Stranger Things
UPSIDE DOWN. The kids from Stranger Things look at the entrance to the Upside Down at Halloween Horror Nights. photo/Universal Studios

Halloween Horror Nights 29 at Universal Studios Orlando marks the return of last year’s fan favorite house, Stranger Things.

The house includes scenes from Seasons 2 and 3 of the Netflix original series created by Matt and Ross Duffer and fits perfectly with the 1980s theme for the event. Based on scenery, this house outshines the others. However, it also proves to place as one of the more tame houses with fewer scares than other houses. 

The walkthrough keeps guests interested by including the smaller details. When walking through the arcade from Season 2, guests can press a variety of buttons on the machines.

Also, while walking through the tunnels of the upside down, demodogs (the monsters similar to the demogorgon from Season 1) spit water at guests. The house’s use of flashing lights helps with the illusion of the monsters moving and keeping visitors on their toes. Throughout the walkthrough, few jump scares occur. 

The house begins with the end of Season 1; Will Byers coughs up a slug-like creature from the upside down. From there, guests walk through the famous arcade, the upside down tunnels and the area where Eleven closes the gate.

The next room starts the transition into Season 3 with Eleven using the static of a television to go into the void. Guests continue to walk into rooms based on the Steel Works, the hospital, the cabin and the Starcourt Mall. 

Nearly every room in the house is beautifully detailed. The tunnels appear dark enough for guests to feel lost and in the area where Eleven closes the gate, it is open enough for guests to feel like they need to lookout for demodogs on every corner.

The cabin feels like an exact replica to the one in the serious. The scareactors playing Nancy and Mike are up close with guests, making it feel like the guests are apart of the iconic monster-fighting group.

The only room that doesn’t meet expectations is the Starcourt Mall. The Starcourt Mall is cramped and not as detailed or immersing as the other rooms. The room features Lucas behind the car Eleven flipped over and the exterior of the ice cream store, Scoops Ahoy. It lacks other stores and characters, making it feel less authentic. 

Another letdown is the mindflayer (the monster from Season 3). The mindflayer is not as elaborate as the demodogs are, despite it being the biggest monster. When walking through the hospital, guests encounter the mindflayer without seeing it move drastically.

In the Starcourt Mall, in order to make the mindflayer seem bigger, only part of the creature is seen by guests. The result of seeing only a fraction of what guests anticipated is disappointing for guests.

Most jump scares are not done by the monsters, but by characters such as Joyce and Hopper randomly jumping out of corners to speak with each other. This makes the house feel like event coordinators were trying to scramble together a family attraction.

If guests are looking for a house to go in with younger kids or looking for elaborate scenery, Stranger Things and Ghostbusters meet those expectations. However, guests looking for more fear would enjoy houses like Graveyard Games and Us.

Ghostbusters goes through the plot of the 1984 film, as four scientists fight evil spirits. In Graveyard Games, the ghosts get revenge on teenagers who disrespect the cemetery. Based on Jordan Peele’s film, Us follows a family hunted by their dopplegängers. 


The Hilights:

What: Stranger Things at Halloween Horror Nights

Price: Single-night tickets start at $67.99 on the HHN website, daytime Universal tickets are not necessary

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars