Partying With Chuck E

Filed in Gather Family Essential by on January 25, 2009 0 Comments



      People choose to celebrate birthdays in a variety of ways.  When you’re the parent of a young child it becomes easy to find yourself wrapped up in the commercialism of hosting an elaborate celebration.  Not only do you want your child to have a glorious party but you want the guests to be awestruck by the event.  Where the party is held makes a statement regarding the measures your willing to take to ensure everyone is aware how important your child is to you. What kind of parent would you be if you held a simple party at home for your little angel?  Perhaps a sane one?

     My daughter often feels guilty that she doesn’t have tons of money to spend on her son.  When the time neared for Gabe’s 2nd birthday, she decided to splurge and host a party at Chuck E Cheese.  The place is an exciting place for young children but the party plans are not cheap.  Two plans are offered.  The Birthday Star Package at $12.99 per child and the Super Star Upgrade for $17.99.  The upgrade means each guest will get a goody bag, 3-d souvenir cup, 12 extra tokens per child and the birthday guest will receive a Chuck E plush toy.   They really pressure you into choosing the upgrade and my daughter caved in.  The party is 90 minutes long.  While there is no maximum amount of guests six is the minimum number. 



  • Festive table reserved for 90 minutes
  • Dedicated host/hostess
  • 2 Slices of one-topping pizza per child
  • Unlimited Soft drinks per child
  • Foil Balloon Bouquet and Chuck E. Lunch Box for the Birthday Star
  • 100 tickets for the Birthday Star
  • Special Sticker for the Birthday Star
  • Birthday show starring Chuck E. Cheese
  • Limited-edition medallion for the Birthday Star





Those who have been to this wonderful place can understand that 90 minutes is a long time for the adults but incredibly short for the children.  The advertising makes it seem like your child is the star of the party and they get to be in a parade through the store led my Chuck E himself.   Beatrice booked a party for Jan 10th at 10:00 am.  The children are allowed 40 minutes to play then are seated for the party.  The meal is served first followed by the birthday parade and the cake wraps the party up.  After 90 minutes everyone must leave the party area but can remain in the play area as long as they wish.  She kept the list short with a total of six guests plus Gabe.  We had decided that if the adults wanted food they would have to purchase it on their own.  What this actually meant was that I would be buying lunch for everyone.  Most of the other party goers were my adult children, with the exception of my brother and Gabe’s other grandmother. 

     I was not happy with the prices but was even less thrilled with how the parties are managed.  The party room consists of eight rows of long tables.  There were three parties being held at the same time and each was set up back to back.  This caused severe overcrowding.  A better way would have been for them to have one row empty between each party.  Yes the birthday child is the star along with the other birthday children present.  Chuck E parades around with the party guests for all three parties following him at the same time.  The birthday children are not even given the privilege of being at the head of the line unless the parents shove them forward and walk with them.  After our meal order was placed we were told that we had to enjoy our meal and the birthday table and could not move to the other tables later.  With three parties ordering extra food the kitchen got backed up.  The party guests were all served in a timely fashion but the adult food did not arrive until it was time for the cake.  We had to choke down our food or carry it around with us.  I was not happy about this detail.  I purchased three pizzas plus drinks for $ 45 and could not move to the seats for non party visitors.  The one positive element was that our host was very enthusiastic and sang the birthday song with an unusual amount of animation.














        Once our allotted time was up we corralled the guests over to the play area.  The children were allowed to play until their tokens ran out.  The games rewarded the player by spitting out tickets which could be traded in for a prize.  The guests played hard to earn those tickets.








     The Birthday boy and all the guests had a great time.  I may not love hanging out at Chuck E Cheese but it is a small sacrifice to make if it leads to happy moments.







About the Author ()

I am an almost empty nester who is trying to decided what paths lay in my future. I am a mom to five and grandmother to two. I chose to stay home to raise my family but it is time to start thinking of my own future. Of course my family will always be a t

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