Princeton, NJ (520 Nassau Park Blvd)

From Cheese-E-Pedia

Exterior of Chuck E. Cheese's in Princeton, NJ in 2019

Princeton, NJ (520 Nassau Park Blvd), Store #510 (referred to officially as West Windsor) is a Chuck E. Cheese's location that opened on October 17th, 2001 with a Studio C Alpha.

Not counting Pizza Time Theaters, Princeton was the 11th Chuck E. Cheese's to open in the state of New Jersey and the 3rd to have installed Studio C. Since its opening in 2001, updates to the restaurant have been few and far in between. In the fall of 2008, the store received the 2005 remodel which brought new paint and artwork, downsized and relocated SkyTubes, the removal of showroom walls and the replacement of most of the booths. In the summer of 2013, Princeton removed the blue screen camera, interactive console and CRT TVs among other minor changes to the stage and saw its most elaborate game package since the store opened, replacing many original games with new ones from the 2010 and 2013 game packages. In October 2015, the rear projection monitors to the sides of the stages were replaced with flatscreen TVs and in late 2017, the curtains were disabled. The most recent change to the game selection was a minor game package in 2018, and in October 2020 the SkyTubes were removed alongside all corporate locations that still had them in service. The store has changed very little since then, however the store is slated to receive a 2.0 refresh in the near future.


Princeton opened in October 2001 with a Studio C Alpha. By this time, Chuck E. Cheese's had begun installing the updated and downscaled Studio C Beta stages in new locations. Princeton's stage would be the second to last new Studio C Alpha installed in a new location (third to last if you count the store in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), behind only its sister location in Burlington, NJ which opened in January 2002. Both stores having their Alphas installed so late was the result of opening delays.

"Keep Drummin'" playing on Princeton's Studio C Alpha on November 2nd, 2022

The stage was a standard Studio C Alpha design of the early 2000s. Chuck E. and Bird were produced in the 4599 batch and the former has a serial number of 124. The stage saw little to no changes to its props, cosmetics and equipment until early 2009 when Chuck E. would receive his then-newly available Avenger outfit. It is currently unknown if Princeton ever installed his Cool Chuck outfit. Shortly afterwards, the rear projection monitor in the center would be replaced with an overhead Epson projector aligned to fit in the parameters of the light-up border. The Robocolor and Roboscan were removed at an unknown point in the late 2000s, however the controller for the latter still remains installed on the show rack.

Sometime in July 2013, the stage would receive its most elaborate refurbishment to date. Much of the outdated technology from the store's opening was replaced or removed. The overhead projector was replaced with a 32" LG TV in the frame of the monitor lights. The interactive console was replaced with the "CEC" panel and the blue screen camera was removed with the Ticket Blaster moved into that space; both were standard updates being rolled out to locations company wide at this time.

Coinciding with the release of Fall Show 2013 that September, Princeton removed Chuck E.'s hat from the animatronic as was standard procedure. From there, the stage wouldn't see any major updates until October 2015 when the rear projection TVs to the left and right of the stage were replaced with 26" flatscreen TVs. Chuck E's Avenger shirt was replaced with a new Rockstar shirt in 2016, though he still wears his Avenger shorts. In late 2017, Princeton disabled their curtains permanently citing a lack of available parts and that other Studio C stores had disabled theirs. Rather than disabling them in the show computer, however, the curtain signal was blinded using the Tech Term, and Princeton wouldn't enable random movements on their stage until September 15th, 2022. This was four days before the launch of the Chuck E. Cheese Halloween Boo-Tacular 2022 show, the first Studio C showtape not to contain programming synced to video, As of May 24th, 2023, Princeton launched the CEC Media Network using a combination of the Show Control Player and Studio C CyberStar for show operations.


In 1995, the Nassau Park Pavilion shopping center in West Windsor, NJ opened to the public. Occupying about 500,000 square feet of farmland behind Mercer Mall adjacent to Route 1 South, opening tenants such as Walmart, Best Buy and Sam's Club quickly drew in shoppers and revenue. To capitalize on the growing retail development along the highway, a second phase expansion was approved and began construction in 1997 and Chuck E. Cheese's was one of the original tenants slated for this new expansion. The CEC was slated to occupy a 10,125 sq ft building built between Dick's Sporting Goods and Panera Bread. Originally the store was scheduled to open in March of 2001, however the opening would be delayed to July and ultimately wouldn't be ready to open until October. It is unknown why the store's opening was delayed either time, though it is worth noting that both the Chuck E. Cheese's in Bridgewater and Burlington had similar delays.

A view of Princeton's showroom in December 2006. The SkyTubes and Toddler Zone can be seen partially obscured by the showroom walls. The former would be downsized and relocated in the 2008 remodel and the latter would be removed altogether.

