Stranger Things is one of the greatest and most popular film series of our time. The Netflix series is a coming-of-age trope with all the fantastic adventure of a sci-fi series set in one of the greatest decades of modern times, the ’80s—making the Stranger Things Experience a must for fans of the show.
The Fairytale Traveler affiliate partnered with Fever to take a look into the world of Stranger Things and add our take to online Stranger Things Experience reviews. In this review, we cover the entire experience from Hawkins Lab and Mix-Tape to dining, shopping, and photo ops.
For the purpose of this review, we did the Stranger Things Experience Atlanta. But the experience is the same whether you’re in Los Angeles, Atlanta, or Paris.
Our Stranger Things Experience Review
Before arriving at the Stranger Things Experience, I did some basic research. I didn’t want to have any bias around the event.
I wanted a pure take on everything the Stranger Things Experience has to offer consumers and fans of the hit Netflix series. I checked for parking, and the duration of the experience, and glanced at a few images that I found online.
Of course, there are consumers who deep dive into these things. I like some things to be left as a surprise.
That being said, we were given VIP Stranger Things Experience passes as part of our partnership with Fever to offer a review to our readers.
That of course in no way shapes any opinions expressed here. It’s just part of the business side of things. There are affiliate links in this review at no cost to you so, enjoy reading all about our day at the Stranger Things Experience in Atlanta.
What We Expected
Considering the Stranger Things Experience is presented by Netflix and Fever, I knew there would be no detail spared at Pullman Yards, Atlanta where the event has taken residence since 2022.
As a fan of the series since its first episode aired, I was teeming with excitement at the thought of seeing props from the show, set details brought to life, and being transported back to the ’80s, the decade I grew up in.
I couldn’t wait to see what iconic fan favorites would be on display. And I was super excited to see Hawkins Lab of the Stranger Things Experience.
As a consumer, I expected a madhouse, average food, a lack of value for the VIP price, and overpriced souvenirs. I mean let’s be honest, it seems like that’s the standard when it comes to comparable experiences.
I was dead wrong, happily. The value was on point, the prices were reasonable, and the food wasn’t awful.
I was delighted to find that my consumer cynicism was unwarranted while the fan experience exceeded expectations on every level. The Stranger Things Experience proved to be well worth every penny, even for the VIP perks.
What We Experienced
Parking was a breeze at Pullman Yards, Atlanta. The parking lot was staffed with attendees and parking was paid through ParkMobile at just under $8/hour. Of course, you can take Marta to Pullman Yards if you don’t want to drive and park.
If you’ve never used ParkMobile it’s super easy and you can add time from anywhere on your device. You can use the app or proceed as a guest on their webpage.
Lines were pretty much nonexistent. Perhaps this is because we are nearing the end of Stranger Things Experience Atlanta.
So, if you’re serious about a visit, you’re running out of time for this location as the popup experience ends on February 12th, 2023.
Hawkins Lab, the theatrical and immersive portion of the Stranger Things Experience, was a lot of fun. We were divided into groups by color, each color representing a superpower.
The actors were incredible. They made the experience a lot of fun and did a great job of keeping us on edge. They were prevalent in the first three rooms of Hawkins Lab, then we were pretty much on our own to save the world.
There were six rooms that we were guided through. The first was a holding room really, but it has its flare and an actor to get us started.
The second room was like an orientation room for the sleep study at Hawkins Lab. Here we saw much more in the way of theatrics and were introduced to the adventure with actors.
We also learned more about our color groups.
The third room was the Rainbow Room where we learned how to develop our special powers. It was pretty kid friendly and we all had a good laugh.
The fourth room was more immersive and interactive, but the acting dies off here (for now). Here we had to follow the instructions of the Stranger Things gang as each group was given the task of using their powers to make things move in order to continue.
Little did we know that the next room, the fifth room, would whirl us into a sci-fi adventure to save ourselves and the Stranger Things crew from the perilous doom of Demigorgons and Vecna. This room was a blast.
I fully appreciated the brand continuity with regard to the use of adult language. I would say though, as the Stranger Things Experience is recommended for ages 13+, you should be fully prepared for that if you have kids with you.
I especially loved the creative ways in which Netflix and Fever brought the Demigorgons to life in this room. It felt like they were really just feet away from us. Every part of this room was exciting and fun.
There was mild violence. Of course, that’s my opinion, and what you expose your kids to is a very personal choice. But I will say there were some younger kids there. They seemed pretty fine.
Personally, I would have loved more guts and gore here, but I am a product of the ’80s after all.
The sixth and final room was a 3D experience, much like you’d expect a 3D experience of Eleven and Max v Demigorgons and Vecna to be except you’re standing in front of it all. The acting reemerges in this room as you’re immersed in the interactive experience of saving the world from the dark wrath of Vecna.
Not bad for a day’s work.
Mix-tape was a blast in a different way. We probably spent more time here than in Hawkins Lab but then again, I am a blogger and I take my time.
I’m also a product of the ’80s so, I was living my best nostalgic life.
Mix-Tape is an ’80s wonderland of neon lights, colors, music, and actors, Think roller rink but twice as big. It follows the exit of the sixth room in Hawkins Lab.
In Mix-Tape you’ll find photo ops like Vecna, a Demigorgon, Joyce Byers’s iconic living room from Stranger Things season 1, and phone booths decked out in Hawkins flare.
