The Rodent vs. the Renaissance Man

October 15, 2010 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Through a bit of a fluke, I ended up going to both Champions Fun Center (affiliated with daVinci’s) and Chuck E. Cheese this week for two different birthday celebrations. I won’t give each a full-scale review, but here’s a brief blurf on each along with my quick-and-dirty opinion of which I prefer.

We went to Champions on Wednesday for our oldest foster kid’s birthday. We ate pizza, played games, and went bowling. The pizza is labeled as daVinci’s, but it was definitely not up to the quality I would expect to find in a daVinci’s restaurant. It was boring. The game selection is OK, but there is a high proportion of gambling-style “games”, the sole purpose of which is to suck up tokens while youngsters give futile attempts to win the jackpot. Most games cost one token, but many cost more than that. My favorite game was a pirate-themed shoot-em-up that I played with Robbie. Bowling was fine, but the alley needed some TLC. Some of the prices are scary. $6.50 for go-karts? Yeesh, that’ll add up quickly.

Last night we went to Chuck E. Cheese for a friend’s birthday party. More pizza, more games. The pizza was roughly the same quality as the pizza at Champions. Compared to the crappiness of the pizza at Chuck’s (and Showbiz) in my memory, that’s impressive. The salad bar was well-maintained and relatively well-stocked, as if the restaurant is tacitly apologizing to adults for the pizza. The game and “ride” selection was a bit more varied than at Champions. But here’s the biggie: every game costs one token. That’s a huge plus. My favorite game of the night was Deal or No Deal simply because I won the jackpot—50 tickets, woohoo!—on my first and only play.

Overall, I’ve got to hand the win to the rodent. Chuck E. Cheese was significantly cheaper (especially if you use coupons, which you should). It was clean, it was quieter, and it was definitely aiming for a target audience that includes all three of my boys (ages 8, 4, 3). Champions obviously caters to an older crowd, which is fine, and to a certain extent I’m comparing apples to oranges. Still, we’ll be going with Chuck for the foreseeable future. Then again, considering how rarely we go to these sorts of places (knock on wood) it’s not much of an issue.

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The Comments

tdm October 15, 2010 at 3:11pm

Who serves better beer?

JT October 15, 2010 at 6:51pm

Which has more nightmare-inducing animatronics?

fenderbirds October 18, 2010 at 4:52pm

nice article, keep the posts coming

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