Netflix's Stranger Things Pop-Up: From Hawkins, Indiana to Seoul, South Korea
Last weekend, my friends and I had a lot of fun checking out the highly anticipated Stranger Things pop-up in Seoul! In this post, I highlight all of the fun rooms showcased at the pop-up along with some tips for those interested in going. Season 3 is out this week so the timing of our visit couldn't be more perfect! Spoilers ahead if you have yet to see seasons 1 and 2. If you haven't taken the chance to watch this amazing series, you're missing out!
Visiting The Stranger Thing's Pop-Up
Visiting the pop-up for Netflix's Stranger Things is easy enough, however, be prepared to do some waiting. When you arrive to the pop-up walk through the entrance way and make your way to the front door of the "house". To the left, of the staircase you'll see a small stand where you can register using a touch screen. All you have to enter is the amount of people in your group and a contact number. Waiting time can be a little over an hour if you don't register early enough. Keep an eye out for a text with updates to your spot in line. Honestly, it's also good to check back in with the staff at the doorway, sometimes they will try to give you longer wait times, but just stay firm and keep coming back to check-in if they extend your time beyond the original wait time. When our group checked back in we had already waiting an hour before they tried to tell us to wait another 20 minutes.
Mission: You will receive a small piece of paper that unfolds into a treasure-hunt like map of the pop-up. Each time you take photos of designated spots throughout the pop-up, you collect a stamp. For those dedicated enough to collect all the stamps, your name will be entered into a raffle to win fun memorabilia.
Step Inside Joyce Byer's Christmas Lit Living Room
Will Byers... 어디야? Where are you?
Head straight into Joyce Byer's home and see the creative way she chose to communicate with Will Byers in season 1 after he was taken to the Upside Down! Luckily, no Demogorons or Demodogs were around to cause any trouble. This room is the first stop right when you walk in so there is a small bottle neck at the entrance. This was my favorite room!
Hang Out at the "Palace Arcade"
Next, walk right into a location from season 2, the Palace Arcade. Blow off steam, ignore your demogorgon problems, and pretend like life is fine by playing some retro arcade games. Think you can beat MADMAX's high score? This room was packed the entire time, and sadly no spots opened up for us to play while we were there. However, just wait it out if you're really determined to play!
Read Up on Local Hawkins Town Gossip
Though now almost everything on the bulletin board reads as old news, it's still neat to see the flyers that must've been scattered throughout Hawkins and beyond, when Will Byers and Barb Holland went missing back in season 1. I'm sure all the moms in the Hawkins PTA were all over this gossip. However, you can also notice news clipping regarding 4th of July prep, which I'm sure we'll get to see more on in the upcoming season!
Newsflash: Barb's Dead
Unfortunately, as we all know, Barb's character didn't last long on the show. All it took was being alone by the pool for her to disappear and be killed by the demogorgon. The detailing on the missing poster for Barb is hilarious because underneath the poster, where strips of paper would normally contain contact information, they instead contained funny sentences like, Barb who?; Who cares, or I'm Barb. Barb's death was a major driving force in Nancy and Jonathan's exposure of the Hawkins National Lab in season 2. #justiceforbarb
Entering the Upside Down
As visitors make their way out of the Palace Arcade, they will wait in a small line that will lead them up the staircase into the "Upside Down." When my friends and I went we actually noticed quite a few families with their babies entering the Upside Down? Some were even crying. Though the pop-up itself is not at all scary, I wouldn't necessarily recommend bringing your toddler. Time in the Upside Down is very brief as it is only really the stairwell that is made to look that way. Still, it makes waiting in line more interesting, and of course more options for photos.
Facing the Mind Flayer in The Pumpkin Patch
Flash forward to the part where I was attacked by the Mind Flayer or Shadow Monster in the pumpkin patch. Will Byers suffered from PTSD after the traumatic events that took place in season 1. With that, In season 2, Will continuously suffered from horrifying visions of the Mind Flayer and began sketching what he saw. Later on, the Mind Flayer entraps Will, and begins to occupy both his mind and body. Towards the end of season 2, Eleven manages to destroy the Mind Flayer and close the gate to the Upside Down. Or so, we thought. Season 2 ends with the Mind Flayer looming over Hawkins High while the school dance is taking place. This part of the pop-up was a small room that was mainly taken up by people waiting in line. Honestly, while we were there, it seems my friends and I took the most dramatic photos. You'll get plenty of stares, but do you if you want fun photos.
