And it is not Castaway Bay.

But in some ways, that is what makes Maui Sands a great place to visit.

We visited the smaller of Sandusky waterpark resorts on July 6. The park is nestled right up against State routes 2 and 250.

We arrived at the tropical-themed park around 4 p.m. on our way back from a trip to Bowling Green University.

This is actually our second visit to waterpark this year thanks to half-price offers through Groupon.

On both visits, we found the park to be clean and devoid of lines. The smaller crowd is one area where this waterpark shines compared to its bigger competitors.

It is not unheard of to wait upwards of an hour to ride the major slides at Kalahari and the more laid-back approach by the lifeguards is welcome relief from the rigid guards at Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay.

Our kids loved the Maui Wowie Bowl Slide where riders choose between single or double tubes and hit speeds up to 45 miles per hour into a gigantic bowl then into a pool of water.

The only line — albeit small — at the park was to get on the Maui Wowie Bowl Slide.

If you could get past those waiting for that slide, you could walk on the Hammerhead Plunge that shares the same platform. The plunge twists its tube riders along at 35 to 45 mph.

The crowd was so small, we were able to take over the Kana and Hana Half Pipe body slides for a series of family races. Our event featured a complicated bracket that took way too long to discuss and argue about. In the end, there was a winner and it was not me. But even that is still the subject of family debate.

We took several spins on the lazy river that had no wait and plenty of empty tubes. It moves right along a brisk pace.

We also had the MakaMaka Treehouse to ourselves where we stood under the bucket way too many times.

While geared toward younger kids, our high school kids enjoyed the small slides as much as their elementary school siblings. I was surprised the guard didn’t give them the boot.

A good amount of time was spent in the Coconut Cove area that has 48,000 gallons of water over 12,000 square feet. It has a swirl pool and water basketball hoops.

The "Water Walk Crossing" area where you can try to walk on floating sea creatures was closed.

The cove was so empty our crew had simultaneous basketball and football games going on at the same time.

The family Half Moon Lagoon spa was particularly enjoyable because it truly is a "hot" tub and not a wimpy imitation found at most waterparks.

This is not a high-end waterpark, but for the price of $59 for a family of four on Groupon — $100 off the gate price — it is a real bargain.

The park is also located in the heart of a ton of dining options from Sonic to Ryan’s Steakhouse so if you want to dry off and eat off site that’s not a big deal.

It is also right across the street from Walmart so when you discover your 6 year old was "mistaken" when he said he wore his swim trunks to the park, you have an inexpensive option.

We’ve been to all the waterparks in Sandusky and Maui Sands is one of my favorites. The lines are short and it is not too huge so you can keep track of the kids.




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