Big news if you’re still a fan of the place where a kid can be a kid: Chuck E. Cheese’s will now begin offering delivery from over 345 of its locations throughout the country, reports the O.C. Register. That’s right — you can now get a hefty dose of nostalgia brought right to your very door. It doesn’t include a round of Wacky Gator, unfortunately, but hey, maybe the mere scent of pepperoni is all you need to call up the memories of all those times you beat Wacky Gator to a pulp. 8-year-old you was a champion, am I right?
The full list of participating locations, which is available on Chuck E. Cheese’s website, covers around 40 different states in the continental U.S. (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii); DoorDash, GrubHub, and Uber Eats will be doing the actual driving; you’ll also need to go directly to those sites to place your order, as Chuck E. Cheese’s website doesn’t currently have its own online order system set up.
It looks like most of the on-site menu is available to order for delivery; according to the Brooklyn location’s GrubHub page, you can get everything from wings to salads and from the obvious pizza option to dessert. (Cookie cake, anyone?) For a limited time, you can also add the “Freebie Item” to your order, which Chuck E. Cheese’s blog post announcing the new service describes as “a free character plush doll or goody bag.” Alas, though, if you happen to be a member of the More Cheese Rewards program, delivery orders made through DoorDash, GrubHub, and Uber Eats won’t earn you any points.
This whole delivery deal didn’t come entirely out of left field; the pizza arcade chain began testing delivery towards the end of last year in areas of Texas, Northern California, and Florida. “We’re typically known as a destination spot, because of our games, rides, live in-store show, prize counter, and of course birthdays and other celebrations,” a company spokesperson told the Mercury News in December. “But we know that not every family has the time or resources to visit us on a regular basis, so we wanted to offer our fresh-made pizzas, and some fun (a free gift with every order) to families at home.”
That’s all well and good, but I’ll be perfectly honest: I do not see the point. By my experience, Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza is serviceable — not outstanding, but, y’know, fine — but people generally do not go to Chuck E. Cheese’s solely for the pizza. You go for everything else that comes along WITH the pizza: The arcade, the prizes, the little miniature carnival rides, the ball pit (if you are still at an age where you are unafraid of ball pits), and, if you are one of the few people on the planet who is not freaked out by robots, the animatronics show. (Or not — apparently the animatronic shows are getting phased out because kids like people in mascot suits better. Go figure.) Pizza is pretty great, of course — but being able to eat pizza with all of that around you? That’s what makes Chuck E. Cheese’s worth it.
As such, I am unclear on why you would want to experience the pizza divorced from everything that makes Chuck E. Cheese’s… well, Chuck E. Cheese’s.
Still, though, given that delivery went through a test phase before being granted an expansion, I assume that means that it’s been well received so far. I don’t know how you explain to a kid that they’re going to be able to eat Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza for dinner, but won’t be able to go play Whack-A-Mole when they’re done; but hey, as a non-parent, at least that’s not something I have to worry about right now. Parents who have successfully walked this line, I would be curious to hear how you did it.
For what it’s worth, the Chuck E. Cheese’s blog also includes a suggestion that you host a “Chuck E. Cheese Childhood Nostalgia Party.” The fairly detailed plan for said party includes “telling all of your guests to dress up in an outfit they would have worn as a kid,” “curating a themed playlist,” “bringing out classic board games and puzzles from childhood,” and, of course, ordering Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza to be delivered right to your door. Reads the blog post, “Everyone remembers going to Chuck E. as a kid, so let them relive the magic of a visit through our new food delivery services!” That still doesn’t sound quite as fun as an actual trip to Chuck E. Cheese’s, but it’s probably a lot more affordable. By age 35, you should have tried to recapture your fading youth at least twice by ordering several dough wheels covered with cheese from a place known primarily for hosting birthday parties for children. Or… something.
If Chuck E. Cheese’s delivery floats your proverbial boat, though, go for it! I will pass, but I support your right to order from Chuck E. Cheese’s whenever you like.
Oh, but hey, speaking of birthday parties: It seems you can have a Chuck E. Cheese’s birthday at any age. The pizza arcade’s FAQ section includes the question, “Is there an age limit on having a party at Chuck E. Cheese’s?” — and the answer is, “At Chuck E. Cheese’s we welcome everyone at any age! Age limits for a party package? Never! You will always be more than welcome to include adults for a Party Package.” I’m pretty sure that means that, even if you’re a millennial or Gen Xer (how do you do, fellow kids!), you can still give yourself the Chuck E. Cheese birthday party you’ve always dreamed of having.
The prices of the party packages vary depending where you are, but to get a ballpark figure, I looked into one of the Washington, D.C. area locations near where I live. If you, too, live in the D.C. area, the Star package is $14.99 per person; the Super Star package, $19.99 per person; and the Mega Super Star package, $24.99 per person. The website does refer to party members as “children”; additionally, the little party booking wizard the site uses to set up your reservation requires you enter a number of at least four in the “Children” section of the “Who’s Coming To The Party?” page. If you want to have a birthday party for an adult with exclusively adult guests, you might want to call your local Chuck E. Cheese’s to see whether they can accommodate your request. It’s possible they won’t be able to, but hey, at least you can refer to that FAQ answer in an attempt to persuade them otherwise if they seem reticent.
(If they absolutely tell you no, though, let it go. That’s what Dave & Buster’s is for.)
In any event, head here to see which Chuck E. Cheese’s locations delivery; you can also search DoorDash, GrubHub, or Uber Eats directly to see if your nearest Chuck’s will bring you pizza on demand. Have fun!
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