A branch of Madame Tussauds opened in Bangkok recently, in the center of the city. They’ve pushed it fairly heavily, but the wife and I cannot understand what the fuss is about. The tickets are 800 baht (US$26) apiece, and that seems steep just to look at a bunch of mannequins. From the photos they’ve been showing in the press, many of them don’t even look lifelike, nor does the one of the Korean actor they’ve put out in front to help entice people in.
Is there some aspect we’re missing? We know this is a popular global chain, but what’s really to see? Has anyone been to a Madame Tussauds anywhere in the world and felt it worthwhile? We’d like to know what people get out of it.
We have been to the one in Niagara Falls, ON, and I got nothing out of it. (We had purchased a reduced-price package to see three museums on Clifton Hill, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered).
The wax figures (here) were out in the open so you could go right up to them, so I suppose if you wanted to compare your height to your favourite celebrity, or something… You could also pose with them and have your photo taken.
I did find that while I could tell who the celebrity was supposed to be I didn’t find the figures to look much like them, but I suppose that has something to do with the fact that we don’t go around with just one expression on our faces day in and day out…
I have been to the one in NYC a couple of times. It is over priced (but both times I had discounts) but it was a fun diversion. Some of the models are better than others but with friends it can be a lot of laughs taking silly pictures of yourself. There is also (at least in NYC one) a small “horror section” that shows medieval torture type stuff that is also somewhat entertaining.
On a rainy day, you could do worse things I think.
When I was a locksmith we once had to do some work at Madame Tussauds (while it was closed) and being a couple of wise-ass twenty-somethings we of course took the opportunity of being left alone in there to take a bunch of humorous photos of ourselves with the celebrity figures in provocative and compromising positions. As far as I can tell that’s really the only fun to be had there, and of course as a paying guest during operating hours you won’t get the opportunity to do that anyway. So I say don’t waste your time or money.
The title isn’t a scam – Louis was her great-grandson, and opened his own establishment, but you shouldn’t confuse them – Madame Tussaud’s is the one with the worldwide acclaim.
My own experience with Madame Tussaud’s in London (from a great many yeatrs ago):
1.) There are Lots of world leaders that I never heard of. Partly his reflects the interest of the tourists coming there, who want to see their own folks there as well as entertainment figures and historical ones. Partly it reflects the usual American ignorance about the rest of the world. But it’s boring looking at figures of people you never heard of. If nothing else, you don’t even have the minimal joy of seing how good or bad the likeness is, because you don’t know what they look like.
2.) I thought the entertainment figures were pretty good likenesses, and they go out of their way to avoid static dioramas without the kludgy extreme of simply having something rotated by a motor. They do expend some extra effort on these, I think.
3.) Their “Chamber of Horrors” was pretty lame. Louis Tussaud’s museum in Atlantic City had wonderfully gory things like a scalping, someone suspended from a hook through the belly, and people in torture devices, all in appropriately dark halls. Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors was brightly lit and featured tweedy-looking men in handcuffs, the subjects of long-ago causes celebres who had murdered their wives in their beds, or dug up recently-buried bodies and sold them to Medcal Schools. One suspects that perhaps this IS the sort of things the British (and French emigres) find horrible.
I’ve been to the one in London many times, taking tour groups. It was OK, and I’d want an attraction to be more than ‘OK’ if you’re paying a lot of money to get in and there are plenty of other places you can visit. I never recommend it to visitors.
Most of the teenagers I took enjoyed it. There is a lot of technical skill apparent in the waxworks and it was interesting seeing just how minuscule Kylie is. There are lots of good photo opportunities. That’s it.
The Vegas one was the best thing about our trip (including the Grand Canyon.) The GC is just for looking, but Tussads is like an amusement park for adults. Our best vacation pictures came from Tussads. My wife flirted with Bill Clinton, I gave Tiger Woods advice on his shot. Too bad they didn’t have a stepladder, or I would have stuffed Shaq.
I was at the one at NYC and it over priced. They want to sell you a ton of junk. I caved and bought the key chain. :o I noticed they tend to have attractions based on special events. Like when I was there a Superman movie was coming out. So, they had a phonebooth enternace and you got to see Superman memorbilia and figures. Kind of cool.
I don’t know if this is everyone, but the NYC was super crowded and people would push you out of the way and claim they were there first if you tried to take pictures or look at something. :rolleyes:
Oh yeah, the chamber of horrors gave us the best moment of our entire trip. One of the workers was dressed as a zombie and pretending to be a statue. When my wife passed, he moved and invited her into the display. She turned white as a sheet and I guarantee (although she won’t admit it) she peed her pants.
There’s actually been a Louis Tussauds here for several years, over in Pattaya on our Eastern Seaboard. In fact, it had to issue an apology after an uproar was caused, complete with formal complaints by the Israeli and German embassies, for advertising it with a big Hitler billboard that read in Thai: “Hitler is not dead.” See it here. (There are a LOT of Germans in Pattaya, retirees and businessmen alike.)
Wow, even as a fairly well-travelled Londoner, I’d never realised that there was more than one Madame Tussaud’s! :eek:
I never could understand the insanely long queues curling round outside Tussaud’s in London. I’m even more at a loss as to why this is an “attraction” worth exporting.
I feel like I should be apologising to the rest of you on behalf of the British, or something… It’s definitely not worth bothering with, and (at least in London) especially not for the money they charge and the time you’ll have to spend out in the rain waiting to get in.
A friend of mine, many years ago, got a terrific photo at the original Madame Tussaud’s in London. It was him holding a racebook and giving riding instructions to Lester Piggott. Because he is so animated in the photo you don’t notice that Piggott is a waxwork.
Although Madame Tussaud’s has branched out ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_Tussauds ), many of the Tussaud’s wax museums elsewhere are Louis Tussaud’s museums, run by the same folks who run the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museums. See my post #7 above.
I went to the one in London in 2005. It was ridiculously overpriced, had an hour-long line, and was a big disappointment once we were inside. The point is that you take pictures of yourself next to “celebrities”. Oh har har, what a gas, there I am with Sean Connery!
Not so much. I’m a total tourist and love doing all the stuff you’re “supposed” to do when I travel somewhere, but Madame Tussaud’s was a complete bust. I wish I’d done something else with that time and money.
Hmmm. I think we made a good decision not to go take a look. The torture chamber in the one in NYC doesn’t sound half-bad, but I don’t think there’s anything like that in this one. I think we’ll just blow it off completely. Thanks, all!