Chuck E. Cheese’s

Photo By driph

Photo By driph

Where a Kid Can be a Kid!

We used to beg and plead with my parents to take us to Chuck E. Cheese’s whenever we passed it even though we knew it was more of a special occasion type place. Sure the pizza and prizes sucked, but this place was magical! The games were classic and the indoor playground was awesome. Am I wrong to remember Chuck wearing a suit/tux? He’s certainly changed his appearance from a more realistic version of Mickey Mouse to a fun loving kid over the years. Today there are more than 500 locations in the US and other countries in the western hemisphere.

History

The idea of Chuck E. Cheese’s first came from the founder of Atari. The concept was to have video games and entertainment in a family, restaurant environment. Several break ups and mergers later, Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theater evolved into what is the Chuck E. Cheese’s we know today.

Animatronic Concerts

Photo By spike55151

Photo By spike55151

Up until the mid 90s a big draw to the restaurant was the animated characters that performed on a stage. I remember it was always a big deal when the curtains opened and these animatronics started jamming out. Of course, once you got older you couldn’t see the big deal because they were obviously fake.

Photo By heycmyk

Photo By heycmyk

Pizza

The main staple you eat at Chuck E. Cheese’s is of course, pizza. I’m not sure if it’s improved any, but the quality was terrible. It was sort of like eating cardboard. Therefore, you did not go to eat pizza, you went for the entertainment. And if you got hungry… food was easily accessible.

Tokens and Tickets

Cups full of tokens were one of those things that made the pizza worth it.

Photo By Brian DoctaBu Moore

Photo By Brian "DoctaBu" Moore

Unfortunately the exchange rate for tokens never really seemed fair to me. For the amount of money I was putting in, I should have been able to get TONS of tokens, right? Wrong. Tokens would get used up fast and then my parent’s wouldn’t give me any more money because they felt like they had already given me enough.

Since I was on a token budget, I’d always go for the games that would give me tickets so I could trade them in. But of course you never had enough tickets to get the really cool stuff. If you were lucky you could get plastic rings, a pencil, and some fake bugs… for ten dollars worth of tokens?

Chuck E. Cheese’s has a very clever money scheme going. Kind of like Disney World, but worst. Apparently they are looking at switching from tokens to money cards and I wouldn’t be surprised if they made you buy the card on top of adding money to it!

Games

Chuck E. Cheese’s had some classic games that I always looked forward to playing:

Wacky Gator

Photo By peretzpup

Photo By peretzpup

Skee Ball

Photo By alexlc13

Photo By alexlc13

Hungry Hippos

Photo By bradsearles

Photo By bradsearles

Storm Stopper

Photo By astrid_starcluster

Photo By astrid_starcluster

Photo Car

Photo By rubink1

Photo By rubink1

Birthday Parties

Photo By mintlipgloss

Photo By mintlipgloss

Having a birthday party there was like a dream come true for kids and a nightmare for parents. But at least there was cake, food and entertainment! I once worked with a lady who said the only thing that made Chuck E. Cheese bearable was the fact that they served beer and that she was lucky that her kids were older by the time they stopped serving it.

Memories

The best story I have about Chuck E. Cheese is from when my older cousin had her birthday there. As a kid she had pretty wild hair, so as she went in to blow out the candles, her hair caught on fire! Luckily nothing bad happened but it sure did make for a good family video. My cousins always said that after that she was traumatized by Chuck E. Cheese.

For more info and fun, check out the Chuck E. Cheese’s website. Do you have a memory to share? I’d like to end with this hilariously funny video of the Chuck E. Cheese band performing “Love in this Club” by Usher:

If you enjoyed this post, consider subscribing to the rss feed or following us on twitter. And don’t forget to give us some love on StumbleUpon! If you think this post could have been better, contact us about writing a guest post!

8 Responsesto “Chuck E. Cheese’s”

  1. Andrew Maier says:

    Oh first job, how I hated thee :)

    -A

  2. Janet says:

    The last time we went to Chuck E. Cheese we witnessed patrons screaming racial slurs at the white manager that their pizza didn’t come fast enough. We ordered before them, and got our pizza after them. It was just busy, and they wanted it all free. We finally got our pizza, and a grown man (different family) came over to our table, picked up some of our pizza and ate it. He glared at me as if to challenge me. Children from the first group (the screaming maniacs) pushed my daughter down, and took her tokens.

    Seriously, visit a Chuck E Cheese right after welfare gets paid.

  3. Noah says:

    Yeah Chuckie-Cheese sucks the last time i went there these 10 year olds came up to me (btw im only 12) they pushed me,i got pissed and threw one off the 12 foot high indoor playground.Thats how my last visit went.FUCK YOU CHUCKIE-CHEESE

  4. Olivia says:

    …I don’t have any horror stories, the last time I was a Chucky Cheese patron I distinctly remember the Spice Girls playing. Hehe. 90s.

  5. Derek says:

    ahhh.. the mid 80′s.. I remember the animatronics.. they scared the living crap out of me when I was five! So LOUD with the jerky movements. Plus My location was the Danvers, Massachusetts restaurant that had one of only two of the infamous “cheese factory mouse maze” giant funhouses with slides and platforms etc.. all enclosed in a giant house! My aunt who took me there dragged me in in the name of fun and we almost got stuck and lost in there! I bet it was a safety and maintenance nightmare which is why there was only ever two. Plus big kids were beating up kids as they went through and they let my aunt and me pass right on by thank you very much :) The pizza did suck. It made pre-new recipe domino’s taste like Famous Ray’s in NYC.. that bad.. I did turn in a million tokens for three little green plastic army men.. fun times..

  6. hi my name is heather arnaud, i was at the chuck cheese.

  7. Kristi says:

    Ah, haha. I remember how very “off” those robots were. I was among the children brave enough to touch the dog’s foot (it was close enough to the edge of the stage for a kindergartner to reach) and it surprised me by how “clunky” it felt.

    I remember the best prize I won there was a big, yellow plastic frog. To have as a comparison a similar local venue where I played in my preteens offered prizes that, if you were skilled enough in the games, would earn you prizes that at retail would cost as much as the tokens you spent. These prizes were still cheap, but at least it wasn’t five dollar plastic frogs. :-p

  8. cory says:

    at the moment i work at the chuckee cheeses in edison and i used to go all the time. i loved the memorys i had and am glad to make kids memorys this time around

Leave a Reply