Of course, there are no less than a million things to photograph like actual Stranger Things props from the show, fan-favorite backdrops, and signage.
And the photos don’t stop there. The gift shops replicate parts of the series like Rink-O-Mania and Family Video. The eateries replicate places in the show too. There’s Surfer Boy Pizza, and Scoops Ahoy.
Then you have the Palace Arcade. This gave me basement makeover vibes.
There’s also a themed bar called ‘The Upside’ that serves various themed cocktails. I had the Demigorgon. It was amazing.
They definitely didn’t skimp on the bourbon. It was the most pricey at $18, but it came with a souvenir sippy cup.
The Mix-Tape is where I found myself having the most fun with my 14-year-old son. I am an ’80s child. I came from the Stranger Things era.
If you’re with me then you know how hard it is to explain this decade to your own kids.
Spending time in Mix-Tape with my dude was a great way to bring him into a decade that I cherish so much. With all its neon lights and payphones included.
We had a great time in the Palace Arcade and took loads of fun photos with our phones and in the photo booth. I especially loved showing him all the old videos in Family Video with all its retro candy and iconic films of the ’80s.
The nostalgia was REAL.
You just don’t get to do that stuff with your kids these days. When I was a kid, riding my scooter to the pizza shop on the corner and grabbing a slice with my friends was how we spent our time.
Of course, you wouldn’t find a pizza shop or laundry mat without arcade games in them.
We would sit and play Mrs. Pac-Man or fight for high score on Centipede and Space Invaders. Hanging out in Palace Arcade was a lot of fun.
Eats and Drinks
Surfer Boy Pizza
We opted for the full $22 pie from Surfer Boy Pizza which fed the three of us just fine. There are other options but it’s no food court.
It was a bit pricey, as to be expected. But you’re paying for the novelty. The pizza itself wasn’t terrible, and it was filling. And I’m pretty sure my kid saved the Surfer Boy Pizza box.
I was delighted to find that the sundaes had waffles on them! Again, what you would expect as far as prices go, but fun to take part in all the same. The three of us shared one sundae. That was plenty!
I wish there was an ’80s-themed bar closer to my own home. I’d have a million parties there. The Upside is a Stranger Things themed bar with various themed cocktails, mocktails, and drinks.
If you opt for the VIP Stranger Things Experience pass, you get a drink ticket with your purchase.
I loved this little corner with all its neon lighting and backlit wall art. This is where I found props from the show like Eleven’s dress!
I will say the booze pricing was a bit steep but, I don’t think I’ve been to an event where the booze isn’t steep so, as expected.
There are three main shops all themed after places in Hawkins or the show itself. The Hellfire Club, Family Video, and Rink-O-Rama. There are picture-perfect spots in all of these shops.
They really made sure that every inch of Mix-Tape had that photogenic flare.
There are a lot of little nods to the series woven into the shops so, be sure to keep an eye out for these fan favorites.
The Hellfire Club has a Hellfire-themed refrigerator with Eggos in it. That was fun. I loved the denim vest and books.
Rink-O-Rama was super cute. If I was ten years younger I would have snatched up that pink jacket for sure.
Pricing on exclusive Stranger Things Experience gifts and official Stranger Things merch was priced, in my opinion, pretty fair. Then again, I’m a hardcore Swiftie so, it’s not unusual for me to drop $70 on a hoodie.
I thought the prices were within the same range as other comparable fandoms. I bought a Hellfire Club raglan t-shirt for $40.
My inner 30-year-old easily could have spent hundreds in there. So, if you’re a super geek for this series, definitely start counting your bread.
You’re going to want to buy EVERYTHING.
As I mentioned above, we each received a free drink and gift with our VIP badges. I got the $18 cocktail and my mini got a mocktail.
The VIP gifts were pretty cool. We each got a Dustin Henderson Hellfire Club Bluetooth speaker and a collectible tote bag. The speakers link together so you can have a little stereo sound rockin’ in your room or wherever you take speakers to.
Tickets start at $39ea which they are definitely worth. And I’d even say, the VIP tickets were worth the bang for their buck as well. Again, food, drinks, and gifts are all priced to be expected but not overly priced.
Get Your Tickets
If you’re looking to hit up the Stranger Things Experience Atlanta, you should definitely hurry. This popup is splitsville after February 12th, 2023. You can get your tickets here.
You can still get your tickets for Stranger Things Experience LA through the end of March 2023. So don’t miss out!
You can get your tickets for Paris. The event runs through the first week of May.
Stranger Things is one of the finest series of our time. Hawkins gave me a place to spend time with my son at a time when my son thinks I’m basically an alien from the ’80s.
I’m so grateful that Netflix and Fever brought Hawkins to life with the Stranger Things Experience. We geeked out hard and had a lot of fun both in Hawkins Lab and Mix-Tape.
I truly enjoyed looking back on all the pictures we captured during our time there. As far as Stranger Things Experience reviews go, you can take this one to heart.
Get your tickets today and run, don’t walk, to the Stranger Things Experience Atlanta before it’s too late. You don’t want to miss out on this.
Thank you for hanging with me for this Stranger Things review. I hope to see you in the Upside Down. But before you go, remember, “friends don’t lie.”