Last year I visited Madame Tussauds in London.
It was not a planned visit, I was in London and whilst looking for something to do for the afternoon, the decision was reached to come and look at Madame Tussauds.
---What is Madame Tussauds??---
Madame Tussauds basically contains wax models.. (some realistic looking, some not so) of various people and celebrities. Ranging from sports, royalty, pop stars, world leaders, film actors and actresses (both hollywood and bollywood).
At the time of writing the Sport Star wax models at the London Madame Tussauds include: David Beckham, (Wayne Rooney was there when I went not David), Jessica Ennis, Rafael Nadal, Tom Daley, Muhammad Ali and Christiano Ronaldo.
Royalty: The Queen, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Prince Charles, Diana and Prince Harry
Pop Stars: Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Cheryl Cole, Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears
World Leaders: Barack Obama, David Cameron, Tony Blair, Nelson Mandela, Boris Johnson and Martin Luther King
Hollywood Stars include: Colin Firth, Kate Winslet, Taylor Lautner, Bruce Willis, Robert Pattinson and Leonardo DiCaprio
Bollywood Stars include: Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Madhuri Dixit and Hritik Roshan
Cultural Figures include: Albert Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh, Charles Dickens and Pablo Picasso
And finally characters include: Spiderman, Sherlock Holmes, The Hulk, Captain America and Wolverine
Once we reached Madame Tussauds we saw 2 sets of queues, one was really long and went pretty much around the corner from Madame Tussauds and half way down the street. The other not as long in comparisson but still pretty packed was for VIP's - those who had prebooked their tickets. As we did not plan the days event we went and stood in the longer queue. After standing in line for 15-20minutes and not moving a spot we were soon considering whether it would be worth our time and whether or not to leave. We decided to stick it out as none of us had visited before and it was one of the places we all felt would be nice to check out, as it is seen as a great tourist attraction.
Thankfully it was not raining on the day, as the long queue wait would have gotten even worse. We ended up spending about an hour queued outside. Once we reached to the door of Madame Tussauds we were all feeling pretty happy thinking that finally we will get to go in and not waste any more time. Wrong!!
Getting from the outside queue to the door of Madame Tussauds was just part 1 of queuing. We then found getting from the door to the ticket desk, to the line of people up the stairs waiting to enter the rooms was a whole different part. It then took us half an hour longer to actually get into actually being able to see the wax models!
Tip: make sure you have had some food before going in as otherwise you will get really hungry pretty quickly after the long queues makes the days event go even longer.
Once in, looking at the wax models were nice.. and some were pretty impressive as you could tell it took a lot of work to make them. However at times the experience could be a little awkward as the rooms are so packed!.. So you are either stood waiting for a photo for a while, or when you are trying to take a photo you have to make it so rushed as you can tell there are people around also wanting a photo.
Or once you have taken a photo you find a random person has managed to come right into the middle of the shot. I found the whole photo process wasn't as easy and was more rushed, and the photos that did get to be taken it was impossible not to get others into the shot as the rooms were just too crowded. I ended up giving up on the photographs and just took a wander.
The models are not all in one room but dotted about in different areas/floors. You should note that once you have gone past one area you are not actually allowed back in it again as there is someone stood at the door ensuring that people are all moving in one direction: forwards!. I remember I was going to take a photo with one of the wax models but it was too full and too many people around and so I thought I would pop back when it wasn't as busy. Unfortunatly I was told I couldn't re-enter that area.
After looking at the wax models we went on a black cab tour. Which basically had black cabs on a conveyor belt that you could sit on and it went around various displays telling you about the history of London. There was even a moment where it told you to smile for the cameras and you had a photo taken whilst you were in the black cab which could later be bought. (I didn't purchase one so I can't comment on the prices etc). This was fairly interesting and was a nice ride which would be educational as well. You got your information from the ride playing over some loudspeakers as the cab was moving past and you did not really see anyone apart from people getting you on and off the black cab.
After the black cab we went and saw a really nice Marvel 4D Superhero video. This was a 9 minute film which included characters such as Spiderman, The Hulk, Wolverine and Iron Man. The film had good 4D effects in match with what was occuring on the screen, which included bursts of air being blown at you, jabs at the back of the seat which were meant to be from Wolverine etc. Overall it was pretty impressive and a nice watch. It was a shame it wasn't longer than 9 minutes as we all felt the film, black cab ride and the horror walk (more on that in a minute) were actually more enjoyable than looking at all the wax-models. But children would definitely love this film and it would be one to take the kids to as i'm sure there would be moments when they would get bored of all the wax models!
We also went through to this horror walk which I think was called Scream, I can't really remember. But it basically involved a man telling you that there would be prisoners and generally crazy psychotic people jumping out at you and scaring you. I didn't really want to go to this as i'm not a fan of horror/scary stuff.. but I decided to go along anyway. Once walking into the tunnel walk through.. it is really dark.. you can hardly see a thing and the only way to walk is forwards.. at times you can see people who do look quite scary in their costumes and loud voices screaming away or saying creepy comments and they can come right in your face or attempt to grab you as you are walking past. Though we were told they were not actually allowed to touch us and we shouldn't touch them... but they can still be quite scary!.. This walk lasted a few minutes and wasn't very long, but still was enjoyable.
And that was it, that was Madame Tussauds.
I give it 4/5 stars as it was an enjoyable event at the end.. but i'm a bit torn over whether I would recommend it. I thought the tickets were overpriced... £30 for an adult and £25.80 for a child... I think it cost a bit more to watch the 4D Superhero film too. It's somewhere i've been once and would not go again as I felt i've seen it all. I think the queues were ridiculous and would recommend buying in advance online so that you are not waiting as long. Also booking online would save a few pounds and make the tickets a little cheaper... (not by much though). It would also probably be best to plan your visit so it is not during peak times.. school holidays etc and when you can get hold of 2 for 1 vouchers as they can be found too.
I did enjoy the day, but it did have moments which were annoying and I felt the service could be improved to make it more better. However i'd only recommend you visit there if it is somewhere you've really been meaning to go.. I wouldn't go out your way to visit it, and would say be prepared for a bit of dissapointment in terms of prices, queues and crowded rooms. I personally think the attraction is over-hyped than necessary and could have been made more enjoyable, but i'm also glad I checked it out for the experience.
There is also a Madame Tussauds in Blackpool... as well as in different locations in America, Asia and Australia.
If you want to look at a particular wax model it would be beneficial to look at the website first to see if it will be there, as they do seem to move between different locations.
Thanks for reading :)... this is definitely the longest review i've ever written! lol
(the review can also be found on ciao)
I spent the Easter weekend in London; I had never been to London before and so I was very excited about seeing all of the famous tourist attractions. One of the attractions we went to see was Madame Tussauds.
First of all, as I had previously been to Louis Tussauds in Blackpool, I wasn't that fussed about Madame Tussauds, as my views are, once you've seen it once, you've seen it all. However, as there were 6 members in a group, we decided to go with the majority who did want to see the wax models.
For those of you who don't know, Madame Tussauds is a very famous museum consisting of wax models of famous people. Madame Tussauds is locate on Marylebone Road in London. The nearest train station is approximately a 2 minutes walk away.