Opening on October 17th, the Chuck E. Cheese's in Princeton had an atypical layout compared to other stores of that time period. The store has a Kid Check lane that "zig-zagged" as opposed to being a straight hallway. The order counter is located northeast of Kid Check with the salad bar situated to its right facing the showroom and the prize counter to its left facing the game room. To the left of Kid Check was the game room; the Super Shot and Skee-Ball lanes were situated against the side wall with the other games scattered in front of them. To the right of Kid Check was the kiddie room and Toddler Zone with the SkyTubes sprawled out suspended from the ceiling. Across from the Toddler Zone was the showroom which occupies the entire back section of the store. The stage was built against the back wall of the building between the Chuck E. Room and the tech room; the tech room access is to the left of Chuck E's stage. Between the left wall of the showroom and the beverage bar is a hallway with the restrooms on the left side and the Chuck E. Room to the right. The L-shaped layout is similar in design to those of stores opened between 1989 and 1994. The store is also built smaller than the average CEC of the time; the average store was about 12,000 sq ft whereas the Princeton location was barely larger than 10,000 sq ft. Its building being squished between two other retail spaces also prevents the store from expanding.

View of Princeton's gameroom and showroom taken in September 2012 as it appeared post remodel

Sometime in the fall of 2008, Princeton would remodel for the first time since opening as part of the 2003 "Cool Chuck" Reconfiguration / Major Remodel Initiative, more commonly known as the 2005 remodel. This remodel eliminated all of the 1993 remodel artwork and props and replaced it with artwork featuring the new standard Cool Chuck / Avenger Chuck E. design. Purple accent walls were painted in the game room and showroom to compliment Chuck E.'s color pallet and the showroom walls and most half walls were removed to open up the store's layout. Almost all of the booths were replaced with new ones with green siding and red cushions fitted with yellow buttons; a few original game room booths with the red and blue cushions remained after the remodel however they would all be gradually replaced over time. Unlike other remodels from that time, many fixtures from 2001 were not replaced as they were still relatively new and didn't require replacement. All of the original carpet was left intact with some spots recarpeted where walls once stood. The black and white checkered tiles surrounding the front counters were refurbished. Like its sister location in Bridgewater which remodeled concurrently to Princeton, all of the dim canned lighting was left intact, rather than replacing it with the bright fluorescent lighting standard across new and remodeled locations. Like many locations that remodeled in 2008 including Bridgewater, they retained their original "Thumb Chuck" signage post remodel. As of May 2023, Princeton still has its original 2001 exterior intact and is the last store in New Jersey with the 90s exterior remodel.

Following Princeton's major remodel in 2008, most of the store's updates over the years were limited to its game packages. Princeton received updates to its roster of games in 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2018. The most drastic of which was the 2013 game package that eliminated most of the games remaining from the store's opening including but not limited to Super Shot, Tower of Power, Johnny Apple Speed, Sega Jurassic Park and Hydro Thunder. Chuck E. Cheese's Sketchbook is the only game original to the store to remain in service. Their most recent game package was installed in 2018 and was incredibly minor; the only new games installed were Luigi's Mansion Arcade, Crazy Tower and Raw Thrills Jurassic Park. That same year, Princeton won a company wide live show contest held that summer. The grand prize included receiving brand new Munch and Jasper walkaround characters and two employees were flown out to Plano, TX to be featured in the music video for Chuck E. Cha Cha. In 2019, it was confirmed that Princeton, along with Bridgewater, were slated to undergo the current 2.0 remodels. They were weeks away from starting when the Covid-19 pandemic cancelled all remodels that were not currently in progress. Another remodel attempt in 2022 fell through and the store continues to operate as it has looked since 2008. However, Princeton is rumored to undergo a 2.0 refresh, a faster and cheaper remodel for stores with little necessary remodeling efforts, sometime in 2023.

Arcade Machines

This is a list of every game and ride at the Princeton location as of May 2023:

  • After Burner Climax
  • Alleyroller Classic
  • Astro Invasion
  • Baseball Pro
  • Carousel
  • CEC Street Hoops
  • Chuck E. Cheese's Photo Ride (2013 version)
  • Chuck E. Cheese's Sketchbook
  • Chuck E.'s Glider Rider
  • Crazy Tower
  • Dog Pounder
  • Doodle Jump Arcade
  • Fruit Ninja FX
  • Hammer Froggy
  • Hammer 2
  • Harpoon Lagoon
  • Hat Trick
  • Hit Music
  • H2Overdrive
  • Jett Rider
  • Jumpin' Fantasy
  • Jurassic Park Arcade
  • Justice League
  • Ken Chuck E. Derby (Jr. Jockey)
  • Let's Go Jungle
  • Luigi's Mansion Arcade
  • Mini Train
  • NBA Hoops
  • NFL 2-Minute Drill
  • Nicktoons Nitro
  • Operation
  • Pigs Might Fly
  • Pink Panther Jewel Heist
  • Plants vs. Zombies: The Last Stand
  • Pop It For Gold!
  • Red Hot
  • Sideshow
  • Slam-A-Winner
  • Sno-Cross
  • Spydero
  • Subway Surfers Arcade
  • Teeter Totter Castle
  • Terminator Salvation
  • The Great Ticket Carnival
  • Tippin' Blocks
  • Water Park Adventure


Link Description Filming Date Filming of the bot performing 'Down the Road' June 6, 2022



Animatronic Serial Whereabouts
Chuck E. Cheese 32m (Animatronic) 124 (R&D 4599) In service
Bird (Animatronic) N/A (R&D 4599) In service
Pizza Phone (Animatronic) N/A (R&D 4599) In service