On Friday night, the Santa Monica Pier was awash in eerie red lights and filled with synthesized sounds of 1985 as the cast, crew, and producers of Stranger Things celebrated the premiere of the hit show’s third season. The exclusive buy out closed the amusement park and portions of the Pier to the public late at night.
Inside the exclusive party, guests were treated to the world of Hawkins, IN, in 1985 complete with 1980 bands, theming from the show, and specially curated experiences reminiscent of a 1980s county fair. Guest could win free prizes from the carnival-like games, build a Lego mini figure of characters from the show, and walk through a Demogorgon-filled fun house.
Guests also had exclusive access to Pacific Park’s 12 amusement park rides and midway games. Inside the Park was unlimited tacos and treats, like Popcornopolis popcorn and cotton candy from the Park’s traditional boardwalk carts.
In addition to the party, Netflix arranged for a lighting of the Pacific Wheel which will be all red for the weekend and days leading up to the 4th of July. The light program will feature themes from Stranger Things and will include some surprises for fans; if you’re unable to make it to the Pier, be sure to check it out at dusk nightly on Pacific Park’s live-streaming web cams.
“It’s been an exciting journey working with Netflix and Lead Dog Marketing preparing the Pier for this unique event,” says Kristin Wasiluk, Senior Events Manager at Pacific Park. “It’s not often we theme out so much of the Pier and Park. This will be a real treat to all Pier guests and fans of the show.”
Following the private buy-out of the amusement park, Netflix arranged for certain thematic elements to remain in the Park for guests to check out when the Park reopens to the public. The upper parking deck of the Pier has also been transformed into an immersive Hawkins, IN, consumer experience where fans of the show can have an ice cream from Scoops Ahoy and see scary Demogorgons in the House of Curiosities, all themes and elements from the TV show.
Since debuting in 2016, Stranger Things has garnered 31 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. According to Nielsen ratings, 15.8 million people watched the second season of Stranger Things series within its first three days on Netflix.