~ * Tickets * ~
Madame Tussauds was just a 5 minute walk away from our hotel and so we decided to explore to see where it was. It was around 4.30pm when we arrived at the queue was massive - at the time we weren't sure whether we were going to go in then, or the next day. There was a member of staff (and a mime artist) at the back of the very long queue, and they said that as we didn't have tickets, the wait would be around 1 and a half hours (of queuing). We decided to leave it until the next day (Saturday). The member of staff told us that if we booked pre-booked tickets, we could go straight to the V.I.P area. He also told us the best time to go was 9am.
When we went back to our hotel, we booked our tickets (£28 each for 6 of us) with the concierge.
~ * The Day Had Arrived * ~
The next morning, we arrived at Madame Tussauds at around 9am (there was quite a large queue forming then. As we had already bought our tickets, we got to skip the big queue and head straight to the V.I.P entrance, where we had to queue for around 20-25 minutes. Here, they also carry out security checks, e.g check your bag.
~ * Finding Your Way Around * ~
There is quite a lot of walking to do including up and down stairs, however the route is clearly labelled and so the tour is pretty straight forward as you just keep going. There are plenty of members of staff about if you do get lost though.
~ * Models * ~
The first 'section' consisted of big stars. Here you had; The Beckhams, Helen Mirren, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, Kate Winslet, Twilight Stars, Nicole Kidman, etc.
Other sections included music stars; Beyonce, Elvis, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow, Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna etc.
There were other models including: members of the Royal Family (Queen& Prince Phillip, Charles & Camilla, William& Kate and Harry) and prime ministers and other famous people from history.
~ * So What Did I Think? *~
Well to be honest, I wasn't overly impressed. Like I said before once you've seen it once, you've seen it all. I know that makes me sound boring, but trust me I am a huge celebrity fan, although I just wasn't that 'bothered' about these wax models. Of course I wanted to see my favourite stars; Kate and William, Rihanna and Beyonce, although to be honest, I didn't think the majority of models actually looked like who they were supposed to be; Lady Gaga looked nothing like her, neither did Jennifer Lopez or Cristiano Ronaldo. There were the add few that were brilliant though; Kate Winslet and Julia Roberts - they looked very real.
I think what didn't help was the fact that the place was heaving with people. I was looking forward to taking pictures of the models; although there were so many people that you couldn't get a nice photo (without someone posing with the model, or someone in the picture). I also would have liked to have had my picture taken with some of my favourite stars (Rihanna, the Royals etc) although there was always someone already there and you had to 'fight' to get to stand and have your picture taken. When I did go to have my picture with Rihanna, I felt that everyone was waiting for me to move so that they could take a picture. It all just seemed a bit of a hassle to be honest.
I also felt that because there were so many people in there and because it was so crowded,, I couldn't 'look' at the wax models properly and so a lot of the time I think I missed a lot of the models - I think I saw a lot of them, but because it was so busy I didn't get a proper chance to look at them.
One thing which I found quite funny was that sometimes I would be looking at models, and then I'd turn to look and realise I would be starting at a 'real person' and then they'd move. Or I would find myself smiling at the models without thinking. (I'm weird haha!!) and thinking 'oh my god!! Hope no one saw me...they're not even real!! Haha'!).
One thing which I did love about Madame Tussauds was part where you had to get in a taxi - this was just like a cart which looked like a black cab (a bit like a fairground ride carriage) - you had to hop on and off (it moved on a conveyor belt) as it was moving. You had to be quite fast doing this. The cart then took you around on a approximately 10 minute journey of various 'London' things. This mini tour wasn't of wax models, but more of a 'trip through the history of London'. I liked this because, 1) you could just sit back and enjoy the ride (with no people in the way, as everyone had to be in a 'cab' in order to go round and 2) I actually learnt a lot in a short space of time. I thought that the whole Madame Tussauds experience would have been better if we could have gone around the whole place in one of these cabs, as you could really enjoy it without having to dodge people and people bumping into you all the time. I also think that you would be able to get better picture of the wax models in this way.
Another part of the journey was a 'cinema experience'. We were sat on seats which leaned back; the screen seemed to be on the roof. The 'film' was 3D and so we needed special glasses to watch it. The film consisted of all the super heroes (Spiderman, Superman etc) trying to save Buckingham Palace. To think that I used to hate 'fictional' things like this when I was a kid, I actually enjoyed watching this film. There were some fantastic effects; such as water squirting out (from the seats in front) and air blasting from behind, and even the seat would move so it felt like the 'enemy' had jabbed you in the back - this was brilliant although at first I did think someone was kicking me from behind. Kids would definitely love this.
There was also a 'scary' part - which wasn't suitable for under 12s or people with high blood pressure and heart conditions. I opted out of this as I hate 'scary' things, especially as they said it would be in the dark and would involve people jumping out at you. It was based on famous murders etc. So if you hate scary things, I wouldn't recommend this to you.
~ * Anything Else? * ~
There are professional photographers ready to take your photo with certain stars (such as The Royals). They weren't at all pushy which I thought was good; you approached them rather than them making you have your photo taken. They also took your photo on the 'tour' in the cab bit. We didn't purchase the photos and so I am unable to comment on prices etc.
It does get very busy and so make sure you hold your children's hand.
Some people are very rude which is annoying. They'll push and shove.
Watch your bag for pick-pocketers.
So all in all, I did enjoy the experience (definitely the 'tour' in the cab and the cinema experience). I just would have preferred if it wasn't so busy so that I could have enjoyed it properly.
Thanks for reading!
Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x
A trip to Madame Tussauds was part of my visit to London for my birthday this year, and after hearing various stories in the media and from others, I was excited to visit. Madame Tussauds for those who are not aware, is the world famous waxwork museum, combining diverse history with the relentless glamour, intrigue and infamy of 21st century celebrity. Although located across the world, the one which I was lucky enough to visit is the one located on Baker Street, London. Ticket prices vary, and although I am aware you can get offers online and with certain supermarkets, if you pay on the day you are looking around £30 for an adult ticket and £25.80 for a childs ticket.
Although an ordinary building from the outside, once you enter Madame Tussauds you are greeted with a replica Oscar award ceromony, complete with lights, cameras, and of course, a red carpet. Going on a weekend was probably not the best idea as it was heaving with people, but, I must say the staff are very efficient and it was only a mere ten minutes before we were able to enter the museum.
Although I had previously thought you may not be able to take photographs when inside the museum due to copyright laws, thankfully you can take photographs, they even try to sell you overpriced cameras to persuade you to do so, which is pretty impressive. The museum has different sections located in different rooms or areas, Sports Stars, including Louis Hamilton, Jessica Ennis and David Beckham, Royalty, including the Queen herself, Pop stars, Including The Beatles, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, World Leaders, including David Cameron and Barack Obama, Hollywood Stars (Major film stars), Bollywood stars, Cultural figures and characters (E.g Marvel heros).
You need a good two hours to get close to all the figures, and although some are better than others (Daniel Radcliffe was a bit of a disappointment), all are incredibly impressive and detailed. Along with being able to get up close with the stars there is also a 4d cinema in which you can go into and watch a Marvel episode (Very impressive), and a miniature dungeon, which scared absolutely everybody to death.
Yes, there are people that wander around offering to take photographs of you with the stars and charge a price for them, but they are not at all pushy. Located around the museum are food and drink stalls which are themed to fit in nicely, and the giftshop is very impressive, in products and price.
