Who loves pizza, arcade games and prizes? I do! Here are some tips and trick for getting the most out of your next visit to Chuck E. Cheese.
Before you go here are some supplies I recommend taking with you.

  • hands free bag for storing tickets, coins, and cards 
  • ticket voucher
  • tape (trust me)

What’s new?

Chuck E. Cheese has upgraded from the classic token to a card call a Play Pass. You have two options for loading your pass.  You can load your play pass card with points, which replaced the tokens, Or you can now load your card with playing time. For example you could load 30 minutes to your play pass card and play all the games you want for a half hour. They do allow you to pause your time play at least once during your play tme. Another benifits to the play pass system is that you can load your card with play points and check the balance on thier website. 

Play Points vs. Play Time

For young kids or anyone who wants to take their time playing each game, I would recommend Play Points. Play points are the equivalent of the old tokens. But instead of carrying around tokens you can now just tap your card. Different locations have different deal but the best deal for playing points comes out to $.20 per point.

Are tokens gone? Nope, there are still coin games like the Price is Right. When you tap your card the game will dispense a token for the game.
My Personal Favorite is Playing time. I like to maximize my game play with different strategies which is almost another game in and of itself. 

Maximizing your Time Play Card

When you load your card with play time you get unlimited game play for that amount of time. However there is a 10 second delay between each time you can tap your play pass.  You can try to remember to tap your card every 10 seconds or for certain games like Harpoon Lagoon you can rest your card over the sensor and it will automatically renew your credits every 10 seconds. Again, with Harpoon Lagoon each credit gives you five shots and if you play strategically you will end up with more shots than you need, so we like to pass the card around while we play. Once a player has 40 or more shots saved up, pass the card and let another player load up. Harpoon Lagoon is fun for a while, but you don’t want to feel stuck there the whole time. When my kids are loaded up, I take the card and rest it on a sensor for a coin game. So while my kids are playing their game, I load up on coins to use later. Most of the games are hard to load up credit on because they take longer to play each time, so I will tap a credit for one kid playing Batman, and then walk over and tap a credit for Football Rush. If there is any down time while they are playing, I go back to the coin games and keep loading up.

We will get back to the coin stash later. Some games have a sensor facing up so that you can rest the card on, others have the sensor on the side of the game and there is nowhere to rest your card.  That’s where the tape comes in. For games like SpongeBob we tape the card to the sensor and build up our credits.

Free Tickets!

Chuck E. Cheese has a couple apps that you can play to earn tickets. Our family likes Skate Universe (kind of like minion rush) for getting more tickets.There is also Racing World which my kids like but I’m not very good at it. Once you have earned the tickets you want, there is an option to have them emailed to you. I would do this the day before you go because the email doesn’t always come right away. But don’t do it too early because they do expire. Then print off your ticket voucher and take it with you. You can redeem your ticket voucher at the cashier with a food purchase. In my experience, I have been able to redeem one voucher per kid. So in my case: two vouchers. Sometimes the cashier might tell you to hold on to your paper and take it to the ticket counter. I strongly recommend redeeming you voucher with the cashier when you order. They will print you a little slip with the amount to ticket you earn on it and you can use it on that trip or save it for another time. The maximum ticket you can have sent to your email is 500. Any tickets you have over 500 will remain on the app until you redeem them. So how do you get more than one ticket voucher for your next trip? Win tickets from both apps and/or download and play on multiple devices.

When we go, we print off two ticket vouchers for 500 tickets from different devices. Grab my dedicated arcade bag with saved tickets, cards and coins. And a small thing of tape. We redeem the ticket voucher when ordering food time play card. I like to tuck these tickets away to save up for bigger prizes.

Game Play

We have a four phase system for playing the games.

  1. I load up my kids at Harpoon Lagoon, and while they play, I stock up on coins for later. Watch for the Jelly Fish, it’s worth 100 tickets.
  2. I walk around with the card, tapping the games they want to play. Again, any downtime I spend collecting coins. 
  3. We go over to the SpongeBob coin pusher game and tape the card over the sensor. This game works best it you load up on credit and then shoot the coins rapidly. So we hang out until we have 20 or more shots, take turns playing, and play until our time runs out.
  4. Remember all of those coins? You can use them after your time card has run out. We like to go over to the Price is Right and put coins in as fast a we can until we get to spin the big wheel. With about 40 coins we usually get to spin the big wheel 2 or 3 times.

Ticket Spending

Unless there is something super awesome that the kids want, we only spend the tickets we earned from the games, saving the 1000 tickets from the app for bigger prizes. The highest ticket value item is 7500. So with this method you can get the biggest prize after 7 visits.

It was pretty cool when my son got the giant Star Wars Flightier. The manager had to come over and confirm that we had enough and then they brought out a ladder to bring the huge toy from the top self. It was pretty awesome. The only problem is now we have a giant space ship taking up closet space. But it’s still worth it.

Also worth noting, kids can get free tickets for wearing their costume in October.

When none of the prizes are appealing, don’t worry, they get new stuff all the time, or you can try another location.