When we booked our tickets for The London Eye, we were given the option to bundle them with discount tickets to Madame Tussauds.
Madame Tussauds is crazy popular and extremely busy. We arrived in the early afternoon and we waited nearly an hour to enter. If I could go back and redo the day, I would have done Madame Tussauds first, before The London Eye, arriving at the museum before opening.
Why? The whole fun in visiting a wax museum is taking pictures with the figures. You're allowed to pose with them and touch them. Colin Firth! I'm grabbing some of that!
When we arrived, the whole museum was jammed. We had to wait to pose with each figure, but worse, it was often difficult to get a clean shot. Trust me, get there early.
I think of Madame Tussauds as a "Classy" wax museum. Oxymoron? Perhaps.
In the late 90's, I visited Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas and had a great time. The figures look very realistic. They are dressed in clothing worn and donated by the celebrities. These figures are approved by the celebrities themselves and they are usually flattering.
We have a Madame Tussauds in Hollywood, but I've never been. Here's the thing about Wax Museums in Hollywood...there is no reason to visit Madame Tussauds, when you can go down the street to visit the Hollywood Wax Museum. The Hollywood Wax Museum houses figures that look nothing like the celebrities. I mean NOTHING like them! They are falling apart, disfigured, and usually unflattering. I don't know how they haven't been sued. It's far more entertaining to play "guess the celebrity" and gawk at the terrible figures, than it is to view the "classy" versions at Madame Tussauds. It's extra fun if you visit a nearby pub first!
Click to read my review of our visit to the Hollywood Wax Museum
That said, we still had a great time running around taking goofy pictures. Here is a small sample of the offerings.
We were surprised to find a dark ride in the middle of the exhibit. The Spirt of London, took us on a journey through the history of the city. Here are some snaps of the ride.
In addition to The Spirit of London ride, Madame Tussauds also has a 4-D Marvel themed movie. We stayed for the entire show, but it was a little loud and intense for the kids. If you've seen a lot of 4-D movies in theme parks, this one doesn't rate. The story was terrible and visually, it was average. If the wait is long, like it was for us, skip it.
I spent many years working ride attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood. This picture was mandatory...
And I chatted with Steven on the set of Jurassic Park. I have some ideas for a ride...
When in England, who else are you going to meet?
But the best moment of the visit was when my seven year old Swedish step-daughter said - "I see President Obama!" and was super excited to have her picture taken with him. Isn't she the cutest presidential aide?
Madame Tussauds is enormous and we could have easily spent 3-4 hours exploring, but due to time constraints, we only visited for a few hours. We skipped the horror chamber, because I was too chicken! For the record, Zoe was very keen to check it out. Given the large amount of Historic buildings and museums in London, I wouldn't consider Madame Tussauds a "must-see", but if you've done it all, it's a fun way to spend a half-day.