Battle Demogorgons at Hawkins High
Don't you just hate the days when you're making your way to class, and then a deadly demogorgon shows up? Where were they when I was trying to avoid my math tests all those years ago? I can totally imagine Dustin being like, sorry teach uh, a demodog ate my homework. After leaving the pumpkin patch, you make your way upstairs and will see a small layout of a classroom. I'm actually super bummed out because, I didn't realize that by downloading an app you can take a sick video of yourself fighting with the demogorgon using the weapon of your choice. Various hammers, and axes are hanging on the wall beside the demogorgon, and when filming through the app, you see the monster trying to attack you, and also taking a hit every time you swing back at it. Hit the thing enough times, and the demogorgon disintegrates into tiny black particles. So cool!
Netflix and Chill in Mike Wheeler's Blanket Fort
Okay not like that. Visitors can actually chill in Mike Wheeler's blanket fort while reruns of Stranger Things season 1 and 2 are played. There were nice touches in the room, like the Supercom walkie talkie Mike used daily during season 2 in an attempt to contact Eleven. Sadly, what he mainly got was static noise. There's even a box of Eggo waffles on the bed. Unfortunately, the only props we could pick-up were the pillows since everything else was glued in place. Realistically, we weren't able to see much of the reruns at all because of the underlying pressure to snap some quick photos so that the people waiting behind you can do the same.
Stranger Fan Art
This small section of the pop-up was also really neat. While waiting in line to get to Mike Wheeler's room, you can take a look at amazing work by some talented artists.
Step Right Up to Collect Your Prize
Stranger Things fans can rejoice in the fact that there is really cool memorabilia for you to win at the pop-up. If you've managed to collect enough stamps, head to the 2nd floor of the pop-up and enter the silver room with the disco ball located to the left of the art gallery to draw a raffle prize. Again, my friends and I couldn't be bothered to figure out the stamp collecting properly so we forfeited our chance to win a Stranger Things Legos set which admittedly would've been awesome. Other things included retro Coca Cola, Nike shoes, Stranger Things Monopoly, and more.
Enjoy (Non-Eggo) Waffles on The Balcony
If you're like Eleven and her obsession with Eggo waffles, I have good news. If you are dedicated enough with your photo snapping and stamp collecting, you have a chance at earning yourself a free waffle! Waffles are redeemed on the 2nd floor of the pop-up where the outdoor balcony is. It's a nice place to sit and hang out if you don't feel like leaving the pop-up right away after all of your exploring.
Stranger Things Photo-booth Fun
The photo-booth can easily be missed if you're not playing close attention. You can find a small room with a photo-booth between the memorabilia table and the Palace Arcade. On top of the photo machine are props you can use for the photos. The best part? Photo prints are 100% FREE! My friends and I printed out 6 copies of our photoshoot so that we could each take some home. This was such a fun souvenir, especially since we couldn't be bothered to take part in the stamp photo challenge.
Arriving to Hawkins, Indiana; How to Get to the Pop-Up
The temporary Stranger Things pop-up is located in the Hongdae University neighborhood in Seoul.
By Subway Train:
Hongik University Station Line 2 : Exit 1
위치 : 서울시 마포구 동교로 189
189, Donggyoro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Hours of Operation
운영 시간 : 평일 오후 2시 ~ 10시, 주말 오후 12시 ~ 10시
2-10 P.M. on weekdays, 12-10 P.M. on weekends
Tip: I recommend arriving a little before the opening time to avoid the possibility of an hour long wait. If you do find yourself waiting, there are plenty of photo-op opportunities or places to shop in the area.
Get Ready for a Hawkins Summer to Remember
Need a refresher before season 3? Check out the quick and fun Stranger Things Season 1 and 2 Recap from the Cast Members, here.
Catch Stranger Things season 3, Thursday July 4th on Netflix!
Thank you for reading! Please reach out with any questions. For those of you in Seoul, I hope you get the chance to check out this fun place! Definitely worth it and made me 100% excited for the new season.
Oh yea, and pray for Hawkins, because it's about to go down.
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