This year for Christmas, I bought my thirteen-year-old daughter tickets for the Stranger Things Experience. I had done a lot of reading about it, and followed the experience on Insta, so I somewhat had an idea of what we were in for. But the experience truly exceeded my expectations.
When my daughter first started encouraging me to watch the show with her, I was hesitant because I don’t love scary shows and movies. They have a tendency to give me bad dreams. However Stranger Things was different for me. I really got invested in the characters and the story line was so well written, I “needed to know” what happened next and so I got drawn in. She had asked multiple times to go to the NYC experience, but that is a long and pricey trip for us. But she doesn’t ask for a lot, so when the opportunity came along for us to go in Atlanta, less than five hours away, I took it!
When you first arrive, the signage, branding and attention to detail, even to the outside of the building, is impressive. The porta potties were even impressive to us, with an employee inside managing them. There were stalls, and they were immaculately clean. There was a place for ice skating and marshmallow roasting which we did not have time to do,. Lots of selfie opportunities.
Inside, you will have your bag searched, receive your VIP badge if applicable, show your tickets, and be told no pictures until the Mix Tape area. This was hard for us, because there were so many times where you would really want to take pictures! I understand now, looking back, because you are Hawkins Lab Sleep Study subjects, and the whole thing that made that part of the experience awesome was the suspense of not knowing what was going to happen! If people photographed it and posted about it, it would ruin the experience! That is why I am not going to share what happens in that part of the experience in that post. I would hate to ruin it for future attendees. Just know that it was so realistic and magical that it absolutely blew us away.
I do recemmend getting the VIP tickets. We were treated to free VIP drinks at The Upside Bar. Any drink you want. I got a Demogorgon cocktail and my daughter got an Eleven Mocktail. My cocktail had a cute Luxardo cherry and Stroopwafel garnish. We also received a free gift that I also don’t want to reveal and spoil the surprise because it was way cooler than anything I thought we would get!
In the Mixtape Area, we struggled with what to do first. So many photo opps! You can take a picture with Vecna, a Demogorgon, and at the different “shops” or stations they had set up in the perimeter.
We started by looking in the gift shop area. They have many shirts and other items to offer, however, I would wait until you make it all the way around the enter Mixtape Area. There are shirts and items for sale in each individual area, in addition to the stand alone gift shop.
The photobooth! I remember these from when I was a kid! You go in and close the curtain, then a three-second countdown for a series of four pics that print out once you step outside. I am laminating ours as bookmarks and a keepsake. There is a five dollar cost.
The Byers Living Room! If you take a few minutes in here, and not just take a picture or selfie, you will really appreciate the attention to detail! Also it is so fun to see all of the props and clothing actually worn by and used by the characters on the show that are on display throughout Mixtape.
Rink-o-Mania. I asked about roller skating, and one employee shared with me that they too wished that attendees and employees could roller skate. I believe it is liability issues and space issues that prevented them from actually allowing participants from roller skating.
Scoops Ahoy! This area was so nicely done. The ice cream is very good – we have butter pecan. The girl who served our ice cream was so pretty with nicely done 80s makeup and very friendly. In the sailor costume of course! They had the boat seating area for photos, then you could have your ice cream in the concessions food court area.
Surfer Boy Pizza. I hesitated to spend the money, but my daughter had been in pursuit fo the frozen pizzas at a grocery – we were never able to find the cheese. At the Surfer Boy Pizza bus we could get the three cheese, so she and I split a slice. It was not quite lunch time – ha!
The Arcade and Family Video. It was so fun for me to play Dig Dug check out all the VHS movies. A real blast from the past as a child of the 80s.
To sum it up, this was a very well done encounter and I would recommend it to any fan of the Stranger Things series. If you would like to read more about our mother daughter trip to Atlanta you can find that here.