Family Entertainment Centre
Entertaining you late into the evening comes the completely overhauled Family Entertainment Centre located where the arcade used to be! Equipped with state of the art Arcade Games, Machines, a soon to open Cafe and a full-size Bowling Alley with VIP lanes! As well as the upgrade the area has received a new paying system has been introduced – the I-Card. An I-Card is a card that can also be attached to an official Fantasy Island lanyard which you pay to have arcade credit put onto. The credit does expire but you get 2 years from the date of last use! The I-Card can be used to play any games in the Family Entertainment Centre along with the Bowling when you pay for that at the cash desk or kiosks dotted around the Centre.
Let’s start with the Arcade Machines and prize system; the games where you win prizes dispense tickets, these tickets can then be fed into one of two machines which will print you a receipt (Stops you having to carry thousands of tickets around!) The receipts can then be kept, before expiry dates, until you have enough to claim a prize. The prizes can be exchanged for the ticket receipts and one of two main desks located either next to the Bowling or in the Plaza. Prizes range anywhere from a bag of sweets to a laptop – honestly, I wouldn’t turn the sweets down at this moment in time! As for the machines, themselves there is ticket awarding ones ranging from fun games to fast paced strategy tournaments. Other games include racing simulators, classic 2p games and claw machines along with a large variety of other classic arcade games.
A new MJH Events 10-pin American style Bowling alley has been installed in the amusements area and it’s not the average 10 pin on stings affair either! It boasts 8 lanes including 2 Special VIP lanes which feature Projection mapping, which is overlaid on the lanes which features real-time ball following and effects, Fantasy Island are the first establishment outside of the USA to have this Technology on the VIP lanes. Setting the bar high for other bowling establishments in terms of cost the standard game of bowling is only £5 per game per person, this is a very good price point as the average family of 4 works out at only £20 per game considering other some venues local to us here in Lincolnshire are £6.50 per person, The games are paid for using the I-Card system, which also allow friends to pay for their own game using their own I-Card.
The Bowling lanes feature the usual AMF animated screens with graphical display showing which pins you knocked over, which are remaining and also where to aim the ball, the average game lasts around 40-60 minutes and considering the indoor area is open later than the outdoors adds more value to this as once you have finished getting your thrills you can come and chill out with a game of bowling. The seating area is very stylish, with some nice coloured glowing plastic benches we personally think it could do with a few tables as when you have drinks there’s nowhere to put them and risk been knocked ever. This brings us on to the carpets and ambient lighting, these add a massive atmosphere to the arcade and bowling area lighting up in bright colours which makes the carpet stand out with the firework effect and then a stone/pebble path effect carpet leading from all the entrances and exits joined up and leading you on to what can only be described as a mystical journey into the pyramid past what used to be pony express and the climbing wall! We would recommend you go and give the bowling a go and if you can afford the extra few quid go for the VIP lanes, as they add a little bit more fun especially if you have small children where there are even metal ball ramps to help the little ones out! There is also plenty of balls around ranging in weights and finger hole sizes, these balls also glow under the UV lighting that illuminates the lanes
Located next to the main steps for Pyramid access is a Café kiosk which is currently being constructed. This is an excellent idea – as the other one was removed it stops people having to wander into the Pyramid for snacks and beverages, it also adds to the experience being able to have food while enjoying the facility! As always, we’ll keep you posted and hopefully we’ll see this open soon.
As we’ve said before having the Family Entertainment Centre open 2 hours later than the rest of the park along with all indoor rides and Golf really justifies the time and pricing. The Lava Creek Adventure Golf takes a good part of an hour to complete as does the Bowling, especially with a few of you playing. If you factor in other Arcade Games and the chance to have some food you’ve already spent 2 hours in there! Yet another fantastic addition from The Mellors Group.