We surprised our kids and two nephews Tuesday night with a random trip to Chuck E. Cheese. They are ages 1, 3, 9, & 12. We’ve all been there many many times so we know what to expect when we visit our favorite Chuck E. Cheese in Fairlawn, Ohio. We even did a review and a giveaway based on a visit to the Fairlawn location back in August.
Our twelve year old nephew was the first to notice the change and we were not too happy.
They moved the playground area over to a wall which was okay considering it used to be right in the middle of the place. The thing that was NOT okay is that they took away the Toddler Zone!
No more baby/toddler area with a smaller playground, no more Clifford, Barney, or Bob the Builder ride, no more Chuck E. Cheese phone, and no more clock ride. That part of Chuck E. Cheese has been a BIG deal to our family. We visit Chuck E. Cheese quite a bit and it was great help to have something our son could do.
When we were there to do our review in August, Darren was just 8 months old. I was thrilled that he was able to do the clock ride that day. We spent many tokens there to keep him entertained. We also spent a lot of time inside the Toddler Zone. He enjoyed the rides there but we spent more of our time on the the little playground. He enjoyed checking out the little activities up there and going down the slide!
When we were there earlier this year for a birthday party there were at least 8 babies and toddlers in this section at one time, mostly waiting on a turn to climb up and go down the slide! I do not understand how Chuck E. Cheese could do this to the babies and toddlers who are too little to go up the big playground!
When my husband talked to a manager when we first discovered the change, he was told they had received a lot of complaints so they are changing all of their stores to have more space for games and seats. Wanna know something? At first I thought maybe they added four or five new booths to where the toddler section was, but they always had booths in there so that has not seemed to change. There may have been four or five new games, but it was less than the amount they TOOK OUT. Does that sound like an improvement to you?
This is what just-turned-one year old Darren did today: He ‘helped’ (not really) me put a couple tokens in to a game, he rode the large horse (which we always do), rode the Chuck E. Cheese ride that takes his picture (which he did not like, and cried during), and rode the new mini carousel (that the manager was sure to point out to Dave.) That mini carousel had two horses without straps and one seat with a strap. He didn’t like it after his first turn. So he got two rides that he was able to be strapped into and he didn’t like either one and there was no place for him to just play. I could tell he was not as happy at Chuck E. Cheese as he was when he was just 8 months old. He’s going to walking soon and what’s he going to do? Run to the carousel he doesn’t like? Run to a game he can’t play or a playground he can’t play on?
Does Chuck E. Cheese just not care about the babies and toddlers and their parents anymore? I’m very upset about the changes they have made. I will no longer look forward to going to Chuck E. Cheese as much as I did in the past few months. With only one child being able to fully enjoy the visit to Chuck E. Cheese now, maybe I should look for a new place to spend our money in the new year. What do you think about the changes?