To the surprise of no one who watches TV or the entertainment business, Netflix announced today that it is bringing its sci-fi/fantasy/horror/1980s-nostalgia hit, Stranger Things, back for a fourth season.
For theme park fans, Stranger Things has been drawing new fans to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando and Hollywood for the past two years. Last year's house covered the first season of the show, while this year's production covered the past two seasons. With a fourth season now on the way, that raises the question: what could Universal do with another year of Stranger Things?
Netflix did not announce a release date for Stranger Things 4, but it seems highly unlikely that the season will drop in time for Universal to use it as the basis for a Halloween Horror Nights house next year. Universal didn't give season 3 a full treatment this year, so it's possible that Universal could just focus on the Starcourt Mall to squeeze another house before the fourth season drops.
But should Universal keep bringing back any single franchise to Horror Nights year after year after year? One of Horror Nights' great selling points is that it provides a fresh line-up of houses every year. Do fans really want to see Stranger Things at Halloween Horror Nights for three or four years in row?
I'm sure some do. At that point, though, it's worth asking if Universal shouldn't just invest then in creating a year-round attraction based on Stranger Things, the way that it did in Hollywood for The Walking Dead.
Or maybe Universal shouldn't do that just the way that it did for The Walking Dead. Stranger Things is a very different franchise than The Walking Dead, even if both blew up to become pop culture phenomena. Many of fans the old-school Halloween Horror Nights aren't especially fond of what they see as non-horror IP taking slots in the event. Maybe a walk-through maze isn't the best use of the Stranger Things IP in a theme park attraction?
If you believe that, what would you rather see Universal do with this franchise? Should Stranger Things continue as an annual house in Halloween Horror Nights? Should it become a year-round maze (like, or perhaps replacing, The Walking Dead Attraction? Should Universal design some other type of theme park attraction for Stranger Things? Or is it time for Universal to walk away and take a break from Stranger Things?
On your way to debate this in the comments, here is the Stranger Things maze from Hollywood in 2018:
And this year's Stranger Things house from Orlando:Tweet
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