When my Dad was 12 he went to London with his family, and one of the places that he ended up visiting was London’s Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. He spoke so fondly of the experience that when we discovered that Tussaud’s had a location in Niagara Falls (named Louis Tussaud’s after the originals son), he insisted that we go while visiting the falls that summer.
I was 13 (I think) at the time of my visit and I LOVED it! It was the highlight of my visit, seeing how I got heat stroke at the actual falls. The Niagara version isn’t particularly large but does contain quite a few musicians, public figures, actors, movie characters and classic TV characters. For me my favorite area was the ‘hall of horror’ a selection of horror movie characters that includes Hannibal Lecter, classic Dracula, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees and ended with a black light section of the classic ‘no TV and no beer makes Homer go crazy’.
When I decided to head to the UK, I knew that the original had to be on my list so I was beyond pleased to discover that Clink78 actually gets discounts for certain attractions around London for the people who stay there. For me the whole trip was actually only 31 pounds rather than the usual 50 that my ‘package’ should have been. Originally I had been set to go by myself but I was pretty pumped to discover that my New Zealand roommate was also going so we headed off together (making photo opportunities much easier).
Upon entrance the first place you get brought by the elevator to is the red carpet where you are greeted by classics Marilyn Munroe, Charlie Chaplin, and Audrey Hepburn. From there you encounter the more ‘modern’ famous celebrities and I couldn’t help but take selfies with Johnny Depp and Patrick Stewart.
When I was there the Chamber of Horrors that has so scared my Dad as a child was not open and has instead been replaced by ‘Alien: Escape’ in dedication to the new film Alien: Resurrection. I clutched the backpack of my Kiwi roommates backpack the entire time to avoid getting lost and from punching anyone (my reaction to being scared). The entire situation is a stimulus overload with screaming staff member staying in full character, flashing lights and. Even though I did really like it – I kind of wish I could have seen the original.
After catching your breath I headed over to see famous movie scenes including Katniss Everdeen, King Kong, E.T and the Terminator. This area was shockingly uncrowded so after snapping our pics we moved along to the less impressive Youtube star section which we pretty much bi-passed.
From there you see Sports, the super busy British Royal section where you can PAY to get a shot with the royals (or have a friend sneak a pic), cultural figures including Van Gogh and Madame Tussaud herself. Moving along you enter the set of ‘The Voice’ and get to witness all of the big names in music including One Direction, Elvis and The Beatles. Next up is political figures and I could not help but snap a sarcastic pic with current angry carrot, Trump.
Next was the less popular ‘How its Done’ section which focuses on how Madame Tussaud’s makes all of their amazing figures (all narrated by Beyonce). This area is pretty neat considering you get to see the OLDEST of the wax models,. After that you hop into a Black Cab and are whisked through a fully automated history lesson of London which covers all of the big historical events from the London Fires to the vibrancy of the 80’s. Getting out of the cabs is a bit of a pain since they NEVER STOP MOVING but hey it keeps you going to your next attraction.
The next section is super popular as it is the MARVEL section! While waiting in line for the Marvel: 4D Experience (included), we took pictures with Spider Man, Captain America and the Hulk. The experience itself is pretty cool with light water sprays, pokes to your back and shaking effects being added to your seats so that you really feel like you are in the, kind of hokey, Marvel movie.
Once you finish up with the movie you head off to the Star Wars section – this I where things kind of lost some luster for me. Since you are headed with ALL of the people who were in the movie with you, you kind of get shoved along – even if the museum is quieter like it was when I visited. That means that I wasn’t able to get a pic with my bae Darth Maul.
I did however grab snaps with Han Solo in the cantina, Chewie in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and some Stormtroopers. The neat thing about this area is that they give you opportunities to get paid photos in movie settings such as with Yoda in the swamps of Dagobah and with Darth Vader. The workers also encourage you to do specific poses such as the Force Choke and feeling the force with Yoda making it a fun section.
Overall I really enjoyed myself! It is definitely way better done than the Niagara Falls one – particularly in the models themselves. In the Canadian one a lot of the figures look very fake and shiny BUT the ones in the London location are super detailed and look much more realistic. Would I go to the Canadian one again after experiencing this one – hell yeah, though I will likely be more critical of the quality of the figures!
Next time on Backpacks and Broomsticks: Top 5 Things to do as a Harry Potter fan in London