Where an adult can pretend he’s a kid…


By Shawn Robare

So today is my 29th Birthday and the fiancee and I decided to celebrate it up right by taking the celebration to Chuckie Cheese. With out trusty camera in tow and being in a particular wacky mood we hit that place like a thunderstorm. Or at least an ill tempered wind…


Though we don’t drink much, it’s nice to know that the fine folks at CC recognize the importance of liquor in taking the edge off of sixty thousand screaming shoeless kids running around asking strangers for quarters. I still can’t believe that you can get a beer at Chuckie Cheese and not Disney World proper. When is frozen Walt going to learn…



The inside looks pretty much as I remember it as a kid as far as the game floor and the seating is concerned. The only thing different (outside of the lack of a stage full of animatronic animals rocking out to Beach Boys melodies) is the decor which is a lot more, well, colorful and Andy Warhol-esque…


The one thing that I was disappointed in (once again outside of a non-existent Rock-Afire Explosion band) was the food. Pizza is a pretty basic food stuff and pretty hard to get wrong. Well, actually, let me say that another way. Even bad pizza is usually alright pizza, I mean how hard is it to slap tomato sauce on some dough and then sprinkle some toppings on? This pizza was bad pizza, and I know from bad pizza. I spent years after I moved out from home, subsisting on the bottom of the barrel in bad frozen (usually store brand) pizza, and even that sometimes had its merits. What exactly was wrong with it? Well the dough was gritty, the tomato sauce was barely there, and the toppings were still cold. We opted for the veggie pizza since the fiancee is a vegetarian, and well, this was just bad pizza. The topper? This was a $20 pizza (not including drinks or tokens.) For $20, I expect just a little bit of quality, even if all it amounts to is cooking it thoroughly.


Carrie was a trooper and forced four very expensive slices down…


…while I did my best to make a dent in the rest, going so far as scraping off cheese and the edible raw veggie toppings. I spent $20 on that pizza and I would be damned if it didn’t at least look like I tried to eat it.


Well at least there were the games right? I mean who goes to Chuckie Cheese for quality food? So we loaded up our pockets with $20 worth of tokens and went to town on the arcade floor.


Now typically I make a beeline for the Skee Ball machines and just plant myself there. Earlier, while we were eating though I noticed that they were getting a lot of attention and in particular, attention from parents that had no problem with their kids getting up on top of the machines and depositing the balls into the 100,000 holes. Well that sort of soured me on Skee Ball for the evening, though I did have to laugh as apparently Chuckie Cheese has tried to solve this problem by adding a tilt function to the machines so no tickets will be awarded.


I ended up throwing all my tokens at machines I typically never play which are the “skill” (I write that with the utmost sarcasm) machines that are only good for tickets. This on in particular was a pretty freaky customer. Though I’ve seen machines like this before (it’s basically Operation in Carny form) I’ve never seen one that looked so sinister and just plain evil (not since that weirdly bearded wish machine in Big.)


It might just be me, but this Fantasia knock off Chuckie looked downright creepy to me.


The big surprise of the night though came from the sweet animatronic Chuckie Cheese on the stage in front of the main dining hall. Though he was no Rock-Afire Explosion, he was a pretty sweet customer that perpetually waved and scanned the room. I don’t think he said anything or took part in the stage show (which was just a bunch of really bad cartoon on a jumbo-tron tv.)



I knew the evening was a success when Carrie opted to crawl up into the kiddie-tunnel-play-thing attached to the ceiling. I did make sure it could support her before I practically begged her to go up.


It was a pretty fun birthday and it did bring back a lot of memories…


So what did $20 worth of tokens nab up ticket-wise? About 450 tickets, which was just enough to “buy” the junk that you see above. One plastic spider (staple of all ticket buying venues), two pages of crappy sports themed Chuckie stickers, and a Superman bookmark and super-mini hardback journal. Sigh…


We did buy a whole heck of a lot of “Sketch” portraits from a booth that only cost one token, and honestly they are some of the best pictures of us as a couple we own, so I guess there’s that…

  • HooveR

    Wow, that sketch-style portrait is really cool. I haven’t ever seen a photo machine that does that style. I re-experienced Chuck E Cheese for the first time in forever in ’04 when I went with my girlfriend at the time. We both thought it was a fun one-time experience, but the prohibitive pizza cost and lame ticket prizes didn’t make it an exciting repeat trip. But it sounds like you had enough fun, and as I said, the portrait rocks. And hey, it was all in the name of reporting for the website, right?? ;)

  • Shawn Robare

    Exactly.