Madame Tussauds is a celebration of celebrity in all its waxen glory. More than 200 famous people – Oscar winners, sports champions, newsmakers, pop goddesses, historical figures – smile widely and willingly pose for photographs. Where else will you see Jimi, Janis and Jagger all together, or the Dalai Lama, the Pope and Gandhi stand side-by-side? It’s a trip through time and a surprisingly educational tour of American popular culture, with some amusement park-style extras thrown in for maximum fun. Most importantly, a visit to Madame Tussauds is all about the photo op; make sure the battery is charged and the memory card cleared.
An elevator whisks you to the top of the five-floor attraction, and guests enter into a grand space that looks like a fancy hotel lobby. This is the Opening Night Party, hosted by a resplendent RuPaul and attended by the kinds of A-list movie stars where single names suffice: Brad and Angelina, Denzel, Leo. The figures, dressed to the nines, are uncannily realistic (why yes, George Clooney is staring at you), even though in real life, everyone might look a few years older or heavier as Madame Tussauds truly captures a moment in time.
Winding through the halls, you’ll encounter music greats and titans of industry, television personalities and presidents; each figure has its own plaque in case you don’t recognize who it is right away. One column-lined room is called the Gallery of the Greats, filled with innovative thinkers, activists and political leaders. Walk a little farther ahead and the Spirit of New York exhibit showcases famous New Yorkers and commemorates important moments in the city’s history. The next section is a chronological tour through the last century, where Charlie Chaplin vamps alongside Babe Ruth, Elvis and Lucille Ball share a stage, and Andy Warhol, Diana Ross, Bob Marley, Bill Gates, Jon Bon Jovi and Biggie all represent their respective eras.
For the 2014 holiday season, Madame Tussauds is welcoming back One Direction. Cozy up to the boy band as they sit in a wintry wonderland. But don't wait, the limited time appearance ends in mid-January 2015.
Did you know?
The wax figures for all of the 14 Madame Tussauds attractions worldwide are cast and crafted in London, though the New York location has an onsite studio for touchups, costume changes and minor repairs. Some stars are so famous that Madame Tussauds includes them twice! Keep an eye out for double versions of Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna and Justin Timberlake.
Madame Tussauds Hours and Location Information