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A good way to spend an hour or so
Louis Tussaud's Waxworks (Blackpool)
Member Name: sarahj19861
Louis Tussaud's Waxworks (Blackpool)
Advantages: this is alot less busy when compared to London so you can see the figures more
Disadvantages: at full price it is expensive.
Please note that this attraction is now Madam Tussauds and is owned by the Merlin Group
The wax works in Blackpool used to be Louis Tussauds who was related to the famous Madam Tussauds however his creations were well known for now looking like the famous people it was meant to! The attraction itself opened in 1929 opposite the central pier however it closed in 2010 and was reopened in 2011 by the Merlin group after the Blackpool Council passed ownership to them. It is now part of the Merlin group and the Tussauds attractions are world wide featuring in around 18 locations world wide such as New York, London and Bangkok.
Having booked a weekend in Blackpool me and a friend turned up at 9:30am on a rainy Friday morning and parked just around the corner from MT. We had a breakfast and then walked round to the attraction at 10am just as it was opening. There was a small queue of around 20 people but this moved promptly and we were soon at the desk. I had 50% off vouchers currently (todays date 09/09/2013) on packets of 2 finger kit kats however you can also get BOGOF from Tesco Club card, O2 moments and other online deals, there are so many of these about its rare that you would find yourself without a voucher for 50% or BOGOF. At full price its £15.95 for adults and £12.95 for children however booking online saves 20% if you cannot find any 50% or BOGOF vouchers. We paid up and moved through into the attraction.
Inside the attraction
The first room is called "The big night in" and features some of the well known talent show stars such as Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh and you can sit on the panel with them. There is also the Celebrity Juice set with Keith Lemon, Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton. This was a nice little area, all were very well spaced out and well lit, some are better than others but you could tell who they were. Next you visit the "Lifestyle" section which features Gok Wan, Jamie Oliver and Alan Titchmarsh. The Gok set was cute because you could sit on a chair next to him and feel like you were being "dressed" by him. After this you walk into a photo area where you can have your pictures taken with various boards saying things like "best mum" "always right" etc with a mug shot type of background. You can of course turn this down. Just beside this is a small crime section before you head upstairs into "Docu drama" area with Ben Fogle, Bear Grylls who is hanging off a rock. This area is quite dark as its trying to look like a rainforest type area but its still easy to see the wax works and none of them are off limits, you can touch and feel them if you wish as well as get a picture with them. Having been to London before some of the wax works there are off bounds so not as easy to photograph but this is not the case here. Walking through you arrive at the I'm a Celebrity set which has both Ant and Dec sitting at a desk and look like you are on the IAC set and allows you to do a bushtucker trial - if you dare! From here you will then visit the sports locker room and area this has well known sporting stars and presenters. I think there is also another photo opportunity here with you sitting on a big deck chair again you can refuse. Afterwards you will visit the famous street Coronation Street and step into the Rovers, I liked this set as it did feel very real and had some of the well known cast members here. Next room is the music room, this is less "interactive" as you cannot get on "stage" with most of these wax works but its quite spectacular to see some of them, again some are better than others but it features many pop legends and allows you to get on stage to be a member of Queen. From here you come to a "behind the scenes" area where it shows you how the wax works are made, I didn't stay to watch this, there is also a small café here should you wish to take a break. Carrying on from this you find yourself in the "Best of British" and this features the Queen along side Kate and William, I liked this because you could get your picture with them, if I recall correctly you could not do this in London? but I could be wrong. There is a small seating area here, I remember this as people were sat there admiring the Royals. Walking round you soon enter into the comedy section and has well known faces such as Alan Carr and Russell Brand. In the last section there is a spider man to have another picture with, again you don't have to but this is very near the end of the attraction. Once complete you enter into the photo area to look at your mug shots and others taken and to buy, we declined but they can be brought for £8 each I think. There is also a shop selling other MT branded goods.
There were a number of toilets in this attraction. I didn't use any so cannot comment on how clean they were but they were well sign posted. There was also a small café doing drinks and light refreshments, again I did not use this so cannot comment on if it was any good. There was quite a few stairs on this attraction so might not suit a person who struggles to walk, but there are lifts to use if required and the staff are very friendly so will assist.
Overall to walk around this is took us about 1 hour and we weren't rushing or taking our time we went at a steady pace. I really enjoyed it. There are not as many figures here as there are in London, this only opened in 2011 as so it needs to build up its collection but I think it has a good array of different characters from different areas of interest. I've visited the London attraction 3 times I think the last being about 2/3 years ago and on all occasions it was very busy, too busy to even move let alone see the figures properly or even get a good picture of/with but this was a lot quieter and this made me feel very relaxed and able to enjoy the attraction without feeling like I was in the way.
Price wise its not worth it at full price but at 50% off/BOGOF its worth a look especially on a rainy day. I enjoyed myself and I enjoyed the whole experience more here than I did in London simply because there was less crowds so you could actually look at the figures at ease. Its very close to the main pier and other attractions so there is not far to walk but it is on the bus and tram route if required. For families and adults its good fun, there is something for everyone and the kids will enjoy being able to sit or stand next to their well loved sports/tv/pop star. Defo recommend it!
Summary: a good addition to the MT list
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- Calda House (Sutherland, Scotland)
- George Stephenson's Birthplace (Wylam, Northumberland)
- Cherryburn (Stocksfield, Northumberland)
- Montgomery Castle Ruins (Montgomery, Powys)
- Llanberis Lakeside Railway (Wales)
- Church Ope Cove (Isle of Portland)
- Northumberlandia (England)
- Torc Mountain & Waterfall (County Kerry)
- Greys Court (Henley)