Wednesday 24 July 2019

Coral Island Blackpool Free Entry Indoor Attraction Review (Guest visit)

We've been to Coral Island in Blackpool more times than I can possibly remember. A very popular spot for us, up between the tower and central pier, and an ideal place to escape the sun, wind or rain for half an hour, or stop in to have lunch. We reviewed 18 months ago, we loved our day out, and they invited us back again this year as guests, to check they haven't changed...

Collage of Coral Island photos showing games

Coral Island is Blackpool's biggest free admission attraction and it's all indoor. I love Blackpool, and it can be hot and sunny at times, but often it's bracing and Northern. An indoor drop-in attraction is a great thing. You can find my 2018 Coral Island Blackpool review here - where we spent £20 per person for the entire day, including meals. Prices were roughly the same then, as they were this year...

Coral Island Blackpool view from outside car park behind sealife

This visit we were given a Coral Island VIP Card, which entitled us to a number of free rides and games each, plus some prize tickets to get us started and some change for the penny falls. We took more change with us - this is the perfect occasion to collect up all of those 2p's.

Coral Island Blackpool review 2p machines glowing

We love the 2p machines and a lot of fun can be had for a £1. Very swiftly we'd collected several sparkly keyrings and our budget for this activity spent, we had a short go on the 10p machines, but didn't get to take home a Fortnite figure.

Coral Island Blackpool review 10p pushers machine with coins and  fortnite prizes

Next we decided it was time for a ride, and the Ghost Train was something we loved last time. It's much bigger than you'd expect, and we even had a shock from a surprise real live person jumping out of the shadows - a very familiar Captain Jack the pirate!

Inside the Coral Island Ghost Train Ride showing track and gloom ahead

We went on the Pirate Flier next. My partner hasn't been on this before, and my 9 year old is less brave than he was before. The rocking movement of the monorail boat on corners feels really weird, but it's perfectly safe. It's also the very best place to view the whole of Coral Island and get your bearings.

Coral Island view from pirate flier monorail

Bingo next and we've never played it before properly, and certainly not without markers and cards. It was very modern, with a touchscreen and on-screen prompts. I wasn't entirely sure I was doing it right until my second go, I won though!

I let my boys share the prize points, which you have to spend in the Bingo Prize Section, and then we went for an early tea at Captain Jacks Bar And Grill, the restaurant at the front left side of Coral Island.

We were really impressed with the meals at the Buccaneer Bar last time and it was just as good, and the service was perfect. Everyone was smiling, helpful and attentive, and it was a lovely atmosphere to eat in. Just like every restaurant at Coral Island, a child under 10 eats free with each paying adult.

Coral Island review Kids Menu Captain Jack's Bar And Grill Restaurant

There is a range of seating available, and although it's quit a small restaurant, it has a surprising number of seats and feels nice and roomy. On the walls were TVs playing Pirates Of The Caribbean movies to really set the scene.

For starters we chose Nachos (without any salsa), Garlic Bread (a side order really, but I fancied it), and Jack's Meat Feast Sharer, which my 10yo and partner shared - it was ginormous!!

Coral Island Blackpool Captain Jack's Starters collage, showing dining area nachos and Meat sharing platter

While we were waiting for the main course there was a surprise visit from Captain Jack himself, and he is excellent. Perfectly in character and making all of us laugh, he even had some treasure to hand out to the children in the restaurant - gold coins and little keyrings. They were ecstatic.

Captain Jack Sparrow lookalike who is incredibly good at Coral Island Blackpool

For main meals we chose Jack's Mega Pirate Platter, Jack's No Meat Cheeseburger (without the cheese), The Streaker Surfer and from the children's menu, Fish Fingers. I was really impressed that we were able to ask for no cheese (and no salsa for my son's Nachos) and we weren't made to feel an inconvenience.

Coral Island review main meals Streaker Surfer Mega Pirate Platter No meat Burger

Only 3 of us could fit a dessert in, and we were all really full and satisfied. The meals were really nicely cooked and not at all greasy or oily. There's the option to choose sweet potato fries instead, and the menu also has lighter meals and salads. I was actually impressed with the quality of the fish in my son's fish fingers, and they're a rare treat he loved because we don't eat fish at home.

Captain Jack's Coral Island Restaurant Review desserts cheesecake ice cream chocolate brownie

We went outside to let the boys run about on the beach after dinner. It was the usual level of windy, but a lovely blast of fresh air to wake us all up.

Blackpool beach two boys running along the sand banks with very shallow water around

Back inside and the Camel Derby was our first stop. My lucky streak continued, although I still claim this is a skill game! Winning the Bingo and the Camel Derby in one day, I was my children's hero...

Camel Derby Coral Island Blackpool Review

We spent the afternoon trying out some of the games around Coral Island, I particularly liked locking the kids into the Storm booths, where you have to catch and stuff tokens or balls into hoppers in return for prize tickets.

Coral Island Blackpool Storm wind ticket machines with children inside frantically grabbing

Coral Island blackpool games VR Rabbid Rabbids Reverse Tetris Car ride Zoltar Speaks

Prize tickets are everyone's final job of the day. You stuff them all into a machine and it gives you a printed total. Then you redeem it for prizes. There's a huge selection, so if your children are anything like mine, allow what seems like hours a good 10 minutes for them to choose...

Coral Island Blackpool prizes on display shelving toys mugs rock novelties souvenirs

My two Children waiting at the prize counter to redeem tickets for goodies

Coral Island are running a big competition this Summer to win a Mini Cooper, which is on display inside, all you have to do is complete a competition entry form. One Ride-On Mini or a Remote Control Mini will also be given away in a weekly prize draw of entrants, and there's a runner up prize of a VIP experience including meal for up to 6 people.  The winner will be announced live on air on Rock FM Breakfast Show on the 23rd of August.

Coral Island Blackpool win a mini competition display in attraction with car and signage

We had an excellent day, just as we did last year. The staff at Coral Island really make it what it is. They're friendly and helpful, and really attentive to everyone. It feels a very safe environment and if you get a 10p stuck in a machine, you know you can ask anyone and they'll be over instantly - and that's if they haven't already spotted you.

Coral Island prize haul soft toys keyrings rock sweets

Coral Island has ramps, broad walkways and spaces between machines. It's very accessible. There are ample clean toilets and there are 4 restaurants to choose from, each offering free children's meals (under age 10) with each paying adult all day, every day. It is very noisy, so if that troubles you, take headphones.

Find out all about special events, competitions (anyone can be a VIP!) and offers on the Coral Island Blackpool website - there's a Pirate Weekend 27/28 July!

We were guests of Coral Island. Our meal was free of charge, we were given a family VIP Ticket for specified free rides and games and our expenses were paid, mainly travel and parking - if you follow the signs for central Blackpool, you can park behind Sea Life for around £7.50 for 6 hours.


  1. I love Blackpool. It is such a great and fun place. Coral island has great food and fantastic deals. Definitely go there next time x

    1. I don't think we'd bother anywhere else now, even though our kids are getting too big for the Kids Eat Free meal deal. It's so much better than soggy sandwiches or greasy chips :)


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