Madame Tussaud’s House of Wax

Jan 13, 2015 | United States | 0 comments

I always assumed that if I wanted to visit Madame Tussauds wax museum, I would have to visit the well-known location in London. I recently discovered that there are Madame Tussauds sprinkled worldwide, with multiple locations in Europe, the United States, the Far East, and a location in Australia. Since we have never bothered to visit the original museum in London, Zena and I decided to indulge our inner tourists and visit the famous wax museum on a recent trip to New York City.

We’ve put this guide together to inspire you to visit the intriguing Madame Tussaud’s Was Museum on your next trip to the Big Apple.

History

Anna Maria “Marie” Grosholtz was born in France in 1760 but was raised in Bern, Switzerland. Her mother was a housekeeper for Dr. Philippe Curtius, a physician skilled in wax modeling. Curtius taught Marie the art of wax modeling and she later became his apprentice.

Marie showed talent for the technique of wax modeling, creating her first sculpture of Voltaire in 1777. Over the next decade she created several famous portraits, including Benjamin Franklin and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Once the French Revolution began in 1789, Marie began modeling death masks of many prominent victims such as Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and Robespierre.

Wax Master

Madame Tussaud with her wax sculptures.

Dr. Curtius died in 1794 and left his collection of wax models to Marie. Upon marriage to François Tussaud in 1795, the exhibition took on a new name: Madame Tussaud’s. Marie moved to London in 1802 to showcase her collection, eventually settling at a location on Baker Street in 1831.

Madame Tussaud’s wax museum has since become a major tourist attraction in London, with expanding branches in worldwide cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, New York, Hollywood, Orlando, Washington D.C., Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, and more.

Madame Tussauds: New York

There’s something enchanting about visiting a wax museum. I’m not a big “celebrity” guy, but hanging out with movie stars, television personalities, musicians, and pop culture icons – even in situ – is quite fun. The figures are carefully sculpted and painted to appear lifelike, even with real human hair that is continually washed and maintained. As the wax figures are true-to-life size, it’s interesting to see how tall or short certain celebrities are. Some of the wax characters are exact matches, providing an uncanny resemblance to their real life counterparts. Others unfortunately miss the mark; you know who they are supposed to be, but the likeness is just slightly off.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at Madame Tussauds wax museum
Brad and Angelina seem underdressed considering how cold it was outside.
Jennifer Lawrence at Madame Tussauds
Just hanging out with Jennifer Lawrence.
Madame Tussauds encourages you to pose and interact with the figures, although they ask visitors not to touch the faces or hair. Many of the figures are displayed next to accompanying props, which are great for photo ops.
ET
Got my Reese’s Pieces in my pocket and I’m phoning home.
Speaking of photography, be aware that the exhibition halls throughout the museum are generally dark with spotlights highlighting the individual characters. Take care to have a steady hand when taking low light images; otherwise your pictures will turn out blurry or grainy. You’re welcome to use a flash, although doing so may override the ambient and mood lighting in the museum.
Madame Tussauds in New York is divided into multiple sections, each with its unique themes.

Opening Night Party

Madame Tussauds in New York is divided into multiple sections. The Opening Night Party features celebrities in formal wear, as if they were arriving for a major event.

Daniel Craig at Madame Tussauds wax museum
Bond. James Bond.

Film

Film highlights celebrities in their on-screen roles, complete with costumes, props, and sets.

Whoopie Goldberg at Madame Tussauds wax museum
Sister Act

Television

Television showcases famous TV celebrities, both current and from the past.

Oprah Winfrey at Madame Tussauds wax museum
Oprah Winfrey. Unfortunately she didn’t give us any of her favorite things.

The Gallery

The Gallery features influential world leaders, including a number of famous US presidents.

Richard Nixon at Madame Tussauds wax museum
Not a crook!
Madame Tussauds wax museum
POTUS

Spirit of New York

The Spirit of New York contains famous icons from around the city, as well as iconic moments that are associated with the spirit of the Big Apple.

Woody Allen at Madame Tussauds wax museum
Selfies with Woody Allen.

Bueller? Bueller?

Matthew Broderick and I like to hang out on Broadway. That’s how we roll.

Pop Culture

Pop Culture showcases famous music and television icons, both past and present.

Daniel Craig at Madame Tussauds wax museum
Mr. New York

Marvel Super Heroes

A Marvel Super Heroes area features super heroes (mostly the Avengers) and has a 4D theater experience (included in the price of a ticket), which is good for a short 15-minute break to rest your feet.

Daniel Craig at Madame Tussauds wax museum
Hulk…smash!

Sports Zone

Sports Zone includes famous athletes.

Mohammad Ali at Madame Tussauds wax museum
Floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee.

Music Zone

Music Zone highlights music talent.

Spice Girls at Madame Tussauds wax museum
Spicy!

Visiting Madame Tussauds

There are several locations throughout Madame Tussauds where photographers are stationed to take your photo with certain characters, which you can later view and purchase in the gift shop for a fee. A wax hand station gives you the opportunity to create wax versions of your hand(s). A cafe is located midway through the museum in case you get hungry.

  Hours of operation: Open 365 days a year. Hours vary so check the time tables online.
  Cost: $37 per adult; $30.00 per child. Children under age 3 are free. You can save up to 30% by purchasing tickets online (around $30 per adult, $24 per child).
  Location: 234 West 42nd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues), Times Square, New York, NY 10036
  Subway ($2.50): 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, W, S (at 42nd Street-Times Square); A, C, E (at 42nd Street & 8th Ave); B, D, F, V (at 42nd Street & 6th Ave)
  Phone: (212) 512-9600

Madame Tussauds

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