Madame Tussauds London in London
Madame Tussauds London is a major tourist attraction located in Central London. It is famous for recreating famous people, or celebrities, in wax. It is the original Madame Tussauds attraction, having been situated on Marylebone Road since 1884. It was set up by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud. It is operated by Merlin Entertainments.
The attraction is on the corner of Allsop Place and Marylebone Road, to the north of Central London. The nearest underground station is Baker Street, which is on the Jubilee, Bakerloo, Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith and City lines. Its distinctive green dome used to house the London Planetarium.
Hours of operation
Off-peak hours are generally 9:30am to 5:30pm. Off-peak periods include weekdays and non-school holidays.
Peak hours are typically 9am to 6pm. Peak periods include weekends, UK school holidays, bank holidays and the whole of the summer period (July through August). During the summer of 2008, the hours of operation were 9am to 7pm.
Occasionally the attraction shuts early if there is a corporate event happening. The museum may close in extreme weather conditions like snow storms or heavy rains.
Zones within the attraction
Formally Blush, this is the first room on the tour. Included in this room is the Big Brother experience, plus figures such as Robert Pattinson, Morgan Freeman, Leo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Miley Cyrus, Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Tara Palmer-Tompkinson. It is designed to make the visitor feel as if they have stepped into a celebrity party, with wax figures dispersed throughout the room.
The Warhol's Women zone contains the figure of Andy Warhol and of the female celebrities he famously portrayed, including Liza Minnelli and Jerry Hall.
Premiere Night (Movie Room)
This zone houses celebrities from Hollywood, including Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Audrey Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lopez, Whoopi Goldberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Marilyn Monroe in the classic pose where her skirt is blown upward. It also houses six Bollywood figures namely Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and several fictional characters, including Shrek and the smallest wax figure ever made, Tinker Bell.
The Sports Zone has several interactive elements. Visitors can step up to the crease with batsman Sachin Tendulkar, putt a golf ball with Tiger Woods, stand on boxing scales next to Mohammed Ali and see what 'weight' they would qualify for in boxing, take a penalty on a virtual reality screen, and test their driving skills alongside Lewis Hamilton.
A Royal Appointment
In the Royals there is an opportunity to stand next to Diana, Princess of Wales, Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
A mixture of cultural icons fill this area, including William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Pablo Picasso and Charles Darwin.
A mixture of music stars from across the decades appear in an area with a music stage complete with glitter balls. Music icons include Britney Spears, Beyonce, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Leona Lewis, Michael Jackson, Kylie Minogue, Amy Winehouse, Gary Barlow, Tom Jones, Bob Marley, Cheryl Cole, Robbie Williams, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Freddie Mercury and Justin Bieber. The Beatles in this area are posed as they appear on the album cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The World Leaders area of the attraction contains political and spiritual leaders of the world, past and present. The new figure of Barack Obama dominates this area; he is standing in a mock-up of the Oval Office which has a replica of the Resolute desk. Other leaders in this area include Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, Nicolas Sarkozy, Ronald Reagan, Tony Blair, Benazir Bhutto, Martin Luther King, Eleftherios Venizelos, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Mohandas Gandhi.
The World Leaders area is also noted for its inclusion of controversial figures, including Adolf Hitler, Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein and Robert Mugabe. Mother Teresa is one of the very few icons to ask not to be made, saying "her work was more important, not the person". Visitors also get the chance to stand next to Prime Minister David Cameron in front of a facade of No.10 Downing Street. At the time of his duties as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown was a notable omission as he had proved to be unpopular, however it is now David Cameron in this room.
Chamber of Horrors and Scream
The Chamber of Horrors showcases serial killers and murders. Included in this area are Guy Fawkes and Dennis Nilsen. This area also exhibits the original guillotine blade that killed Marie Antoinette.
The Scream experience (formally Chamber Live) is a live-action, actor-led scare maze. It is based on the premise that several serial killers have been let loose in the chamber. This attraction - on account of its thrill factor which does not appeal to all visitors - can be avoided by an exit that leads visitors to the next area..
Behind the Scenes and History of Madame Tussauds
This area shows the history of Marie Tussaud, and how she started creating wax figures. It also has an area on how the scupltors make the figures, using Beyoncé as an example.
Spirit of London ride
The Spirit of London is a sit-down ride in which visitors sit in London taxis and are taken on a journey through the history of London. The ride starts in Tudor times and ends in the 1980s, passing through the times of Shakespeare, the Great Fire of London, the Industrial Revolution and the Swinging Sixties. The ride has commentary in a few languages and a photo is taken near the end of the ride which can be purchased when disembarked.
Marvel Super Heroes 4D
Marvel Super Heroes 4D starts off in the Command Centre, where you will see the likes of Wolverine (portrayed by Hugh Jackman), The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and Spiderman, who is on "the roof" of an upside-down room.
Housed inside the old planetarium is the Marvel Superheroes 4D film, a nine-minute movie complete with special effects.
About Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds has branches in 9 major cities (Amsterdam, Bangkok, Berlin, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York, Las Vegas, Hollywood and Washington, D.C.), and Vienna and Blackpool opening Spring 2011.
Madame Tussauds is part of the Merlin Entertainments group, which also owns the London Eye, the Dungeons, Sea Life Centres and Legoland Discovery Centres, as well as theme parks including Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures and Thorpe Park in the UK, and Gardaland in Italy.