Overall, I think that although the tickets are pricey, Madame Tussauds is a place to visit before you die. It is an impressive place to visit, and I would recommend to anybody considering going.
I'm pretty sure most people will have heard of Madame Tussads which is based in London, how-ever they also have other exhibitions across Europe and in other countries as well. They have a range of various wax models based on famour stars such as David Beckham, Royalty, Film character, Singers such as Lady Gaga and Britney Spears and more. These model's are created to look exactly like the stars they are based on and a lot of time and effort goes into the making of these wax models. If you go to their website you can find lots of information about how Madame Tussauds first started and how they made the Wax models and put every single, little details into them to make they very life-like. Their website is www.madametussauds.com
We purchased a combination ticket for £60.24, this was for an adult ticket and included entry and queue jump to Madame Tussauds, The London Eye and the Sea Life London Aquarium. As this was done online we saved about £7.00. You can purchase single tickets just for Madame Tussauds which is £20.16 online for an adult. For a child it cost's £17.22. If you book tickets online in advance you do save yourself 30%, so it's well worth doing this. After choosing your tickets online, you need to select a time slot in which you go and collect your tickets from Madame Tussauds. You have to go there to collect your tickets and this has to be the first attraction you visit, if you have a combination ticket. You will get send some information by e-mail which you need to print off and take with you when collecting your tickets. The person who paid for the tickets also need's to take a form of ID with them, when exchanging the paper-work for the actual tickets.
***HOW TO GET THERE***
Madame Tussauds is best reached using public transport. We simply got a train to London Waterloo and then got onto the tube on the Bakerloo Line, this takes you to Baker Street. As you come out of the station and turn left Madame Tussauds is less then a 5 minute walk from here. To find other options of getting to Madame Tusaauds by Bus, Car or Coach you can visit their website.
***ARRIVING AT MADAME TUSSAUDS***
On the tickets it will state a gate number, we were gate number 5 (There are only 5 gates). Although we had queue jump a lot of people also had the same idea as us which was to print buy and print the tickets online so you save money. Because the majority of people visiting did this, there was quite a long queue to wait to get inside. The queue did move quite quickly, which was good, and some of it is also under-cover so we wouldn't get wet if it rained. Just before you enter the doors to collect your ticket, all bags are checked by a memeber of the security team. Once at the main desk (there were a few desks, to cut down queuing times), they simply checked the paper-work and handed us our tickets. From here you go upstriars and into a lift which holds about 6-8 people. There is more than one lift so you don't really have to wait long for a lift. Once you come out of the lift, the wall in front of you is made to look like papparazzi and lots of flashes of lights go off so it looks as though your picture is being taken. You then follow the red carpet to the right which is where you enter the first room of wax models.
The first room you enter is really big and you can walk either down the ramp to the right or to the left hand side. As we walked down the ramp, they had Harry Potter characters to the right hand side along with a member from Girls Aloud. In a room just off of this they had a wax model of Robert Pattinson (Twighlight), which people were queuing for so they could have their picture taken with him. They had David Beckham, Victoria, Sean Connery and other people such as Helen Mirren, Nicole Kidman and Cheryl Cole in this room as well. It was very hard to get to the area where David and Victoria were, as this seemed to be quite busy. My boyfriend did how-ever manage to have his photo taken with Cheryl Cole, as there were meany people here. As you walk out of this room into the next you are taken through a small sports walk-through room which has a tv and a cricket player in this room. As soon as you walk into the next room you will notice Johnny Depp from Pirates Of The Carribean, on a wooden scene which looks like the deck of a boat. I queued for about 15mins to have my picture taken with him. They take a proffessonal picture, how-ever my boyfriend took a picture on my camera so I didn't see the point in buying one. Also in this room was Bollywood Theme and there was a huge model of Shrek which all the kids were crowding round. In the next section there was a lot of the Royal Family from oast and present, there was also Muhammad Ali and member's or parliament and Barack Obama and Hitler. There was also a big stage which had Micheal jackson, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Leona Lewis and Jimmy Hendrix on. This area was also quite busy as well, so I couldn't really get close enough to have my picture taken with any of these.
After this section you go on a little car ride, these are made to look like Black London Cab's, and they fit 2 people in at a time. This takes you round for about 5 minutes, going up and down little hills whilst listening to details about london and watching figures and scenery from the earlier years, up until now. The ride does not go fast, and actually goes quite slow. This was quite fun and also very interesting. When you get off the ride, you walk through another section which sounds as though it may be scary. You walk through room which shows some wax model's who were tortured, and then you get the choice to walk through another room which has real life actors, or you can skip this bit. Me and my boyfriend choose to go through this as it sounded quite fun, how-ever it was a waste of time really. You walk through various dark rooms whilst actors jump out and scream as you walk past to try and scare you. The rooms are quite dark so at some points it's quite unexpected and it makes you jump, how-ever you can see the actors moving around in the dark so I knew when someone was going to try and make me jump. This walk lasted for a short while and personally I thought it was rubbish! After the horror/scream section, you can get the chance to watch a 4D marvel movie, we skipped this as we thought you had to pay extra for this, how-ever this is incldued within the price of your ticket. At the end of the exhibition was a very young Elvis model, which did not look like him at all. In fact me and my boyfriend was very shocked at how unlike Elvis it actually was. You leave Madam Tussauds by walking through the shop which sell's a huge range of things from pens, to buses and bags, badges and other things. I didn't buy anything in the shop as nothing really interested me.
I'm glad that I purchased the tickets online as I don't think it's worth paying over £20.00 to visit Madam Tussauds. Some of the wax models are brilliant and it's great that you can have your photo taken right next to them. Some of the wax models such as Elvis and Kylie I was ver dissapointed by as I didn't think they look like them at all. Of course it's best to go here when it's not school holiday's otherwise it can get very busy. You will find a lot of foreign people here as well, and unfortunately when I was here, they have a tendancy to push and shove you out the way, I experienced this more than just a few times. You do have to be patient if you want a photo of a specific wax model, as so many other people are also trying to take photo's as well. I was expecting to see more wax models of more people, how-ever I understand that they do change the wax models around occasionally. I was very dissapointed with the horror section they had, the scream experience as they called it was really dissapointing, and I thought walking through rooms whilst people jumped out at you was pretty pathetic, espicially when they didn't seem to scare or make me scream. There are a few vending machines around Madame Tussauds which has crisps, chocolate and drinks in, if you are thirsty or hungry. It took approximately 1hr to walk around and see all the figures, this includes the little taxi ride as well. I have to give it at least 3 stars, as some of the wax models were really good and I got to have my picture taken with Johnny Depp, I won't give it anymore than 3 stars as I think it's a bit pricey for what it is, and the horror section was just rubbish. I may go back here in about 5-6 years time when they have changed the wax models, but until then I won't be going here again.
(review will also appear on ciao)
Madame Tussauds is a people-packed attraction. There are hundreds of people there
and in each room about 150. There are long ques for just one photograph of one celebrity, it is
very hot in there especially in the summer.
If you don't like waiting in ques and getting scorched there like a egg, this is not your type of place.
There are alot of tourists there that come here just for photographs and talk up a lot of space. If you
don't have a Merlin Annual Pass then it's useless even going there, i would rather go to chessington or if your a adult Warwick Castle.
