Today, on my first official school holiday, I took some of my little friends for a fun day at Chuck E. Cheese...
The first thing I noticed, when we walked in is that they have taken all the walls down and now Chuck E.'s place is one big noisy expansive area with no place to escape the racket and have a semi peaceful meal. The next things I noticed were just a bit disturbing...First...the place was under construction... Now, I'm not sure of health department regulations when a restaurant is obviously under construction, but I can say that as a licensed food service sanitation manager that I'm pretty sure these large chunks of dust that kept blowing onto our food from the vent above us are just not acceptable.
After I pointed this out to the manager he responded by saying that he couldn't believe all that dust built up in one day. Now, I'm not sure if it was his first day or what, because there was NO WAY on this green Earth that dust accumulated in one day. He assured me they would clean it, right after he gave me a coupon for a free meal on our next visit. (Let's just say for the sake of argument here that I'm highly reconsidering my next visit.) Oh wait, this was right after he pulled a damp ragout of his pants pocket and the proceeded to use it to wash the table. I.kid.you.not. Then there was this... Doesn't that birthday party hostesses' face just scream Happy Birthday?!? Here's the thing...I was a birthday party hostess in high school and I can virtually guarantee that while singing happy birthday to a five year old, I never looked like that! There was, in fact, a large group of bystanders that had gathered to discuss the expression on her face and one went so far as to ask her to smile, but to no avail. The singing and heartless clapping continued with the pained expression. Then, there's this... The animatronics (Chuck E., Helen Henny, Mr. Munch, Jasper T. Jowls and Pasqually who by the way was missing a hand, but that's ok, they just pulled the sleeve down over it) were beyond well warn and dirty. The music was played quietly enough that they didn't even draw attention from the children, except for the few that were left unattended to climb the fence and yank on their arms. Finally, there's this...Never mind the fact that even with coupons, it costs quite a considerable sum to play for a few hours...but then when the little one's go to buy things with their tickets...there are no more 1 and 5 ticket items....10 ticket items are now the lowest denomination available for purchase. For 10 tickets one can purchase a less than 1 cent plastic spider or a tootsie roll. Sheees! Talk about inflation!
Despite my obvious displeasure with just a few things during this visit, the kids all had a great time... Zoe rode this helicopter, hang-glider pedal thing at least 10 times...Kristina only liked to play games that shot out tickets. This wasn't one of them... Jason and Ethan practiced their hunting skills by shooting nails at humans. I'm not sure this was age appropriate, but there it was smack dab in the middle of Chuck E.'s game room! While Stephanie, Elisa, and Zoe bowled their hearts out in skee ball... The one thing that had been improved upon was Chuck E. Evidently they found it in their hearts to buy a new Chuck E. costume, cuz this one was spiffy. The kids were excited to be there and seemed oblivious to the annoyances that plagued the visit. Perhaps that is why when we left, there was still a line out the door waiting to get in, so as not to exceed capacity. A great time was had for all...now for my nap.