When you visit Blackpool, one of the most unmissabl and must-visit places with children has got to be Coral Island! Coral Island is Blackpool’s largest indoor free-admission family-friendly attraction located at a prime area. It is directly opposite the beautiful Blackpool seafront, between Madame Tussauds and Sealife Blackpool by the Central Pier and right outside a massive car park! It is hard to miss, especially with its signature skull and crossbones! We love the place, especially my children. They could both camp there for the whole day if they were allowed!
If you have not been to Coral Island, they open from 9.30am to midnight with five dining options to choose from, plenty of fun rides like the ghost train and pirate flyer, VR ride, a huge selection of arcade machines, grabbers, Prize Bingo, Camel Derby racing and an over-18’s gaming area. It is a great place to accommodate the young and old. Best of all, one child’s meal is free with each paying adult with all four dining options: the Traditional Chippy, Big Fish Trading company, Captain Jack’s, the Buccaneer or Peggy’s Snack Bar.
We visited on a Sunday morning and the place was already packed with visitors! The whole place is so lively and buzzing with people. What I like about the attraction is that even though the place is packed, it is still very spacious and most of the area is still accessible to people with limited mobility including those who use wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
As soon as both of my children were armed with a bucket of 2p coins, they disappeared and found their 2p machines of choice without waiting for us! They both knew what to do and love those 2p coin pusher machines just for the thrill of potentially winning more 2p coins! Some of the 2p machines also come with prize tickets, sweets and other random stuff! My son soon came back with a lot of prize tickets and sweeties, whilst Ms C took her time to master the skill of not getting her coins to ride on top of other coins!
You can exchange the prize tickets for prizes but first, you need to feed tickets into a machine to count them, then print off a receipt to exchange for your prizes! You can choose to save up all of your prize tickets for something big like a Nintendo Switch and Amazon Echo or swap for something small like sweeties, books, soft toys and many more!
Besides the usual arcade machines, one of the machines worth a special mention is the VR ride where players use a headset to take on an amazing ride. Not many attractions have this type of ride!
Another exciting ride is the Pirate’s Quest Ghost Train! It is not for everyone, especially if you are not into scary rides! It costs £2 for a single rider and £3 for two. We all loved it except my daughter! She had her eyes closed for large parts of it, according to my son! The ride is full of surprises and I would recommend trying it! It is good value for money!
We also went onto the Pirate Flyer which is a monorail ride that takes you on a tour of Coral Island with a hidden ‘undersea’ themed tunnel from a prime vantage point up! It costs the same as the Ghost Train.
After all the rides, we all tried the Camel Derby racing where each of you gets three balls to throw into a series of holes to score which moves your camel towards the finishing line! Whoever’s camel comes first will win a big prize! It was really fun and a nice interactive game.
Then we tried the Prize Bingo where you win prizes instead of money. It is computerised and is very easy to play by pressing the ‘free’ button to tick your numbers when the caller reads out the numbers. Mr K managed to win 100 tickets to exchange for prizes!
After spending two hours of fun playing, we headed to the Buccaneer for a late lunch. On every Sunday, they do serve a three roast carvery but we all opted for the usual pub meals instead! The place was really cosy and very well decorated with a pirate theme. Even their friendly staff were all dressed as pirates.
We had the crispy mushroom and BBQ chicken wings as our starter. The food tastes great and I can’t fault it! We both enjoyed our starters.
As for our main meal, Mr C had a sirloin steak and I had scampi & chips whilst Mr K had fish fingers & chips and Ms C had pasta from the children’s menu. As I mentioned earlier, children (under age 10) eat for free with every paying adult! The adult meals start from £8.95 and children meals from £4.50. This is definitely great food at a great price! The portions are decent for the meal.
We then ordered a shared sundae to share and a strawberry cheesecake for me! The sundae was huge! The photo does not do it justice! It definitely filled us up! The desserts were a lovely way to finish our meal. The restaurant was still very busy even though it was already 3pm with a lot of customers still coming through the door. Even though it was busy, the standard of customer service never wavered. It was very well done by their staff to put a smile on our faces.
Before we headed off, both children went back to play the 2p machines once more and won more prize tickets. Needless to say, we came back with more sweeties and rocks! It was a lovely memorable day out and we all had a great time! It was a long way for us to travel there and back but if you are thinking of staying for a long weekend, there are plenty of hotels, B&Bs around the area! Do check out the Blackpool tourist information website and also not forgetting to check out Coral Island website for their special events, discounts and offers!
Disclosure: We were invited to visit Coral Island Blackpool for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.