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?

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8 thoughts on “Chuck E. Cheese: Where A Kid Can Be A Kid (As long as they are three and up?)

  1. What?!?!?! That is CRAZY! Even though Melani is 5 now she LOVED that little toddler area! We have play-dates with a friend there every so often and Melani and her friend (bestest boyfriend) Lyric are going to be so sad if it’s gone the next time we visit.

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    1. It IS crazy! We were shocked when we noticed it all. Grace even still played in that area a little bit (Clifford and the phone always caught her eye) so it even takes away from her. Luckily she’s big enough and is able to do the games and now goes up into the big playground too.

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  2. they are trying to be like dave and busters and cater to kids who can actually spend money ( on games) and did they ever add alcohol to the menu? Was talking about it several years ago. Was glad my kids were too big to go there if they were, nice idea serve alcohol to parents who are driving children home. BRIGHT!

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    1. I understand that to an extent, Pam. But they have to think about the families with younger children too. If they take away the play area for the younger kids then some of the families will not go there anymore so they lose the money the adults and older kids spend there too! I have no idea if they have alcohol on the menu. I hate the idea of alcohol being served at anything that is based on KIDS. There’s NO NEED FOR IT. And definitely, they need to think about them driving the kids home if they have or do serve alcohol there.

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  3. We won’t be going there then. I was planning a trip maybe sometime soon, but my son JUST just turned 3 and gets ovewhelmed when there are too many bigger kids. Those toddler areas help them to get a rest from all that commotion when they can’t handle it. My son ventures over to the toddler area at Amazone still. I also have a 9 week old so it will be many years before I would even consider going now.

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    1. Ugh, glad you found out before you were there Heather! Grace (who will be 4 in 4 months) has only ever gone up into playgrounds if her cousins are there with only a few exceptions. She spent a lot of time in the toddler section too but at least now she is venturing up into the big playground on her own finally. She’s never played outside of the toddler side at Amazone. Hopefully we can find out if there’s an alternative place around here to take our 3 year olds AND babies.

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  4. it maybe slighty because of my daughter that the toddler areas were removed. my then two year old fell off the slide and was seriously injured we had to call an ambulence (down in Orlando, FL).. we were all seriously scared her body had gone limp and she had a huge lump her head… and all they kept doing was trying to offer us food and tickets (all i wanted was my little girl to be safe). we did not sue or anything, but starting that month we noticed the play areas dissappearing from the other chuck e’ cheeses (we did not ever return to that one). the accident occured September 10th, 2011 around 7:30/8 ish. She is now perfectly healthy and is probably even further along then most 3 year olds.

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