This was a theme that this MilMom was familiar with as a child in the 90s. It was the place kids wanted their birthday parties, and to be invited to birthday parties. I can remember when it was Showbiz. I hadn’t stepped into one in over 20 years, and I wasn’t sure if my memory of it glorified it or what to expect.
Visiting Chuck E. Cheese of today was a refreshing surprise. It was brightly colored, well-lit and clean offering both options of food and fun to entertain. My fellow MilMom and I were able to catch up while the children ran, giggled and had fun as well.
As a kid, I remember the pizza being large, cheesy and delicious. We got the thin and crispy pizza and I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful it was. There aren’t any pictures because we started eating it…
It is no longer just about the pizza. There is also a well-stocked salad bar! It is an all-you-can-eat salad bar with toppings like olives and beets, it is not your standard salad bar.
In addition, appetizers and wings were also on offer. While we didn’t try these, the table next to us enjoyed the wings and said they were some of the best they had.
There is also wine and beer for purchase if you desire.
No More Tokens
I can recall film canisters being used to hold Chuck E. Cheese tokens back in the day. Gone are those days. Now all play time is loaded onto a Play Pass. The amount of play time you purchase is loaded onto the card. There are scanners at each game where you tap your card, and it will remove the appropriate points. Most games are 1 point, so in theory, 45 points can be used for 45 games and rides.
If you have an older child, there is an all-you-can Play Pass that you buy a certain amount of time. For example, at the time of writing this, you can purchase 30 minutes of play for $10. You can pause this running time once during play (if you need to eat for instance), but once time is ended, that is it until you purchase more play time.
A memory from the days of Chuck E. Cheese of the 90s was counting all the tickets after you won them – no more. There is a “ticket eater” that will count your tickets for you.
Games, Rides and the Show
They still have skee ball! Weee! That was my favorite. It isn’t a favorite of the kids yet. Their favorite was Hungry Chickens. There are a variety of games for different skill levels in addition to rides. The rides included a carousel, car and giraffe (along the lines of the rides us 80s kids passed by on the way out of Farm Fresh or Toys R Us, now relics of a 80s/90s childhood).
If you attended Chuck E. Cheese as a kid, then you remember the show of animatronic Chuck and his friends playing in their band on stage, and you can probably remember them singing “Happy Birthday” when you were there for a party. Chuck is now the only animatronic on stage. But the big performance is with the Chuck E. Cheese who walks around the game area to dance and interact with the kids. Chuck gives directions and the kids follow suit. At the end, there is a “Ticket Splash” – once everyone who is sitting down, Chuck throws tickets in the air! If you want to know when the show is, check the screen near or on the stage.
In researching our visit, I went to the web, as most people do nowadays. I was surprised to find the “Rewards” Section of the official Chuck E. Cheese website. Did your child loose a tooth? Or get straight A’s? Maybe you are working on potty training or having a clean room– there are free downloads of calendars or certificates to bring to any Chuck E. Cheese to redeem for play points. This is a great motivation and way to build up to a family visit. You must purchase food to redeem most of these rewards, but per the website you can combine rewards charts if you are working on more than one skill.
If you are an active guard member, reservist, active duty member or their families, and retired service members are qualified for the military packages.
There are two package options providing a discount to military families. These were not posted at the location we visited, but found online here.
The Alpha: 1- Large one-topping pizza, 4 drinks and 45 Play Points for $28.99
The Bravo: 2 – Large one-topping pizzas, 4 drinks and 100 Play Points for $46.99
There are also coupons on their website updated monthly if you are looking to visit and want to save a little.
While visiting, we spied a party table which in turn brought questions from the oldest about parties at Chuck E. Cheese. It seems we have come full circle.
Have you been to Chuck E. Cheese recently? Will you visit?