You have to wait there just to get in there in the boiling sun there is no shade anywhere except when
you get in here. I do not understand why they let people in if it's already full!
Don't waste your money! Not worth
Madame Tussauds is a Waxworks Museum - almost like an exhibition hall where you can pay to see wax figures of all your favourite people; from actors to musicians, and royalty to historical figures.
In London, the museum attracts a huge number of tourists (and others) every year and all year round but as a Londoner I feel I need to explain why you should really avoid it especially at peak times i.e. Easter holidays or summer holidays.
There are some good things about the waxwork museum however there does seem to be a lot more annoying and maybe frustrating things attached to it, making it on the whole a questionable place to be at, in my opinion.
The Madame Tussauds website explains that people have "flocked" to the museum since it first opened, and goes on to explain its strange achievement: "There are many reasons for this enduring success, but at the heart of it all is good, old-fashioned curiosity." (www.madammetussauds.com, under "History of Madamme Tussauds - 200 Years of Fame")
Shame it's too easy to get to...
Firstly, to start with a positive, Madamme Tussauds is at a great location - it incredibly straightforward to reach, whether you are travelling from North London or South London. You just get yourself to the London Underground and onto the Jubilee line (grey line) which goes from Stanmore (North-West London) to Stratford (South-East London); if you happen to be travelling from central London, take the Northbound and get off at Baker Street. As you exit the station at Marylebone Road, you will see the green domed building on your left - and if you don't see it then just find the enormous queue of people...
The fact is, it's very conveniently located making it that much more cheerful to get there. But this excitement may be short-lived as you walk yourself all the way past the queue in order to get to the back of it...
Manikins are just dull
As you enter the Madamme Tussauds building, after you stood yourself for two hours in the queue, be prepared for some more tedious queuing up because the line goes all the way deeper into the building and up the stairs where you will then finally reach that payment desks.
And when you do get past the payment, you will immediately realise it doesn't really get any more exciting than what you initially see. At first you want to take a picture of yourself standing beside every single one of those figures. Eventually it will become monotonous. You may find yourself only taking pictures to make your entrance ticket worth the money you spent on it. You will look at one waxwork figure to another, sometimes questioning who that is supposed to be (!?), as they don't always look as realistic as their doppelganger. But nevertheless, too much of the same thing gets boring.
You're in my space!
Inside the "museum" it is cramped, crowded, small, stuffy and dark. There will be a small "queue" of politeness going on (hopefully) for who will be next up to stand and have their picture taken beside Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt (whose waxwork figure looks nothing like him) and so on....
You'll eventually be rushing to take a quick shot from over someone's shoulder and from an awkward angle as it is too congested to get yourself past certain people who just won't move.
Frustration, finally clicks in...!
And you won't really realise how small it is until you have completed your tour around the museum and you come out at the souvenir shop. We did think, "Is that really it?", somehow expecting something a lot more spectacular, maybe a wonderful surprise...although....
...you may find a little surprise awaits you on the other end!!
It is not over yet. It's the Chamber of Horrors. This probably for us was the most enjoyable thing about this place. Before you enter into this "chamber", a staff member will stand you outside the entrance and provide you with a thorough disclaimer and warning (with elements of exaggeration), of how when you get inside the "Chamber of Horrors" there is no way out.
"Don't touch them, as they won't touch you"; All of this gets you a little worried and it's pretty clever as it works - it makes you a little nervous before you are even in there. And as if that was not enough, the sign at the door says "Abandon all hope All ye who enter here!" It does get you a little concerned!
Inside is a "prison", with its inmates (real people dressed up wearing make-up too) lurking around every corner, jumping out at you, breathing on you (!) and literally inches away from you, not letting you pass by casually - essentially just acting like psychos banging on the doors and floors in order to get you frightened. Plus, it is pitch dark inside...
You do have a choice whether to go inside or not. A lot of people by-passed this section, because once you are in you need to keep moving on - there literally is only one way out! But if you are not too edgy or generally not too worried of being startled relatively harshly then I would recommend it. It's a good laugh - at least to justify your Madame Tussauds ticket and besides the screaming will be a good way to vent out all the frustration developed from the dark crowded room previously - a very fitting ending!
Little expensive for what it is
Although a lot of the figures don't really look like the famous person that they are supposed to look like, each and every one of the waxwork figures is truly an artistic effort. They are melted, carved, painted and all the rest, to form these famous people- they have been dressed up accurately as well. There is undoubtedly meticulous work involved to create such figures with its detail, precision and accuracy.
Despite that however, viewing these figures at Madamme Tussards does not for me, justify the price of the ticket. You can enter museums for free in London, why is this any different? Only less educational? More enjoyable?
The price for an adult ticket is £28.80 on the gate and £25.92 when you pre-purchase online saving you just under £3. However, as I mentioned in my previous review on" Chessington World of Adventures" (titled "The best ticket prices/ times to go/ rides at Chessington") the ideal ways to go about getting into these UK attraction in order to save money is via the 2 for 1 vouchers. You will as a result only be paying for one gate priced ticket between two people, making the entrance around £14. Though this can only be done on the day and at the gate.
One thing to note if you do pre-buy your ticket online for Madame Tussauds, is this entitles you to "priority access" so that you don't need to wait in the long main queue. There will be a separate smaller queue for the priority access ticket holders - but nowhere near as long as the on-the-day ticket purchasers.
Really a UK attraction?
On the whole, it's quite unbelievable how popular Madame Tussauds is not just in London, but in places world-wide - Hong Kong, Moscow, Dubai, Amsterdam are a few other locations and still remains a place of fascination with the public; Everyone seems to want to see their favourite people in the form of wax and even the brand new figures just delivered into the museum. New figures are brought in almost every month - new into London at the moment is apparently Justin Beiber.
I would not return to Madamme Tussards for a second time - however despite all the above it may be worth making your personal judgement on it after you own experience. What I would recommend if you are still deciding what to do for your weekend and trying to use your pennies wisely, is spend it on one of the other UK attractions also owned by the Merlin Entertainments group - you can still use a 2 for 1 voucher in order to pay half the ticket price. There are many to choose from;
- Warwick Castle
- The London Eye
- Alton Towers Resort
- Thorpe Park
- Chessington World of Adventures
- Legoland Discovery Centre
All are very interesting and worthwhile places to visit; some enlightening like Warwick Castle and Sealife, and some just brilliantly entertaining full days-out, like the theme parks.
You would only really spend a maximum of about 1-2 hours in Madame Tussauds taking into consideration the crowd you need to plough through, whereas the other attractions offer so much more.
It's just curiosity...
Maybe visiting Madame Tussards really is just about curiosity like they say themselves on their website. We've all been there once and if you haven't then you may probably decide to go one day - maybe just out of "good old fashioned curiosity!" But you will now hopefully know what to expect when you're there!
(Thanks for reading! - also posted on Ciao)
I went to Madame Tussauds yesterday with my kids and my niece.We really liked the lady who gave us the whole celeb interview treatment and the cameraman who made a video of our interview.It was fun and we liked it.The only thing I didnt like was queing up for my VIP tickets.We shouldnt have to que up if we paid in advance and paid extra.The new 4D movie should use real people in a proper movie settting to make it more realistic and all guests should get a free"I went to Madame Tussauds " certificate.If not then the kids at least should leave with a momento as this would be a keep sake.
