Mama Say What?! is the new name for Thrifty Guardian.
I’m so excited to share my experience hosting our first Chuck E Cheese birthday party! I’m a bit of a control freak, so I can’t say I wasn’t worried about how this party would go down, but it was even better than I could have expected.
It’s important to note that I’m not affiliated with Chuck E Cheese, nor am I receiving anything in return for this post. It’s simply an experience worth sharing with other mommas needing party-planning help!
Chuck E Cheese Birthday Party Review
How Does a Chuck E Cheese Birthday Party Work?
When my daughter announced she wanted to hold her 4th birthday at Chuck E Cheese, my frugal brain immediately went to the cost. So I went on the Chuck E Cheese website and was pleasantly surprised by the affordable options. Even when we go the party-at-home-DIY route (like we did for our Dr. Seuss birthday party!), there’s still the stress and time planning it all.
I truly love to throw parties, but not necessarily during the cold days of February, which happens to be my daughter’s birthday month. So this time, I handed over the party planning reigns and here’s what happened…
What’s the schedule like?
We arrived at Chuck E Cheese about 15 minutes before the party started. Everything was already set up in the back, and our host greeted us. She handed over a bag of play passes and a birthday bracelet for my sweet birthday girl.
Our host then reviewed our order (we opted for extra pizzas and drinks for the adults). From there, she went over the schedule, which looked like this:
12 pm – party starts, kids play
12:45 pm – pizza time! Our host served the children and ensured they got what they needed.
After pizza, Chuck E himself came out to dance with the kids. We then sang “Happy Birthday” while the host cut and distributed the cake. Since we got the Mega Super Star package, it also included Dippin’ Dots (yum!!)
From there, it would’ve been gift time, but we nixed that to do gifts at home.
After the cake, it was ticket blaster time! My daughter wasn’t keen on it, so her big brother stepped in.
Do They Have to Do the Ticket Blaster?
Our host was kind enough to show my daughter how the ticket blaster worked, but my daughter wasn’t interested. My 5yr old son was all about it, though, so he stepped up to get those tickets. That said, there was also the option to skip the ticket blaster and collect 200 tickets (plus her 1000 bonus tickets as a part of the party package).
After the ticket blaster, the kids are then welcome to go back to playing.
Can You Bring Your Own Cake to a Chuck E Cheese Birthday Party?
Absolutely! While you can order a Chuck E Cheesecake, as they offer several gorgeous cake options, you can also bring in your own cake and ice cream. Or get a Chuck E Cheese birthday cake there! The choice is yours, and let’s face it – you can’t go wrong when cake is involved.
Do You Tip for a Chuck E Cheese Birthday Party?
I’ve reached out to Chuck E Cheese to see if they have a policy/common practice. While I in no way felt pressured to tip, there’s no doubt our hostess deserved it! Our total party cost was $300, on which we tipped $40. This might seem like a bit much to some (like my husband), but I’ve worked in food service before and they earned their tip. That said, as an update, we did our daughter’s 5th birthday there, and they removed the option to tip from the receipt (boo!) So bring cash for the tip because, trust me – the host/ess deserves it!
Prices for Chuck E Cheese Birthday Parties
All Chuck E Cheese birthday packages include gameplay, pizza, drinks, and a live birthday show with Chuck E. The price varies depending on how much gameplay you want for each child and how many extras you opt for. Since having my first birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, they’ve added an option to include large pizzas for adults. I appreciate this, as we always bought extra pizzas on the side for more! They also now include Chuck E Cheese tote bags, which I love.
Is the Mega Super Star Package Worth It?
It really, really is. It was so nice not to have to worry about goody bags or ice cream; the unlimited play for the 2 hours really helped parents enjoy the experience and not worry about watching (or having to re-up!) their child’s play points. I also love that the goody bags allow for every child to leave with something, regardless of how many tickets they earned. I genuinely love the Chuck E Cheese party pack.
What Happens if You Have No-Shows?
Sure enough, on the party day, we had a couple of children who suddenly couldn’t make it. Luckily Chuck E Cheese offers a 2-child no-show policy so we weren’t charged for the absent children.
Chuck E Cheese at Home Birthday Party
Chuck E Cheese now also offers an at-home birthday party option! You can celebrate at home with a Chuck E Cheese party pack with all the fun food, decorations, and gifts.
For only $60, you can throw an at-home Chuck E. Cheese birthday party that includes:
- Two large, 1-topping pizzas
- Chuck E Cheesecake
- Three goody bags
- Chuck E. Cheese table decor, plates, napkins, and photo backdrop
- Birthday star gift: 1000 e-tickets and a Chuck E. plush toy
The Easiest Birthday Party Ever
Overall, I truly could not have been happier with the whole experience. I did EVERYTHING online on my own schedule and it was the smoothest, most relaxed party I’ve had. Frankly, I’m considering hosting my next birthday party there – they have beer, after all! 😉
Have you had a Chuck E Cheese birthday party experience?
I would love for you to comment below and share your thoughts!
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Evgeny Atamanenko