In 2015/2016, we ran a detailed analysis comparing the rate Cedar Point offered season passholder guests to stay at Castaway Bay vs the discounted block of rooms available on Groupon (Source: Is the Passholder Savings at Castaway Bay a Deal?). Depending on the day of your stay, the 2015/2016 promotion typically was best to reserve as a passholder due to the reduced taxes and fees as compared to those through Groupon. Though there were additional dates available for the Groupon offer and non-passholders could take advantage of the discounts. So we were curious how the 2016/2017 passholder rate compared to the current Groupon promotion.
The first thing we noticed right from the start is the season passholder price has been greatly reduced compared to 2015/2016. While prices started at $109 last year, now they start at only $89! Season passholder rates are valid for stays December 16, 2016 through January 13, 2017 (excluding December 31, 2016). Note the passholder rate is available beyond January 13, though it is not as cheap as during the promotion. In order to reserve online, use promo code PASS.
Groupon rates start at $98 and are valid for stays through May 25, 2017. You can view additional Castaway Bay Groupon details here.
So which offer is better throughout the combined dates of both programs? The below compares a standard Starfish room.
Passholder Rate vs Groupon
Rack rate- $149
Closed January 2 – January 5
Closed January 8 – January 11
Up through January 13, 2017, the passholder rates is significantly lower than that offered through Groupon.
Another thing to keep in mind, just like last year, the taxes and fees imposed through Groupon are significantly more than through Castaway Bay themselves. So as we look at dates beyond January 13, we need to keep that in mind.
However, the passholder rates works out to $186.74 after taxes where the Groupon rate is $200.22. So while it appears cheaper upfront, it actually is still significantly more.
Passholder- $129 ($141.24 after taxes)
Groupon- $104.30 ($124.90)
Rack rate- $149 ($163.99)
This is one instance where the Groupon is cheaper than the passholder rate. There may be others beyond this date.
The real key to booking your stay is to look at the final costs after taxes, as there can be significant differences in charges.
One downside is that should you need to cancel, the passholder rates incurs a partial refund of your deposit minus a $50 cancellation fee if you cancel prior to 72 in advance of your stay. The Groupon rate includes a full refund if done prior to 4 day of your arrival.
Winter Chillout Rooms
Need a room for Winter Chillout? Here is what we found for rooms at Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay.
Friday (Feb 24)
Rack Rate- $189
Saturday (Feb 25)
Rack Rate- $219
Discounted Castaway Bay nights are currently available for season passholders and for everyone else on Groupon (Link: Discounted Castaway Bay Nights (affiliate link)).
If you are a season passholder, the best rates appear to be reserved for you on most dates.
For everyone else, purchasing the Groupon appears to be the best deal on Castaway Bay nights.
Photo ©Castaway Bay
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