I recently did a little bit of travelling, and wanted to find gaming-related goods in other places instead of just locally or online. I found a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. Unlike several other restaurants (such as McDonald's, A & W, DQ, Pizza Hut, etc.), I have no memories of being at Chuck E. Cheese when I was a kid. I might've visited the restaurant once, but don't remember. I do remember seeing some of the commercials in the early/mid 2000's (during the Chuck E. Cheese character's "Avenger Chuck" days), but didn't think much of it. In fact, I didn't think of Chuck E. Cheese at all until recently.
A week or two before visiting the restaurant, I watched a few Chuck E. Cheese "tour" videos on YouTube showing some of the locations in Canada. I wanted to get an idea of what Arcade games to expect.
I arrived at the restaurant, and was a little nervous since Chuck E. Cheese is (or at least appears to be) mainly for kids. I also noticed some posts on Reddit saying that some locations don't allow adults to enter without kids, and some people saying they were allowed to enter but got looks during their visit. I'm not much of a Breakfast person, so by the time I got to the restaurant (a little after noon) I was getting hungry. Also let's face it, I'm never too old for pizza and video games.
I entered the restaurant. It wasn't busy when I entered. The staff greeted me, and had no problem with me eating and playing games there despite being an adult.
The Play Pass Card
The location I went to has more or less phased out tokens, so I was given a Play Pass/All You Can Play card (with a wristband) for playing the games. I was given the option of putting either points or time on the card. It took me several seconds to decide, but I chose time. I got 45 minutes. They've also phased out physical tickets, and so "e-tickets" are automatically saved onto the card while playing a game. There is a Kiosk at the restaurant that can be used to reload the card.
One of the things Chuck E. Cheese is known for is its pizza. I ordered a large, stuffed crust pepperoni pizza (it's Chuck E. CHEESE, of course I wanted stuffed crust). I was given a small paper cup and grabbed a drink of Mountain Dew (the restaurant has Pepsi drinks). I was a little disappointed with the cups. They used to have cups with pictures of the Chuck E. Cheese characters on them until recently. Now they have these generic white cups with lines on them. Oh well. I sat at a table by a window, distancing myself from the one or two families that were there when I arrived. Chuck E. Cheese himself (an employee wearing a costume) appears at the 30 minute mark every hour. While I was waiting for my pizza, Chuck E. walked by my table and waved at me. I waved back and said "hey Chuck E.!". I can only imagine how hot it must be while wearing that costume, especially the head piece.
After 15-20 minutes, a server came to the table with my pizza. The pizza looked fresh and tasty, but I noticed the slices were different sizes. There are rumors that the chain reheats leftover pizza, though I don't know if that was ever proven. Also, the pizza has gotten mixed reviews. Some people like it, and others don't. I put a slice on my tiny Chuck E. Cheese plate. While not as good as, say, Papa Johns or Busters, the pizza wasn't too bad. It kind of reminded me of McCain frozen pizza. I'm not sure if the quality of the pizza differs somewhat at different locations or if some people's expectations are a little too high, but I thought the pizza tasted good. Not great, but good.
The other big reason I visited, besides grabbing a bite to eat. I had a chance to play a few Arcade games that I hadn't played before.
I didn't think I'd be able to find this anytime soon, but it was in Chuck E. Cheese. It has a Poltergust Vacuum for a Controller, like what Luigi uses in this and the other Luigi's Mansion games. The game was beside the table I was sitting at. I didn't even notice it until I sat down.
I have the Super Monkey Ball games on GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Wii, and Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD for Switch, but I didn't know about this game until a couple weeks ago when I watched the Chuck E. Cheese "tour" videos I mentioned above. It has a tracker ball for controlling the characters, which I'm not used to. But I am glad I had a chance to play the game.
This Cars game was in the kids area (well, younger kids area) with the rides, so I wasn't sure if I was allowed to play it. However, unlike the rides, this game looked big enough for an adult so I tapped my card and played. No one complained. The game is actually pretty fun and humorous, like the movies.
I almost missed this one and didn't play it until my card was almost out of time. This is the newer Rampage game that was released a few years ago, and is loosely based on the movie. It plays like a traditional Rampage game where you pick from three characters (George, Lizzie, and Ralph) and destroy cities.
This game was also located in the kids area, and I actually had to kneel down to play it.
I also played a Batman game and a Fast and the Furious game, but I didn't take pictures of them.
The Photo Car Ride. The car moves a little, the headlights turn on, and a kid gets his/her picture taken with Chuck E. Obviously, this ride is too small for an adult. But if you've seen even some of my posts on Twitter, Instagram, and here on VGS, then you probably know that I like to take pictures. Apparently, most (and maybe even all) Chuck E. Cheese locations have this ride. I probably would've liked this when I was a kid.
Something weird that I noticed is that the logo on the front has Chuck E.'s current appearance, but he's wearing his hat from the Avenger Chuck era which he rarely wears nowadays.
The Studio C Animatronic
Like the tokens and physical tickets, the Animatronics of the various Chuck E. Cheese characters that were a big part of the restaurant appear to have been mostly phased out and replaced with TV's showing a puppet version of Chuck E. The location I went to still has a Chuck E. Animatronic, which is based on one of the character's earlier designs. There are also several pictures on the walls which also look like they're from an earlier era. Nice that they have some reminders of the past.
Even though Chuck E. Cheese wasn't really part of my childhood, I actually like both the restaurant and the character now as an adult. After playing some games, I went to the Chuck E. store that is beside the counter near the entrance where you order food. There was a card scanner on the counter. I found out there were 27 e-tickets on my card, no where near enough for most of the prizes on display. Which didn't matter to me, because I wasn't really interested in the prizes (which were things like slinky's, balls, etc.). On the right side of the store were some Chuck E. items that I was more interested in that I bought with cash instead of using tickets. I got a small Chuck E. plush, a big coloring book, and two sticker books. Some people dislike Chuck E.'s current appearance, but I like it. He looks cuter and even more friendly than he used to be.
I also bought some Cotton Candy earlier when I ordered my pizza, which was available in pink and blue. I'm MegaMan52, so of course I had to buy the blue Cotton Candy. I also kept the plate I used when I ate my pizza. Don't worry, I wiped off the grease after I ate.
Overall, I enjoyed my visit. The pizza was reasonably good, the games were great, and I got a lot of goodies. The restaurant was also very clean. Yes, even the washrooms...though that might be because I was there only an hour after they opened. It got a little busier about an hour after I arrived. I'll probably visit again someday, as I want to play those Luigi's Mansion and Super Monkey Ball games again.
As with my other blogs, I'll update this blog later to fix typos.
Edited by MegaMan52
Fixed typos and added pictures