Escape the Upside Down at The Stranger Things Drive-Into Experience
The most thrilling mall visit you’ll ever have awaits in Hawkins, Indiana (Los Angeles, California)!
And you don’t even have to leave your car.
In partnership with Netflix’s Stranger Things, Secret Cinema, and Fever, a new drive-into experience seeks to transport us back into the world of the show. For those looking for a safe and socially distant excuse to get out of the house, this Los Angeles based event offers a one hour escape that innovates on participatory entertainment.
In a world with restrictions that has closed down recreational spots like theme parks and most of Halloween’s haunt events in the state of CA, the insane level of immersion all takes place outside of your vehicle while you watch the story unfold around you and listen to the action through the radio. You drive through a story that highlights the iconic moments of the show as Hawkins High alumni meeting up for an unconventional reunion at the mall, which starts normal enough. You arrive, get your reunion pic taken in a drive-thru photo booth, and pick up concessions before the real show. The dining options are food court glorious like pizza and corndogs with a veggie option too. We do wish there were more gluten-free dining options, though. If you’re looking for more snacky fare there’s movie theater-sized candy, popcorn, and even a Scoops Ahoy! themed sundae. Once everyone is loaded in and major snackage has been consumed (trust you’ll want to get that out of the way first) while jamming out to 80’s party classics, the story invades the station you’re tuned into.
And yes, it turns out that the town has been infiltrated by those Russians looking to open up the portal to the Upside Down.
The Scoop Troop leads you through a series of new in-universe scenes where you interact through your car and become a part of familiar moments from the show with a twist. Stranger things do begin to happen as you get turned upside down with a good amount of jump scares too. Trust, if you scare easily, maybe don’t be the driver and bring a blanket. Don’t worry though, the gang and Eleven guide you through the horrors as you move through sections that have scenes unfold through live performance and video with really cool stunts.
The best way it could be described is like a theme park greatest hits spectacular, like Fantasmic at the Disney parks, with a dash of Rocky Horror shadow cast fun and Horror Nights frights. But totally ELEVATED to ELEVEN! (Sorry, had to.) The actors no joke–looked like the kids from the show, the girls portraying Eleven could assemble to be an army of doppelgangers for Millie Bobby Brown. And the actor who played Steve DID HAVE THE PERFECT HAIR. The effects in the elaborately built sets were wildly inventive though the use of AR-wall-esque screens and atmospheric lighting. Totally forgot I was driving through a stacked parking lot. And not to quite spoil the ending but the use of a giant outdoor cinema stage truly excited me for the scope of future events like this one. Filled with awe-inspiring moments (WHAT A FINALE!), epic tier special effects, and killer new music from Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein (series composers) the experience isn’t to be missed. It is so truly authentic to the world of the show and it makes sense considering that series creators, the Duffer Brothers worked closely to help bring it to life. No word yet if this will tour. And it is worth the wait if you do manage tickets later in the run as they’ve extended into Spring 2021!
Tickets and more information can be found HERE.