At over £25 per person MT London represents probably the worst value for money of any attraction in London.
We booked our tickets ahead of time online and paid extra for a "priority pass" which is supposed to mean no queueing at the entrance, but on arrival everyone who booked online queues up together to collect their. There was absolutely no benefit in this extra paying and we were refused a refund.
Inside, the waxworks is pandemonium. Despite having tickets staggered in half hour slots, there is clearly no planning for visitor volumes. Each room was literally squeezed as full as possible with visitors, which meant you couldn't get within five feet of most of the wax works, could barely move, let alone get close enough to take any pictures.
And if you were prepared to queue up ten minutes in order to take a picture, you were constantly fighting with other people also trying to get pictures. Forget British notions of queueing in line, it was a case of every man for themselves.
Possibly the most interesting and underused aspect of the exhibit was the part that discussed the history of Madame Tussauds and the process of creating them.
Half of the waxworks models in the main exhibits I felt were only passable imitations and we had to read the plaques to figure out who they were. Because of the crowds this often meant a lot of jiggling and fighting just to figure out which no-account b-list celebrity's waxwork we were looking at. After about 20 minutes of this we gave up caring who most of the celebs were.
The "Scream" exhibit is appalling - a badly lit dungeon with awful "actors" who attempt to scare you essentially by saying "boo" to you. What a complete waste of time.
The Marvel Superheroes 4D exhibit has it's pros and cons. Firstly, there are only four actual waxworks - Spider-Man, Nick Fury (as played by Samuel L Jackson in the recent movies), Wolverine (a-la Hugh Jackman) and The Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba). Apart from this there is a fairly impressive 25 foot high model of The Hulk. The rest of the exhibit is just a bunch of screens giving useless information about various Marvel characters, and most of the screens seemed to be playing in other languages - we didn't see a single one in English and couldn't see how to change the language (other areas of the exhibition had touch screens with a language selection option).
The final element of the Marvel exhibit is in the former Planetarium dome, which is now used as an "interactive cinema". A 10 minute cartoon is played with reasonable 3D effects, but some laughable gusts of wind, splashes of water etc that constitute the "4D" part of the exhibit. It is tragic to have to confess that this cinematic extravaganza was about the highlight of our time at Madame Tussaud's, particularly tragic because the Planetarium is now gone forever.
Finally, there is supposed to be a "Taxi ride around London" which is the closest thing they have to an actual "ride". This was undergoing maintenance when we visited. We were offered no refund for this omission, which made us feel all the more that this place is a complete rip-off.
Don't waste your time or money.
I would suggest taking the following for a succesful day at Madame Tussauds in London:
A friend with equally silly sense of humour
Madame Tussauds is so much fun! I have been to the London version numerous times and recently visited the Las Vegas version whilst on Holiday. People have a lot of bad things generally to say about Madame Tussauds but I can only imagine that they are badly organised or have no sense of humour!
To remedy this I have a bit of advice - prebook your tickets (yes you can queue up to 4 hours on a busy day, I asked once) but by booking in advance even on very busy days you can bring that down to around 15 minutes! Yes it is busy during the summer so go in winter like any sensible person would! Or if you cant go in winter PREBOOK plus it gives you a nice smug feeling to walk past all the queueing French kids and Japanese groups to the front and wander right in. The perfect start to a celeb inspired day out.
Now I am not a celeb lover - I dont do gossip mags or anything like that but it is endlessly entertaining to see some really famous faces in the wax. The talent involved in the making of the sculptures is amazing and anyone expecting 'Louis Tussauds' style manequins in old jumpers will be sorely dissapointed!
Take a camera - you see far too many people just wandering around looking and you will have much more fun trying to make your photos look realistic than doing anything else. It is very silly fun to take photos of you and George Clooney and I have a particularly brilliant photo of my boyfriend with Stevie Wonder in LV which cracks me up everytime I see it!
If you want to have professional pictures taken you can do that; they are a little expensive but worth the money as they are excellent quality and if you're only going to do this once then you might as well make the most of it!
So there are my top tips for a good day out - and don't expect the planetarium (it's in Greenwich now)
Madame Tussauds is one of the world's most infamous attractions. It is a museum made up of wax figures of famous people, both long dead and very much with us. Dotted around the world in such cities as Amsterdam, New York, Las Vegas, Berlin and London, it was the latter that I went to whilst on a short weekend trip. Located just off the Baker Street Tube Station, the overbearing (purple) building is normally accompanied with long queues and random bag searches.
There are a number of ticket options available. If planned ahead, you can get 10% discount by booking online and even the opportunity to swap Tesco Clubcard points for tickets. On the day ticket prices are:
Family: £99.00 (which includes a free guidebook)
In addition you can get Flexi Tickets as well as Gift Tickets which give various advantages, primarly gaining priority entrance and admittance to the new Marvel Super Heroes 4D Experience.
Once inside the complex, the first room you will enter will be very much in the theme of glossy Oscar ceremonies, and you can expect all the Hollywood favourites to be standing there. As well as this you can also expect to see a vast, swarming mass of people; tourists, school trips and the like. As you negotiate your way around the room, you'll be able to photograph yourself standing by the likes of Johnny Depp, John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. You will also have the opportunity to have a professionally taken photo of you with certain stars, although redeeming the glossy 8x10" print will cost at least £9 for one copy.
As you make your way through Madame Tussaud's you'll enter the Film and Movies section, with actors set up as their most famous characters, such as Indiana Jones, Marylin Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. There is also a Sports Section which may only interest the male clientel, a Royal Family Section which plays hosts to historic Royalty in conjunction with the current generations. A little after the Royal Family there'll be Scientist and Philosophers as well as Engineers and Writers. Among these there will be Brunel, Stephen Hawkings, Shakespeare, Einstein and Oscar Wilde. After this you will walk into the Music Section, filled with legends such as Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and bizarely, Amy Winehouse. Through this section you will be met by the Great Leaders of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Meet JFK, Boris Johnson (Legendery for-all-the-wrong-reasons London Mayor), Churchill, Obama, Gandhi and to marr all their good work: Margaret Thatcher and Hitler.
Still perplexed by this, you'll be gently nudged in the direction of the small section illustrating exactly how these wax works are made. Though somewhat interesting, this section doesn't seem to captivate you as much as the celebrity look a likes and silly photo opportunities.
Next you'll be shunted into the optional (you can take a happy little corridor to the left to avoid it) horror part. After a very, very long wait you will walk through a very dark corridor which leads into mental asylums and torture chambers, with the odd live actor lamely jumping out at you, else stumbling towards you with an evil look in your eye. By the end of it you will be very much unimpressed unless you are below the age of thirteen.
Onwards you will be met by the most strange section: the London Cab ride. It is essentially a slow moving escalator on top of which sits a plastic london cab upon which you park your bottom for ten minutes of strangeness. You'll be taken through false history lessons, terrible assumptions and generalisations and strange music and popping-out limbs. When it eventually ends you'll be led directly into the obligatory part of the attraction: the shop. Here you can pick up any photographs of yourself with any of the wax works, guidebooks and a cacophony of touristy junk. There is also a small cafe just by the exit.
