A date with celebrities at Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, London
|Madame Tussauds Wax Museum at Marylebone Road.|
Upon reaching London, Madame Tussaud’s was on the top of my ‘must visit’ list. Thanks to the much hype created around it!
Luckily enough, being put up at Good Wood Court on Devonshire Street makes it super convenient for me to walk up to Marylebone, where the iconic wax museum is located.
However, it was not a wise decision to visit Tussaud’s on a weekend.
|Waiting for hours at ticket counters is very tiring.|
I was taken aback by unbelievably long queues and mismanagement outside the ticket counters. Things would be easier for you if bookings are done well in advance for weekend as hundreds of tourists flock the venue on Saturdays and Sundays.
|Long queues to buy tickets|
Sadly, despite living just a few blocks away, we had taken the attraction for granted and didn’t care about advance bookings. However, standing in the pathetically long queue for more than two hours, we learnt that on weekends when the footfall is massive, the number of ticket counters is deliberately reduced. This is done to ensure that enthusiasts get to spend more time in the museum and crowd inflow remains in check.
Interestingly, all the while one waits outside the ticket counter; there are entertainers and artistes dressed in the quintessential Victorian style to keep one amused. Quick skits were performed to distract visitors from prolonged wait.
Once inside, the delightful ambience makes up for everything else. There are not just wax statues but an amalgamation of various cultures, music, politics, royalty, , chamber of horrors, cafes, film theatres, souvenir shops and much more.
|Prince William and Kate Middleton|
The place is very crowded, so come mentally prepared.
The museum is strategically divided in as many as 10 levels for guests to explore according to their individual tastes and interests.
|Indian actor Salman Khan|
One begins with the top storey featuring wax statues of the world’s most popular filmstars. From Hollywood biggies to Bollywood heartthrobs, you would get to ‘meet’ all here. Immense care has been taken while shaping the statues up and it shows! There lies a meticulous detailing of a celebrity’s height, body proportion, skin colour, hair texture and even wrinkles and nails. Every wax model is accompanied by a brief description about the featured celeb.
While some were simply breathtaking, a few looked not so perfectly done to me. For instance, amongst the Bollywood stars, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s statue appears a little ‘fake’, pun intended. J The facial features are overtly done and look unconvincing.
|Former Miss World and Indian actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan|
Let me also mention that Indian stars are the most ‘hugged’ and ‘kissed’ by enthusiasts.
Fans of all ethnicities make a beeline to pose with Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Hritik Roshan and recently added Madhuri Dixit’s statues. I was amazed to see European and American visitors seeking pictures with Shahrukh. So is the power of cinema, I tell you!
|Fans get pictures clicked with Shahrukh Khan|
|Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit|
Hollywood stars like Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks etc too enjoy extreme popularity amongst fans from all age groups and how!
People go berserk to get themselves photographed with their statues. It was nice to see elderly women striking romantic poses with Hanks and Johnny Depp’s wax models.
|Women were the most enthusiastic of all visitors|
|A group of young girls pose with pop star Jennifer Lopez|
|A real looking statue of funny man Jim Carrey|
|Titanic actor Kate Winslet|
|Australian stunner Nicole Kidman is also very popular among young guests|
In other sections, various prominent people from the world of music, politics, spirituality, sports etc feature.
|Hollywood actor couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt|
The chamber of horrors ‘Scream’ is a must see if you have a knack for spooky thrills. Live artistes, dressed as infamous murderers and victims of the French Revolution would scare the hell out of you. There is thunder, darkness, screams and all other essential ingredients to make it a horrifying experience. Not suitable for faint-hearted and patients.
|A rare photograph of French rulers King Louis X and queen Marie Antoinette beheaded in the French revolution. Madame Tussauds, a wax sculptor, was asked to make a cast from their severed heads|
|Madame Tussauds is shown working on a corpse’s head|
One section I really liked was that showcasing celebrated scientists like Albert Einstein, Issac Newton, Stephen Hawking etc and great authors including William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. Interestingly, there were instructions for international visitors written in numerous languages including English, Chinese, Arabic, French and Hindi J
|A breath taking model of Albert Einstein|
|Authors Shakespeare and Charles Dickens|
The place is a happening one with lots of activities going on simultaneously to attract tourists. One amongst many was a chance to get a cast of your hand done in wax, truly the Tussauds style! It is an expensive yet exciting activity for enthusiasts.
|You can get a wax cast made of your hands at the museum for a few pounds|
The super-hero section and 4D-movie theatre will be a real treat for your kids. However, one thing not to be missed here is the ‘Spirit Of London’ ride.
The ride, modeled on retro black cabs, journeys from the medieval eras to the modern times. Trust me, it felt as if I ‘time-traveled’! An amalgamated history of London is displayed through wax statues, re-created events, smells, sounds and sights. No photography is allowed in the ride but inbuilt cameras in the tunnel like auditorium will click your pictures, which you may buy later.
Don’t forget to keep your eyes and ears open throughout the ride or you might miss out on the narration and scenes. Also, smile heartily for CCTV cameras J
- -Wholesome entertainment for everyone.
- -Lot to be explored with new attractions added frequently.
- -Educational as history is presented tastefully
- -Breathtaking statues
1-Quite expensive. 35 GBP per person entry charges. Other activities, refreshments and souvenirs are over-priced too.
2-Very crowded on weekends and public holidays
3-Long queues and excessive wait.
4-Be aware of pickpockets and handle your belongings carefully.
|Freddy Mercury from Queen|
|The ET is loved by kids|
|The name is Bond..James Bond!|
|The only way I could have got to hug Sachin Tendulkar in this lifetime|
|Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler|
|Prince Charles, with Prince Harry and Camilla|
|King of pop Michael Jackson|
|I got to visit Obama’s office finally |
|Hulk in the super hero section. There were many other popular characters like spiderman, Ironman, Wolverine etc|
|Madame Tussauds as an octogenarian|
|The souvenir shop at Madame Tussauds|
|With the British Monarch Prince Phillip and Elizabeth II|