Chuck E. Cheese is hell on earth

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Since we didn't have power this evening, I took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese for dinner and some fun. I also owed this to Andrew since got to page 100 in his workbook at school.

Anyway, if you haven't been before (or haven't been since you were a kid), Chuck E. Cheese is a pizza joint with games and big kid-sized-habitrail setups. They also have a scary, syrupy stage show of animatronic animals in a band and a full sized Chuck E. Cheese guy in costume that will likely result in nightmares for me and the boys this evening. I seem to recall it being a more regular arcade when I was growing up, but now it caters to young children (like lower elementary).

As you walk in, you have to get your hand stamped in special ink so they can verify you're leaving with the right kids (like I'd want to take more kids than I came with?!) This is a nice idea in principle and makes people feel OK to let their four year olds run around unattended while the Stepford wives chat amongst themselves. However, since we managed to leave tonight without being checked and Michelle has seen unstamped adults leaving with kids, it's clearly not as robust a a scheme as you'd think. I never let Michael out of arm's reach and scan for Andrew every thirty seconds.

The games are a mix of arcade games for little kids and midway style machines that return tickets depending on how well you do. If you get a few thousand tickets at a quarter a pop, you can cash them in for great prizes like Matchbox car knockoffs and bad candy. A bargain at twice the price.

Half the games are broken. The floor is dirty from a million 4-5 year olds running around in their socks and bare feet, spilling soda. The whole place makes me want to take a Lysol shower afterwards. I just get the willies being there.

Worst of all, my kids love the place. Just love it. They can't wait to go back. So, we'll go back.

Yuck.

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The other night, we had to make a pit stop at the ever sinister Eagle Rock Target. We were hungry and before entering that establishment decided to eat. The venue of choice was right next door: Chuck E. Cheese(their site... Read More

7 Comments

Leslie Reply

Chuck E. Cheese is Las Vegas for little kids.

Harley Gannon Reply

You must have been at an ill run CEC. I know the one I take my kids to is clean, the games work and the Kid Check always has someone there that never lets anyone in or out with out verifying the numbers.

will Reply

i dont get how in the cec i go 2 the curtains dont work i heard they didnt pay that bill that's y not sure ,and also the 1 i go 2 has a band (chuck e.,helen,mr.munch,jasper t. jowls,pesquauly) 1 that is close ,but i go 2 a closer 1 has just a chuck e. with puppets on the screen it's like wtf

Harley Gannon Reply

I am a former technical manager of a cec. There are three differant types of stages. the one with the screen and just chuck is called studio c, it also has a blue screen where the kids can see them selves in the video with chuck and print it. The one with the band is called a three stage and is the oldest and biggest pain in the as of pneumatics and electronics ever developed. The last one is called a 2 stage and is similar to the three stage but the charecters heads are huge for some reason. its kind of creepy. I myself prefer a 3 stage if it is tuned right so you cant hear the parts slapping and air hissing.

Showbiz Pizza.com Reply

There Are Actually Several Stages. Not Just 3.

Wall Portrait SetUp- Mechs In Portraits. Very Primitive. No Longer In CEC.
Balcony Stage- The Main Pizza Time Theatre Stage. This Was From The Old CEC. No Longer In CEC
Porch Stage- A Simple Balcony Stage With Small Curtains For Munch and Pasqually. No Longer In CEC.
House Stage/C-Stage- A SetUp That Has The Band In Front of A House. This Was When They Didn't have Instruments Yet. No Longer In CEC
Rocker Stage- A Different House Stage. Only 4 Are Still In CECs World Wide.
1 Stage- 1 Set of Curtains
2-Stage- 2 Curtains. One For Chuck, One For Band.
3-Stage- A 3 Stage Set Up From The Old Rock-aFire Explosion Mechs and Stage.
Studio C Alpha- A Talk-Show Esque Stage With Only Chuck.
Studio C Beta- A Simpler SetUp With A Light-Up Gizmo Behind A Standing Chuck. No Band.
Studio C C(r)appa- A Cheap Beta With no curtains, Very Little Screens, Cheap Chuck. This Is Most Likely What You Saw.

CEC Has Become A Tiny Shell of Its Former Pizza Time Theatre and Showbiz Pizza Place Self.

Long time cast member Reply

People like you make me hate my job because the always seem to complain about every little thing wrong and completely ignore the good. And they look at me as if i am doing nothing.I love you people who say every game is broken what happened out of the 100 games there 5 didn't work give me a break i on some days i could be fixing the same game 30 times so just relax and let your kids have fun.
The curtain does't go down new company policy after someone snuck underneath it.

long time cast member Reply

People like you make me hate my job because the always seem to complain about every little thing wrong and completely ignore the good. And they look at me as if i am doing nothing.I love you people who say every game is broken what happened out of the 100 games there 5 didn't work give me a break i on some days i could be fixing the same game 30 times so just relax and let your kids have fun.
The curtain doesn't go down new company policy after someone snuck underneath it.

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