So with the guided tour over, what will you expect of the wax-works themselves? Well some are very good indeed: Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, Patrick Stewart, Steven Spielberg, Marylin Monroe and Barrack Obama to name but a few. However, there are some figures that clearly need some guidance notice as to who they are. These will come in the form of George Cluny, Orlando Bloom and Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones. In the music section this could be extended to many of the new faces that might not be readily identified to older generations, or at least visitors who care not for gossip magazines and pop charts.
Madame Tussaud's seems to be more than slightly obssessed with modern celebrity culture. Though this works to its advantage, as thousands will pay to have their pictures taken with a wax Kiera Knightly or a shiny Johnny Depp. For the first half hour the wax works are still a novelty but after this, whether due to the vast crowds or otherwise, your attention will stray and wax figures standing in amusing positions will begin to feel a little draining on your time. Perhaps Madame Tussaud's would be better to include some information about the people it tries to interpret, especially with the scientists and world leaders. Many people, unfortunately, seemed to switch off when they walked through these sections, due to the lack of Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse.
For the full adult price of £28.00, Madame Tussaud's is in no way worth parting that much money for. It will take you around 2hrs to walk though it, but it is still essentially walking through the same thing for that length of time. It would be worth it for a fraction of the money, because it is still fun to get stupid pictures of yourself next to Robin Williams or Fidel Castro, but at £28 it is what I would describe as daylight robery.
It is worth seeing to at least say that you have been, but the best bet is to save up on those Tesco clubcard points and swap them for tickets as it is possible to get in completely free through this means, as I and my two flatmates managed. Even if it was free though, you will still feel slightly cheated.
When I first was planning to visit London I knew that one of the places I wanted to go was to the Madame Tussauds wax works attraction. I have since been another time since my first visit and so I thought I would write a review. I hope this is of some assistance to you.
**How to get there**
Madame Tussauds is easily accessible from the Baker Street tube station and is just a couple of minutes walk down the road from the tube station exit. The attraction is on Marylebone Road.
The Baker Street tube station is served by the Bakerloo, Circle, Jubilee, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines so it is very easy to get to this station from most places in central London.
Madame Tussauds is open for virtually every day of the year, with the exception being Christmas day I believe. There are shorter opening times on both Christmas Eve and Boxing day and these can be found on the website if you require those. For the purpose of this review I have just included the three main opening periods. These are as follows:
Peak summer time (which is basically the summer holiday times) the attraction is open from 9am until 8.30pm with the last admissions being at 7pm.
Peak time (which is weekends and the other school holidays) the attraction is open from 9am until 7.30pm with the last admissions being at 6.00pm.
Off peak (which is during the week for most of the year) the attraction is open from 9.30am-7pm with the last admission being at 5.30pm.
There are various ticket options which you can get for entry to Madame Tussauds and there are even tickets which you can combine with say entry to the London Eye which will give you discounted rates.
The tickets are not cheap at all and I would recommend that you either look out for two for the price of one vouchers which are often widely available or that you go to the later admissions as this is up to 50% cheaper than the normal admission price and you still have lots of time to go around the attraction as this is the option we took on our last visit.
The prices are as follow:
Book online: Adult £25.20 and child £21.60. This includes priority access so there is no need to queue to get into the attraction and also includes a small discount for booking online.
On the day prices: Adult £28.00 and child £24.00
Late saver prices: Adult £14.00 and child £14.00. With this option you just avoid the peak times of the day, particularly the morning and early afternoon and go a bit later on in the day. We went to the attraction at around 4pm and as you only need a couple of hours in the attraction this is a really good option.
**What can you expect to see?**
Madame Tussauds is basically a series of rooms all of which have different wax works of famous people and characters in, as well as a ride and now a Marvel Heroes 4D cinema experience too, as well as a "chamber of horrors"! As you go through the rooms you can have your photograph taken with the wax works so there is lots of posing going on!
The rooms are set up so that the wax works are similarly themed and so as an example of some of the rooms you will see and the wax works in them I have listed a few.
Sports Stars: Here you can expect to see wax works of people like Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Christiano Ronaldo, Muhammad Ali, Andy Murray and Lance Armstrong. You can actually climb on a bike next to Lance Armstrong for a great photo opportunity.
Royalty: In this room you will see waxworks of Lady Diana, the princes and of course the Queen. There is official photographers in this room so if you want your picture taken with the Queen you have to go through them which is quite frustrating as you have already paid a high admission price.
Pop Stars: Here you will see pop stars such as Britney Spears, Beyonce, Robbie Williams, Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis. There is also a wax work of Michael Jackson and I would swear it could really be him if he hadn't sadly passed away. Again the official photographer is around Michael Jackson so unless you queue and go through them you can't get a photo with Michael.
World Leaders: In this room you can sit at the table and pretend to be President Obama's secretary, pose with Tony Blair, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi and even Hitler should you choose!
Fashion: Wax works of people like Posh and Becks, Kate Moss and Jean Paul Gaultier are in this room.
TV: You can pose with people like Graham Norton, Simon Cowell and Ant and Dec in this room. There is also a separate little attraction in which you can enter the big brother diary room. In there they have a replica of the current big brother diary room chair and they will have you doing all manner of silly things whilst you are in there. My friend and I had to do the hokey cokey which is broadcast to the other people in the wax works as you are doing it! You can then opt to either buy a photo that they take of you whilst in there, or a DVD of your antics in the diary room if you want a souvenir to take home.
Characters: Here you will find wax works of things like Shrek, gingey, The Hulk, Spiderman, Iron Man and Indiana Jones.
Hollywood: Here you have stars from the big screen and will see wax works of people like Brad Pitt, Jim Carrey, Daniel Radcliffe, George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith, Julia Roberts, Miley Cyrus and Zac Efron. You also have the relatively new wax work of Robert Pattinson which was the reason for my second visit to the attraction. This one is sealed off as with some of the other popular wax works and you have to go and have your photo taken by the professional. They will allow you to take a picture with your own camera too but it felt a bit wrong groping the wax work in front of the photographer so I just smiled nicely! Lol
There is also a room in the attraction which shows you the process involved in making a wax work which uses Beyonce's head as the model! It is quite interesting for the first time to have a quick look, but after that I just skipped this part.
There is a ride which is called the spirit of London and this is included in the admission price. This is basically in the form of a two person black taxi cab which takes you through a brief history of London and how it became the city it is now. Towards the end of the ride a wax work photographer yells smile and you have your photo taken there too!
There is also a chamber of horrors section which you can by pass if you wish. I have never been through the section as it seemed a bit scary for me as it was all dark! The section states it is a maximum security prison where you become face to face with some of the inmates! To me I would imagine it is quite like the London Dungeon experience but until I actually went there recently I was always a bit too scared to go in! If I visit Tussauds again I suspect I will give the chambers of horrors a go.
There is also now a Marvel Super Heroes 4D cinema experience which I cannot comment on as I have never been whilst this has been open but I would imagine it would be something children would love.
I have actually really enjoyed visiting Madame Tussauds on both occasions I have been there. I love the fact that you can pose with the wax works and generally make a bit of a fool of yourself whilst doing it! You will find photos of me sticking my tongue out at Steven Gerrard, pretending to kick Wayne Rooney but trying to snog David Beckham in my London albums!
Of course some of the wax works look more realistic than others-the Morgan Freeman one is amazingly life like whilst you will find that of course some of the models look more waxy but in general they are all of a very good quality!
