*This post is a paid partnership opportunity in association with Coral Island.
We were recently given the opportunity to visit Coral Island in Blackpool. We jumped at the chance to head from Yorkshire to Lancashire for the day and visit where we lived over a year ago and for this time to be tourists instead of locals. As we were heading off on what was predicted to be the hottest day on record this year, I decided an early start was best to beat the traffic and busy holiday makers. On approaching Blackpool, locating Coral Island couldn’t be easier, we used sat nav directions to Bonny Street Car park at FY1 5AR. Once you’re close to the centre you really just need to head for the iconic landmarks of Blackpool Tower and Coral Island.
What first grabbed our attention was the pirate flyer that is essentially a monorail around the whole arcade. We all couldn’t wait to get a birds eye view of the attraction. In the the arcade is a mix of old favourites such as fruit machines, grabbers and interactive gaming machines as well as more modern interactive ride and amusements. My two eldest children were really impressed with the Virtual Reality ride and the ghost train. Whilst my little ones were kept amused by the seaside simple favourites such as sitting on the giant Coral Island themed deckchair, putting their heads into the cardboard cut out photo props of Toy Story characters to pose for photos and also a firm favourite as already mentioned the pirate flyer! Here is a little more detail on why we enjoyed some of the rides we went on so much.
Daisy’s favourite activity, and she was so pleased to win a stuffed toy of her choice on this ride. We all enjoyed competing against each other and others to try and get our winning camel to the finish line. The staff were incredibly patient with my lot at explaining how to play.
The Pirate Flyer
we loved the fact that this ride was suitable for the whole of our family and meant we could enjoy a ride for a change that was suitable for our 2 year old up to our 13 year old.
The two littles waited in a ghost carriage whilst we listened to the enjoyable screams from the eldest two. They came out having been on twice with fun tales of the ride and they even took their own video going around.
Back to the arcade machines and well I loved the slot machines the most, as they hold such fond childhood memories for me, playing for what felt like hours with my brother at the fair. So it really made me smile to see my four come together and share without arguments their 2p stash into the cups provided. This activity appealed to all of my kids and they worked in a team to collect the plenty of tickets that were dispensed from the machines. I like the fact that they use counting skills and giving them the rare sense these days that even small change is of real worth.
Within the arcade many of the games machines give out reams of winning tickets that can then be exchanged at ticket eating machines. My kids thought the machines were hilarious as they eagerly ate up their tickets and dispensed easy to use scan vouchers for the prize shop. The prize shop had plenty of choice and I was pleased to see lots of small items for just 50 points. Mine love small toys so these were just right and for older kids and adults you can really collect them up and swap your voucher points for larger items.
Full House – If you’re feeling like you still want more than the many many arcade games then head to the computerised bingo area for some good old fashioned bingo! There are plenty of members of staff on hand to explain how to work the more modern but easy to use Bingo machines.
There are four eateries in Coral Island; The Buccaneer Family Bar & Restaurant, Captain Jack’s, Fish & Chips and Peggy’s Snack Bar. You can easily feed the family quickly whilst sticking to a cheap budget. it can cost as little as £10 to feed a family! As we were only in Blackpool for one day we wanted the whole seaside experience and so we ate in the Fish & Chip Cafe.
We all really enjoyed fish or sausage and chips with sides of baked beans and mushy peas. The kids portions are aimed at children up to the age of 11. Daisy was keen on a few more chips than the portion allowed for, but this was easily rectified by the huge adult portions so we allowed her some extra from our trays.
I was a little worried about the day as my last memories of an amusement arcade in Scarborough weren’t great. Well I was totally proven wrong; first off I really felt like I got to have fun with the kids and forget all about being a boring grown up for a change. The arcade wasn’t packed for the duration of our visit, it was busy but not too busy. The arcade was really spotless and clean and there were plenty of toilets and baby change facilities. It really was just a pure dollop of Great British Seaside fun and one I would definitely repeat again. So this leads me onto sharing some Mummy pointers for you to plan and benefit from on your Coral Island visit.
Get there early to avoid busy spells, it definitely got busier towards mid-afternoon when we left.
There is plenty of staff on hand to help. I was impressed by the member of staff who checked with me as a parent that my kids were allowed specific toys such as a toy gun and slime pot at the prize shop.
Parking – There were plenty of car spaces available in the morning at Bonny Street Car Park and I found the price of parking to be what I expected; we paid £5.50 for 4 hours parking.
Over estimate how long you will be there for, as we happily spent hours at Coral Island and so had to go back and add more parking time on the car.
It’s a really cool and airy place on a hot Summers day and on a wet one it would also be welcome, I’m sure.
Try to seek out the wooden chip forks in the Fish Cafe as otherwise the cutlery handed out is plastic.
If you’re in Blackpool for a reasonable amount of time then why not check out Blackpool Sea Life and also make the most of the long promenades and trams for some good walks and a play on the beach.