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Never Again... - Review by Deborah C | Happy Tymes Family Fun Center Inc

Happy Tymes Family Fun Center Inc

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Never Again... 6/10/2007

Having never had a party at this particular establishment and being a fairly organized person who wanted to go in with a plan, I inquired from the staff of the Happy Tymes Fun Center how does their party worked...who did what/when/how so that I could plan a nice party. Rather than explaining the details to you, the staff keeps telling don't worry, they take care of everything. You don't need to do a thing. So you get the idea that this is a high-service, professionally run kind of a party establishment, and that you'll be able to relax and enjoy your child's party and (since you are paying so much for the party) their staff will run the party for you. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, other than carry your (self-provided) cake upstairs to a party room and write your child's name on a white board outside a party room, they really don't do anything at all. There is no "there" there. The party consists of all your guests running around wild in a chaotic, super sensory overload archade type environment which is quite stressful. As the parent of the birthday child, you find yourself immediately cast in the role of sheep herder and security guard. You don't even have time to take a picture of your child or to enjoy the party. The kids run out of the small amount of tickets and tokens virtually instantly and even after the $15 per child fee, you are still running back to purchase more tickets and tokens. Count on spending at least another $60-70 in additional tickets and tokens to keep the kids occupied for the full 2 hours. The ear splitting din is punctuated by insanely loud loudspeaker announcements. I can't emphasize the loudness enough - a couple of our quieter kids became almost catatonic in sensory overload. A significant issue is the lack of security - there are no security wristbands or limited access exits like at other establishments we have used before. The layout is such that you just cannot manage to keep 12 kids in the same area where you can even see all of the children at the same time. We made party t-shirts to keep the group together and be able to identify which kids were our group and this still wasn't enough to assure that you knew that all 12 of your kids were still in the building at any one time. There are 3 unguarded major exits to the games area out to the parking lots, the batting cages and the golf area, which a child could enter or exit at will and where large volumes of people are milling in and out constantly, so a child could end up outside the game building very easily. The bathrooms are poorly located, representing another security concern. If child has just wandered off and left the group to go to the back of the complex to go to the bathroom, you can't go with them or go find them for fear of leaving the remainder of your group exposed to the 3 unguarded exits. If a child has to go to the bathroom during the party room portion of the event, there are no bathrooms on the party room level and so they must go back down into the games level while your whole party is upstairs. Bottom line: bring lots of extra chaparones, bring lots of money, and bring either ear plugs or take lots of aspirin (you will have a splitting headache later). Oh, and don't bother make a comment about the service level not being what was promised from your "party captain" because my complaints feel entirely on deaf ears with the manager still shouting at me as I finally walked away. And make sure your party captain doesn't cart off your party favors after the birthday cake-eating because you won't see them again until after the party and after your guests have already left. That about wraps up the experience. Proceed at your own risk... more
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