Occasionally you have a little bit of a wait to get to a particular wax work but as they are all in large rooms with a good collection in each room it is possible to just move to another wax work until the one you want becomes free.
The attraction is very busy in the mornings so I would advise that if you do go to either book the priority tickets online so you avoid the queue to get in or that you go on the late entrance ticket which really does prove to be good value.
I don't like the way that in Madame Tussauds they have the "professional" camera people there to take your photos on the most popular wax works as it is just making you possibly have to spend extra money there. My friend and I wanted the photo of us and Robert Pattinson and so we got this put on to a key ring for each of us and I think that was £12.00 for the two. Whilst this isn't a huge price it would have been nice just to get to the wax work and take our own photos until we felt we had one we really liked. As the wax work is very popular though it was a case of one photo and off you go which was a shame.
There is a gift shop at the end of the attraction which seems to be similarly priced to any other in a place like this with teddy bears costing around £10.00 and such like. I have never bothered buying anything other than the photographs whilst at Madame Tussauds though as it just adds a lot to an already high entrance price.
I would recommend Madame Tussauds as a tourist attraction. It is good for a giggle whilst you pose with all the wax works but if you aren't one for celebs or the camera you will probably not enjoy this attraction to be honest. I like going there but am not sure I would go back in the foreseeable future having been there twice already.
4 out of 5 stars for a good giggle....losing one star for the prices
madame tussauds is extremely expensive! they have no crowd control whatsoever and I cannot understand why the local fire service have not been informed as i think that it is a fire safety risk. if they visited on a busy day i'm sure that they would shut the attraction down. in my opinion it is not safe to visit madame tussauds!
i visited the atrraction recently with a 7 year old who felt frightened and intimidated being in such a crowded environment. we were pushed and shoved by animals, come to think of it i might of killed 2 birds with the one stone. madame tussauds and london zoo must be the same attraction! 2 for the price of 1 and i didn't even know!!
i never would recommend madame tussauds as it's all about packing the crowds in for maximum profit, it shoud be renamed sardines in a box!!
Madame Tussaud's is very easy to get to from anywhere in London by using the tube. The nearest tube station is Baker Street which is on the Bakerloo line (the brown line) and the Jubilee Line (the silver line) and is within two minutes walk from the station. Basically, come out the station and turn left and keep walking. You will have to cross one road and the you will see it on your left hand side.
You could get a bus or a taxi, but knowing London traffic like I know London traffic, I wouldn't recommend these modes of transport. Take the tube!
You will see two queues. One queue is for tickets and the other is for pre-booked tickets.
In my opinion, Madame Tussaud's is ridiculously expensive and, like many things in London, is completely over-priced. I know they seem to get away with paying these prices because tourists are willing to pay them, but I have to say that I really don't think that it's good value for money.
If you buy tickets direct from Madame Tussaud's Box Office on the day you are visiting, an adult ticket costs £25 and a child ticket costs £21. You can also buy a family ticket for £81 which allows entry for two adults and two children. You can save a couple of pounds on each ticket by buying online.
We had to queue up for tickets for over an hour in a very slow moving queue. Infact we did consider giving up, but my daughters insistence kept us in the queue - and eventually we managed to get tickets and gain entry.
My first impression was how packed it was! We did go on a Saturday and so I was expecting it to be busy, but the reality was actually worse than my imagination! I'm not very good with crowds and so I have to admit that if I was to go again I would probably try to go mid-week and outside of school holidays because I thin this would make a big difference to my personal enjoyment factor.
We found that we had to be very patient and persistent when we wanted to get to the front of the crowd in order to see the models. There was a fair amount of pushing and shoving involved, but on the whole, most visitors were fair and polite and so it literally was just a matter of biding our time and waiting for our turn. As I only took my oldest child (who is ten years old) this was possible, but had I taken my two younger children (under five years old) then this would have been a living hell!
Understandably, my daughter wanted photos taken with some of the models......as did everyone else! However, I did find it was a matter of being patient in order to get this photo opportunity as there was an informal rotation system that was adopted by most visitors. There were a couple of annoying and selfish visitors who tried to queue jump all the time - and there were no members of staff trying to prevent this from happening, which would have been helpful. In true reserved British style, us Brits kind of tufted but didn't do anything to address it, but there were American visitors who were much more upfront and confronted anyone that were doing this!
The models on display were picked from a wide variety of genres, including film, tv, politics, royalty, sports etc.
On the whole, the waxworks were of a high standard in as much as they had a good resemblance to their real-life counterparts. In particular I liked Stephen Spielberg, Ant and Dec, Marilyn Monroe and Nelson Mandela. My daughter found enough more recent celebrities to keep herself amused - and so there did seem to be a wide enough variety of models to interest people of different generations of visitors.
By some of the models there would be some information pertaining to them, their achievements, claims to fame etc., some of which was interesting and educational - and some of which was very much surplus to requirement.
I do find it a bit odd that we were walking around looking at waxwork models of real life notable personalities - and in some respects it's actually a little creepy, although I find it hard to put my finger on why exactly that is.
****The Chamber Of Horrors****
The Chamber Of Horrors is separated from the rest of the exhibits and does contain warnings that it may be unsuitable for younger visitors. I would suggest that for children over ten years old it is perfectly okay - and my daughter certainly enjoyed it.......even though she did jump more than once!
Basically, the Chamber of Horrors looks at some of the more grisly aspects of London history. The setting of the Chamber was quite impressive, largely set in 19th Century London, complete with cobbled streets, smog, eerie noises, scary alleyways etc. The exhibits which focussed on Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd was particularly enjoyable.
****The Spirit Of London Ride****
This was a very tame ride which was pretty dull for both me and my daughter. We sat in seats that looked like a London cab and then took a journey that told the story of the history of London, such as the Great Fire Of London and The Black Death. I thought this looked pretty amateurish and certainly wasn't memorable or exciting in any way.
Overall, I'm not sure I would recommend this tourist attraction, simply because it's very expensive and not worth the high ticket price since it only kept our interest for a couple of hours. I did also leave feeling quite stressed, but i think this was simply because of the number of people that were there and if it had been quieter then it might have been more enjoyable. To be honest, London is full of interesting things to do and I wouldn't waste my time on this.
Madame Tussaude's is like a cyclone of contemporary glamour with its celebrity wax models that look just as plastically identical to their real selves that you can choose to have your photograph taken, grabbing a squeeze-full of your favourite A-list celebrity. Then after this spin, you can enter into the deep dark chambers of fright, you almost expect to bump into legendary Peter Cushing, the Hammer House of Horror actor given that the model works in these cellars, are resurrected scenes out of old thriller movies and true life accounts such as Jack the Ripper!
This is not an expensive tourist attraction (£22.99) per adult if you book on-line at 10% off, I went a few years ago now and it cost me £27.50 then, so prices have dropped significantly within the last five years, since the British economy took a nose dive.
The majority of Madame Tussaude's visitors are foreign nationals on holiday in the UK, but there is always a regular influx of school outing trips during term times and charity organizations that take groups of disabled adults throughout the year (I used to be a support worker) and often went to Madame Tussaude's every couple of years from 1995, which were the novelty days when Micheal Jackson was still at the height of his fame - He looked dubiously bionic, though you don't expect the models to make a sudden move at any time, unless you are superstitious!
