It's official: My children will never have a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's. We were there this weekend for a cousin's first (yes, first) birthday party. Ugh, that place is horrible -- loud, overcrowded, and kinda smelly. Amazingly enough, the pizza wasn't bad, though. I thought it tasted just like Pizza Hut.
Three or four (it was so crowded, I couldn't tell for sure) families shared the same small area for simultaneous birthday parties. None seemed to be granted enough room at their table for everyone in their group to sit down. Then at one point, Chuck E. himself came out in costume to dance and sing with the kids -- all parties simultaneously, mind you, so it was chaos. The song the employees sang had a line about "Who's your favorite mouse?," and in my head I was thinking, "Mickey... Jerry... Stewart Little... Ralph S... Mrs. Frisby... Speedy Gonzales... Mighty Mouse... Gus & Jaques... Bernard & Bianca... Pinky & the Brain... anyone but you, Chuck E."
I don't remember Chuck E. Cheese/Showbiz being so bad when I was a kid. Did it change, or am I just realizing it now that I'm grown up? Back then there was a ball crawl (today's kids could suffocate, break a leg, or throw up in there), strobe room (may cause seizures), lots more video games, and more animatronic characters.
Of course, Emily loved it and is dying to go back.