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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Madame Tussauds, London

Ranked in the top 10 visitor attractions in London, at Madame Tussauds you can come face-to-face with some of the most famous faces from all over the world. Combining glitz and glamour with politics, sports, royalty and some incredible history, Madame Tussauds collection of wax figures represents A-list Party, Bollywood, Films, Sports, Royals, Culture and Music. Apart from the wax figures, Madame Tussauds also has 3 sections called the Spirit of London, Marvel Superheroes 4D and SCREAM!



Before you enjoy the pictures that follow, let me tell you a little about Madame Tussaud. Born as Marie Grosholtz, she was an incredible woman who firmly established herself as a visionary businesswoman at a time when women were expected to stay home and raise the family. Aged just 17, Madame Tussaud sculpted the famous writer and philosopher Voltaire, and followed it with a figure of Benjamin Franklin. After escaping a gruesome execution by guillotine, she had a testing time during the revolution. She left her husband Francois Tussaud in 1802 after 2 years of marriage and moved to Britain where she travelled throughout the country for the next 33 years exhibiting a growing collection of wax figures to admiring crowds. The travelling show then based itself permanently in London in 1835. Since then she worked along with her two sons to make the attraction one of the most visited and leading attractions of London.

Party: The zone featuring the world's most famous stars - past and present. From George Clooney to Colin Firth, and from Kate Winslet to Dame Helen Mirren, you will find them all here.




Bollywood: If you love Hindi movies, then this is your chance to get close to some of the biggest names in Bollywood - Amitabh Bachan, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Hritik Roshan.






Sports: If sports is your forte, then the interactive Sports Zone will pit you against your favourite sporting heroes.






Royals: In this zone you can meet not only the Queen, Charles and Camilla but also many Kings and Queens from the past. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are also featured in this zone.







Culture: This is your chance to meet the intellectual giants and creative geniuses. So, whether it is Shakespeare or Charles Dickens or Einstein, you will find them all here.




Music: For the music lovers, all the megastars from Beatles to MJ, Beiber to Lady Gaga, all are here ready to pose with you.







Some wax figures from the film world for the movie buffs.






The political world is also well represented at Madame Tussauds.







A typical wax figure takes around 4 months to make with a team of 20 skilled artists working on it and costs around £150,000 to make. Over a 2 hour sitting, 500 precise body/facial measurements of the celebrity subject are taken to create the realistic figures that we see. Every morning before the attraction opens to the public, a team at Madame Tussauds inspects and cleans every wax work so that the visitors get to meet their stars looking the very best. All this makes one appreciate the amount of hard work that is put in to create/maintain this attraction. It is no wonder then that since its opening, around 500 million people have visited Madame Tussauds.

You can also get a wax hand cast made. Many people were queuing up for it but again the queues can get very frustrating at times. So, plan ahead in time.

The "Scream" room or the 'Chamber of Horrors' is designed to terrify and works more on those who are nervous/scared of the dark. I had expected it to be more terrifying than it turned out to be. Photography is prohibited in this section and if you have very young children with you, you can skip this zone.

The Spirit of London ride was excellent. You hop in into one of London's famous black cabs and are then taken on a journey through London's past. From the comfort of your taxi, you can appreciate the cultural and historical events that shaped London into what it is today. You will travel through Tudor London and the plague infested streets of the city. You will see Queen Victoria on her throne and the Nelson's column. Passing through years in minutes you finally reach the end of the journey having enjoyed the sights and sounds of London. I wish the ride had been a little longer.





The 4D Marvel experience was great fun. To be honest, this was the best part that I enjoyed. A 360ยบ animated 4D cinema attraction featuring some of the most loved super heroes from Marvel, this short movie will make you feel like a part of the action. If you are a fan of the Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine, or the Iron Man, you will love this 4D experience. This was the highlight of the visit.



Saturdays and Sundays are very busy with lots of tourists and the waiting times can be as long as 1.5-2 hours. So, plan your trip accordingly and if possible visit during the weekdays. Tickets to Madame Tussauds can be purchased on the day and online as well. Buying the tickets online has many advantages:
- Great savings
- Faster entry through the priority access entrance.

Madame Tussauds has several entrances.
Door 1: is the general admissions queue if you haven't purchased a ticket and need to buy one.
Doors 2,3,4: These are the Priority Access entrances if you have pre-paid or pre-booked tickets. If you wish to purchase or have a Merlin Annual Pass, then head to one of these entrances.
Door 5: is for groups entrances. It is meant for groups of 15+ guests, or 10+ if booked in advance.

Madame Tussauds
Marylebone Road
London
NW1 5LR

For more information on the types of tickets and to book online visit Madame Tussauds website.
http://www.madametussauds.com

Tips:
- Buy your tickets in advance. Make use of 2 for 1 offers, or other discount vouchers.
- Visit on a weekday to avoid the weekend crowd.
- Include some buffer time in your travel plan as chances are you may get delayed due to the long queues.
- Ensure that your camera is fully charged and you have a spare memory card as I am sure you will end up taking loads of photos.

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