Educational and entertaining:
Before I ever went to the museum that was built in 1802, I wasn't that well read on world leaders such as Martin Luther King or Gandhi, but going there, taught me a lot and made me interested in learning more about the effigies significance of their rulership days, and ended up doing a BA Hons degree in History as a result, even though I still haven't done anything with it! - But, the great thing about madame Tussuad's, is that it is a place of fun learning for people of all backgrounds and ages.
You can learn about how the models are created with wax, their life-span endurance etc, and things like historical torture equipment, used in physical capital punishment times. I still shudder when I think of the Guillotine, a very fashionable execution contraption of the 18th century made popular by Joseph Ignace Guillotine (from where the head-slicing machine born its name.
Madonna on steroids:
I don't know how the wax work creators managed to make Madonna look like a grandiose identical twin to that of Marilyn Monroe wearing leather bondage gear, but there was one such example one day I visited and noticed that her eyes looked skew-whiff (off balance) as if she had just been given a heavy dose of steroids, but it left an impression on me for some time and now think of this ultra mega star as a cross-eyed bandit, stealing Marilyn's beauty and trashing it up against the wall. However, it is not uncommon of Tussaude's to periodically modify their stars, so by now, they will have Tiger Woods, swinging a golf club at the press for their recent exposure on his double-standard life, he is paying the full price of his mistakes.
Attraction within an attraction:
If you buy an all inclusive ticket, you are rewarded with so many plus advantages in 2010, such as access to priority entrance, 50 page souvenir guidebook, wax hand, all-season annual ticket to visit as many times as you wish all encased in a designer MT wallet - I would definitely recommend this if you are a day-tripping fanatic, but especially during the holidays when you run out of ideas of where to go next, though this costs £40.65 per adult and a whopping £30.43 per child.
The flexi ticket however, is far better if you are staying in London for a week or more, as you can enter the museum for free for seven days with priority access, but this costs £28.10 for the privilege or £24.01 for a child, which is maddening when the flexi ticket should also include free entry for children if accompanied by an adult, to make it a fair deal.
The not-so best deals are for those in large groups, but few families have more than a couple of children, so this applies to some private schools with a smaller class ratio or gangs of kids, charity organizations for the disabled or similar. If there are 10 or more in a group, you are eligible for a 15% discount which is really bad considering all the merchandise Madame Tussaude's sell each year and makes up a huge percentage of their overall takings, so can afford to offer discounts at at least 40% or more.
Also worth mentioning is that when you enter the chamber of horrors, you will be struck amazed at how authentically real the scenery is (not the wax works in ugly massacre) but the raised cobbled streets you walk down and the eerie screaming, haunting howls sound effects with blasts of pumped harmless gases that make you believe that you are inside a fog and ready to shake hands with Sherlock Holmes! - This part for me was what made going to the museum really enjoyable because although I'm not into shocks, I am interested in what it must have felt like for my ancestors to have lived through periods of history, I can only imagine were pretty frightening times.
Location and main lines:
A 2 minute walk from Baker street tube station if you are going by tube, but you have to be on the Bakerloo, Jubilee, metropolitan and Hammersmith lines, it has been a while so my directions are not all that great. By train, the Marylebone station is a 10/15 minute walk to Madame Tussaud's and there are stops within this journey that you can get off and take the tube of you want to break the journey up.
Their newest additions in their wax models collection include, Ant and Dec, Del-boy, Simon Cowell, a chair from Big Brother, Shrek, Johnny Wilkinson, Lewis Hamilton, Andy Murray, Leona Lewis, Amy Whinehouse, Barrack Obama, Tony Blair (the list is endless) though there is something for everyone, whether you are a sports enthusiast or a Disney fan. This is one of the greatest advantages of the museum because it caters for adults and children and visitors from abroad who are familiar with international superstars. Even the elderly will feel excited by the spirit of past icons, they will have affectionate memories.
Overall, this is one phenomenal attraction that has stood the test of time since 1802 and has come so far to impress millions of visitors each and every year, despite the fact that once you've already seen it, you don't then want to go out of your way to visit it again unless they have new talent. Yet this can take time and doesn't happen quickly, so you won't get a succession of the newest superstars within the space of six months or even a year, so better to pace yourself. There are 50% deals off on ticket prices at the moment, though this is means a late entry, so not great if you have to catch trains according to timetables.
Although Madame Tussaude's is a museum, it also premieres film nights that give an audience a spectacular inside peek into the nostalgic past, the lives and successes of actors and actresses and some Disney animation. There is also a mock television studio that you can watch television personalities you can interact with, this is great for inquiring minds!
Having never been to madame tussauds i was very eager to experience the attraction to see what all of the fuss is about.
Having been to Amsterdam a week before, i didn't go to the Tussaud's there because i didn't want it to ruin my trip to the London exhibition. In hindsight i should have gone to the Amsterdam Tussaud's due to the fact the exibits are all different! Sadly at the time i didn't realise this.
It is quite expensive to go in and we got tickets online to avoid the queue. If we had used the 2-4-1 tickets which are easily obtainable, you can be stood outside waiting for hours. So i think if you're pushed for time, it's better to bite the bullet and buy tickets online so you can go straight through because it really does save a lot of time and you can fit so much more into your day.
We were actually late for our time-slot as well due to several tube stations being closed for maintenance. We arrived around 15-20 minutes late and we were worried we would not be allowed through but they really didn't care at all which was great!
So upon entry you immediately are hit by the heat. I thought it would be cold in there but it is so hot! I know this seems an insignificany point but it does actually mean that people begin to get quite annoyed quickly when tied in with the the irritating (but unavoidable) fact that there are hundreds of people in there all fighting to get pictures with their favourite celebrity.
Having said this, and despite the hoards of people, it is really a sight to be experienced. The wax-work models really are amazing (ok some of them aren't great but when you see a model and you exclaim "who on earth is that supposed to be?! is quite amusing).
There are several levels to the exhibition ranging from "A-List Party" to "Sports Zone", to the crime and punishment section (this terrified me and i'm twenty!), and several others.
I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there was a number of levels (7 i think?) because i hadn't realised how big the place actually is - it's good because you get your money's worth.
There is also an interactive element which i didn't realise existed. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't been so i won't go into too much detail but there is a ride which shows you a history of Britain which is appealing and interesting for both indiginous visitors but also international visitors alike.
I mentioned in passing above that the section about crime terrified me - lets just say it's a little bit like the dungeons (if you've been there) again i don't wan to ruin it for anyone who hasn't been and is planning to but it really did make me jump. There is a recommendation before you enter this section that children or people of a nervous disposition (!) should opt for the "non-scary route". This simply bypasses the walk-through section of this level which i think is the sensible option for those with young children/ those who get scared easily.
I'm glad i didn't go the "non-scary" way though because it was actually fun to walk through even if i did scream little bit more than was perhaps normal.
Just a side-note, if you're interested in slightly morbid things, on exit to the "executioners section" they have the actual guillotine blade which killed Marie Antoinette in the 1790s - if you ever go have a quick look because even though it's a bit sick it's a piece of history right in front of your eyes!
In conclusion, i think it's a great day out and a must for anyone who's never been or who hasn't been in while (due to the fact they change the content of the museum so frequently).