With a catchy slogan and visual imagery of children having the most glorious time being run consistently on cable television, it was inevitable that the gremlinz would be begging me to carry them to Chuck E. Cheese’s. Of course my focused reply would be “Of course! Whenever we go to the States!” This would be enough to end the whining…until I realised that the franchise was headed to the shores of Trinidad and Tobago. I decided to take in front before the national ads started so I let them know coming to the end of the school term that: yes, Chuck E. Cheese’s is in Trinidad, yes, it’s opening soon, no, we’re not going if your grades don’t shine, no, we’re not going if you don’t behave well, yes, I’m telling the truth.
I was fortunate to be invited as part of the family opening today before the official opening tomorrow and I was sincerely glad because I don’t generally do well with crowds and especially crowds of children spazzing on pizza, soda, tokens and streams of tickets clutched in their little hands. This wasn’t entirely the case today so I had a really good time.
Some finishing touches were still going on on the outside but I suspect will be completed by tomorrow. Parking is more than adequate and compound is completely fitted with facilities for the differently-abled. Bathrooms are clean and were well-maintained for the amount of time I stayed there and Moms would be happy to know that there are diaper-changing stations in sanitized areas, something not often found in kid-friendly restaurants.The play-area is carpeted and a lot of children were so comfortable that they took their shoes off, my gremz included.
Restaurant: Seating areas were located from the front window booths to the very back of the restaurant where there was more open seating close to a large stage/screen. There were also booths in the centre separating the arcade games from the ‘kiddie’ section. Each booth was equipped with the usual condiments as well as a holder for your order number. So you place the order, are shown to a seat and given the card to fit in the holder. Your food is brought to you, the number card replaced with a ‘check’ card and then another server would check on you to ensure everything was alright with your meal and then take that card. A pretty neat system. I tried to be conscientious about this weight I’m trying to lose so I hit the salad bar first. A nice array of choices although I wish they labelled the sauces. Eventually though that resolve went with the pizza and the buffalo wings. The food was ok and the wait was about 15-20 minutes. There was also the unlimited soda supply and dessert for those so inclined.
Entertainment: Where a kid can be a kid they said, they didn’t lie and I am sure today wasn’t even Chuck E. Cheese’s at full throttle. Games in all forms, arcade, shooting, car racing, motorbikes, test-your-strength, football, basketball, Fruit Ninja and Temple Run!!!. I tried to keep my composure. 😀 I loved that they had a play area specifically for the smaller kiddies and a jungle gym over everything else, Mr Cheese himself came out every hour and the children sang, danced, took photos and scrambled for free tickets as they were tossed in the air and floated to the ground. The screen in the back ran music videos, stories and jokes and there was an area that seemed equipped for live activity too. Additionally there are three separate rooms for birthday parties as well!
Overall: The staff at Chuck E. Cheese’s seemed to have worked very hard to create a great first impression and they succeeded in my books. There were officials from the US who I suppose were there to train and they kept it running nicely alongside our compatriots who seemed to take a great deal of pride in their work. Special shout-out to a gentleman named Bose from Texas, he was phenomenal with patrons, staff and children AND he complimented me on my makeup so he wins twice! Smiles were all around! I’m glad I roused myself and took the opportunity to go even after my “ah stayin home!” funk from last week. I honestly hope they upkeep and maintain the standard that they have set thus far. In Trinidad once something isn’t new anymore, the effort tends to wane you know? Fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen here and everything remains