Live entertainment (and pretty much everything that has to do with leisure) took a hit when COVID-19 took over the world. But as the public health crisis begins to wind down, the virus becoming part of a new normal, shows are starting to welcome audiences again. And one of the more hotly anticipated has to be the “Stranger Things Drive-Into Experience.”
What is the Stranger Things Drive-Into?
Imagine one of those carnival fun houses. Now imagine them on a bigger scale and instead of walking through the cavernous space, you’re driving through it. The Stranger Things attraction is a drive-thru experience unlike any other. It’s an immersive experience that transports you into the popular Netflix series with its ‘80s set, music and costumes.
Because the COVID virus is still “around,” many of the activities for tourists and residents alike are still kind of limited. People must have their masks on and social distancing is still ideal in a public place. Vaccination requirements are also in place, discouraging travelers who haven’t had it from entering places of leisure.
So outdoor attractions like the Stranger Things experience is an excellent way to have fun, without exposing yourself too much to the virus.
How Long is the Stranger Things Drive Thru?
Since you’re going through this “fun house” in your car, will it take all day to experience? The Stranger Things drive thru is an hour-long experience, featuring recreations of sets, like the Upside Down and very ‘80s Starcourt Mall.
Your journey into fictional Hawkins, Indiana starts at the 1985 high school reunion with a flashback to 35 years on a parking lot-turned-Starcourt-Mall. You’ll cruise through the ice cream shop where Steve (Joe Keery) works and where the kids hang out (specifically during season 3). Incidentally, you can also order from Scoops Ahoy (among other goodies from the Starcourt Mall) for a truly immersive experience.
But you’re not done yet the parking lot turned ‘80s mall. You park your car and get live entertainment onstage where Scott Clarke (Randy Havens), the science teacher, plays DJ and presides over a trivia that you’ll participate in. While ‘80s music blares and trivia questions fly at you, the actors playing Stranger Things characters Will (Noah Schnapp), Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) re-enact scenes from the series to help with the game.
Sounds chill enough, right?
Soon enough you’ll be directed to head into a parking structure to experience the Stranger Things live entertainment in a three-part show.
An orchestrated chaos ensues as dozens of actors re-enact more scenes from the series, covering the Upside Down and the Russian lab. Each part lasts for about 15 minutes, and you’ll listen to the entire spectacle through a car radio.
You’ll see everyone, including 11, from the “Stranger Things” cast being played in the immersive experience.
Is the Stranger Things Drive Thru Worth It?
If initial reception is anything to go by, it’s that the Stranger Things Drive-Into Experience is worth it. When it launched in LA, shows were sold out until February. At $59 for two people, you’re bound to get your money’s worth.
The re-enactments, complete with special lighting and sound effects, are exceptional and likely fun for the whole family. Be warned though, if you’re sensitive to lighting and one of your kids isn’t too fond of monsters (the Demogorgon makes an appearance), you may want to check out other live shows.
The show does recommend the entertainment for 13-year-old kids; if you think your little ones can handle it, it’ll be up to your discretion.
Currently, the Stranger Things drive thru is running in two cities: New York and San Francisco. The site encourages people to nominate their cities.
The $59 is a regular rate; if you want an even more special time at the Stranger Things drive thru, ask about their VIP rate. With VIP, expect a welcome team of your own, some mystery swag, a snack box and non-alcoholic drinks.
If you’d rather not splurge on the VIP tickets, you can still come away with “Stranger Things” merch, like hats and t-shirts.
If you’re not ready just yet to go on those special tours or travel the world, an extraordinary experience like the Stranger Things drive thru is the next best thing. It’s a wonderful combination of haunted house and drive-in theater.