My Trip to Hawkins Lab-The Stranger Things Experience

Ever wanted to know why Eleven and Kali had different powers? How about whether or not this means there are more powers than just those two? We’re gonna find out today. Here’s what I learned on my trip to Hawkins Lab-The Stranger Things Experience.

AprilCoxTravel with Vecna.

First, unfortunately, cameras were not allowed for most of the experience, not until the very end. The photo above is from the end of the experience, which opens up into the Stranger Things shopping experience. Vecna (above) and a demogorgon (below) awaited us once we exited the experience.

AprilCoxTravel with Demogorgon
Domogorgon coming out of the wall.

Although we did encounter plenty of demogorgons in the experience itself as well. Even Vecna made an appearance.

The Stranger Things Experience Basics

The Stranger Things Experience is in the same building as Dinos Alive-for more information on Dinos Alive, check out my post here–at 1345 N Montebello Blvd, Montebello, CA 90640, just after Montebello Square off of Route 60.

While I advocate for buying general admission over the VIP admission to Dinos Alive (unless doing the VR experience), you are going to want to spring for VIP for Stranger Things.

When I arrived, they gave me a VIP badge and a blue wristband and sent me into the first room to wait. There were 6 groups in the room–3 in front and 3 in back, each one of three colors: blue, red, and yellow. Initially, they put me in the back group, but they ended up moving me up to the front group. I believe this was because I had a VIP pass.

The Premise of the Stranger Things Experience

We are at the lab because a lot of people in Hawkins are having nightmares, so we are there for a sleep study to figure out why. There were a couple of lab techs wandering around, and some of them asked people questions. I didn’t have any lab techs interact with me.

The host came in to give us instructions–mainly to tell us to stay with our group and where to go in any given room. Since I was in the blue group, my area was marked blue.

Once we were in there, the host began to explain the purpose of the study and put on a short video to further explain. That’s when the kids from Stranger Things began to try to hack into the system. We heard Dustin and Erica and Lucas, but the host kept trying to push them back out, slowly getting more and more agitated, until he sent us into the next room.

The Lab and the Puzzles

Then we went into another room with a lab tech at the front of the room. Each group had a different table with a set of puzzles designed for each group. Ours were much like a pinball game, where we had to move a bead within a spiral design on the puzzle. We were given no instructions, just 30 seconds to work on it. Then she started the test.

My group went first, and we were asked to stop a metronome from moving. We assumed our assigned pose (both hands out) and were told to concentrate. Then the metronome stopped.

The lab tech held up some sort of device at all of us and determined that we all had powers; she was visibly freaking out. She called Dr. Brenner and then looked up the protocol. She went through each of the other groups and determined that all of them, too, had powers as well.

Then Dr. Brenner told her to send us to the next room for a stress test. She protested, but ultimately sent us into another room where we were told to wait.

The Next Room

There were instructions on the computer monitor coming from Dustin, involving needing to switch some things off. They managed to hack in and give us further instructions on how to escape from the room. Each group had to use their powers at least once to accomplish some sort of task. My group had to blow out an electrical panel.

Then we made our way into the boiler room.

The Boiler Room & the Upside Down

In the boiler room, Dustin and Erica finally broke through, and began giving us further instructions. A battle ensued for control over the computers between the kids and Dr. Brenner, and with our help, the kids won. Then the demogdogs came.

We could see them attacking everyone just outside the door, and the kids–now including Lucas and Mike–made their plea to us to help Max and Eleven who were trapped in the upside down.

We managed to open the door and then headed into the upside down where Max found us pretty quickly. She and El had split up apparently–or perhaps El hadn’t found her yet, but she said that El had told her to meet all of us there. Then more demodogs showed up. With no El, it was up to us to use our powers to protect Max and ourselves.

The Demodogs

Each group takes turns using our powers to deal with the demodogs, and then El shows up to help us. Max tells us to do what El is doing to try to close the rift, but the demodogs attack again. At one point, I remember a demodog flying towards me, and I held up my hands, and it froze. I think it was supposed to be El doing that, but my group was able to freeze things, so it makes more sense that I did it–or at least that’s what I tell myself. 🙂

Eventually, we defeat Vecna and close the rift, leaving the upside just before it’s closed. The other kids show up, and everyone thanks us, and then we are ushered out into the shopping area.

The Shopping Area

Byers’ living room with the lights Will used to communicate with his mom.

We were able to pose in the Byers’ living room (above) with the lights Will used to communicate with his mom, the Hellfire Club (below)

AprilCoxTravel in front of Hellfire Club Poster.
AprilCoxTravel at Scoops Ahoy.

Scoops Ahoy (above) where you could actually get ice cream, Rink O’Mania (below),

AprilCoxTravel at Rink O Mania.

Surfer Boy Pizza (no photo) where you can get pizza, and even El’s Eggos (below).

El’s Eggos.

There’s a photo booth like where El and Max got their photos taken in Season 3 with four different poses for $5.

I highly recommend The Stranger Things Experience, and you can get your tickets here through the end of April. Just a note, I am not an affiliate for Netflix, Fever, or American Express. I get nothing for this recommendation.

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