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A Date with the Stars at Madame Tussauds in London

Madame Tussauds In London

It seems that everything we’ve done since arriving in London has been of some sort of historical or cultural significance. If you’ve been reading here for awhile you’ll know we love that stuff, but sometimes you just need to do something cheeky, something totally mindless and fun, and so we made a date with the stars at Madame Tussauds in London!

Some quick observations before we get started –

1. You have to be made of wax to look healthy under Madame Tussauds lighting. I’m serious. I even made Edward Cullen look tan.

2. As I suspected, Leonardo DiCaprio and I make one heck of a lovely couple. I’ve known this since 1998. I’ll never let go, Jack!

3. I am shorter than every single celebrity at Madame Tussauds, even Tom Cruise.

Madame Tussauds In London

Madame Tussauds Discounted Tickets

We arrived at Madame Tussauds on a Saturday morning right when it opened. There were only a couple dozen other people in line and yet it still took over half an hour to get our tickets because they had one, just one, exceptionally slow guy manning the ticket sales. You can save yourself this time and get a 25% discount if you purchase your tickets online in advance. We couldn’t order online because I was using a discount voucher that got us 50% off each ticket – a huge savings, especially when an adult ticket is £30 and kid’s tickets aren’t much less at £26! (These vouchers can be found quite often on products sold in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s!)

Madame Tussauds In London Madame Tussauds In London

Madame Tussauds In London

Madame Tussauds In London

Current Celebrities

When we finally made it through, we took an elevator up into the dome where we kicked off the party in the appropriately named Party Room. All the big Hollywood names are in here – George Clooney, Brangelina, Johnny Depp, the Twilight guys, and Leonardo DiCaprio among many, many others. (I told you me and Leo make a smashing couple!)

Russell Brand was the most true-to-life figure of all of them. I was so sure it was some sort of Candid Camera-type stunt and he would reach out and grab me if I stood too close to him! There are also a whole slew of Bollywood stars in the Party Room, out of which I recognized a total of zero. (I suppose that one Bollywood movie I saw in India didn’t stick in my memory as much as I thought it would.)

Madame Tussauds In London Madame Tussauds In London

Madame Tussauds In London

Classic Film Characters

Our next stop on the Madame Tussauds tour took us to the Classic Film Characters Room. We saw Marilyn, Audrey Hepburn, John Wayne, and lovable kids characters (or downright frightening, depending on how you look at it) like E.T. and Shrek.

On a semi-related note, Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes was in this area – did you know he’s only an inch taller than Tom Cruise? I’d sort of assumed Iron Man would have been a taller dude.

Madame Tussauds In London

Madame Tussauds In London

Madame Tussauds In London

Madame Tussauds In London Madame Tussauds In London

Madame Tussauds In London

Icons: Past and Present

Sports stars, cultural icons, music megastars, world leaders, and the royal family are all hanging out together in a third room following the film characters. I only recognized about 1% of the sports stars. That’s Cory’s thing, not mine. (Anybody know who the British athlete is in my photo? She’s rockin’ my dream body!)

The cultural icons, political leaders and the royal family were a trip to take photos with, but we had the most fun with the music megastars. All my favorites were there – The Beatles, Elvis, Bob Marley, Madonna, even Britney! (If CD’s could wear out, my copy of Baby One More Time would have completely disintegrated before I even made it out of eighth grade.)

Madame Tussauds In London

Chamber of Horrors

We knew we were over halfway through the museum when we entered the Chamber of Horrors. This part wasn’t so much scary as it was kind of gross. The actual guillotine blade that beheaded Marie Antoinette is displayed here. (At least that’s the claim they make, anyway.) After having a run, literally, through the haunted house, I was glad we were close to done. I don’t do haunted houses. I felt kind of bad for using Lexie as a human shield. My survival instincts must outweigh my instinct to protect my young.

Our last stop before hitching a ride on the Spirit of London was a small exhibition taking visitors behind-the-scenes at Madame Tussauds. Here the museum shares the four-month-long process by which they take the molds of each celebrity and then turn them into the wax figures displayed in the show rooms. Each completed figure gets regular shampoos and makeup retouching, plus a daily primping before the museum opens. So whoever has that job is sort of like a mortician for wax people. Creepy.

We also learned all about Madame Tussaud herself – until our visit I hadn’t even realized she was a real person. She learned her trade in wax modeling from the man who owned the house where her mother was a housekeeper. She became very skilled in the art and was commissioned by famous people and royalty in the late 1700’s to make their figures. She’s most famous for the death masks she made from the severed heads of those executed during the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette included. After exhibiting her work in a traveling show for 30 years, she decided to turn her collection of prominent figures into a museum. Today, you aren’t a big celebrity until you’ve been made out of wax at Madame Tussauds!

Madame Tussauds In London

Marvel Superheroes

Just as I thought we’d be leaving the museum after riding the Spirit of London through London’s history, we stopped for one last photo-op with the Marvel Superheroes. A gigantic Hulk dominates the area with Spiderman, Wolverine, and Captain America hanging out in the wings. If you stick around for the show to start, you can enter a theater and watch a short, 4D movie featuring all the superheroes. It was less than ten minutes long, but worth watching if you’ve got the time.

After the movie, our morning at Madame Tussauds was complete. Not including our time waiting in line for tickets, we spent about two hours in the museum. This wasn’t our typical way of spending a Saturday in London, but I loved the opportunity to just be silly and let loose a little. (It’s hard to do that at most of the other places we visit in London.) And another bonus – this is one place where you don’t have to be one bit embarrassed to take goofy selfies because everyone is doing it. Awesome!

Madame Tussauds: Website
Address: Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LR

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Madame Tussauds In London

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  • susannem
    March 15, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    This pictures are so fun!!

  • Ashlee - I'll Love You Forever
    March 1, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    oh my, so much fun!! great pictures!

  • Ashley | Domestic Fashionista
    March 1, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    How fun! I have always wanted to go to a wax museum. It is amazing how life like they all are. And I’ll admit…I do love Leo…but I also love to see me some twi-hard!

  • Emmymom
    February 27, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    They do look so real! I knew Tom Cruise was really short but didn’t know that Iron Man was. And see even on your just “fun silly” day you still taught us things as I didn’t know that about Madame Tussaud.

  • Irene @ Away from Tenerife
    February 27, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Very cool photos, Sarah! It seems such a cool outing. I have always wanted to go to a Madame Tussaud’s museum but prices have always put me off. Now I know why they’re so pricey – all those wax stars are apparently high-maintenance with their daily make-up and hair sessions :)

    I think the athlete is Jessica Ennis, though probably someone has already told you :)

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 28, 2014 at 8:49 AM

      Haha! Yes, maybe that’s it! ;o) The admission fees were a bit steep for me, too. We wouldn’t have gone if we didn’t have them half price. If you had a big family, you’d spend a fortune to do this!

  • Mrs. Match
    February 26, 2014 at 5:50 AM

    Wax figures are so crazy aren’t they? I’m amazed by how realistic they can look. There’s one in SF that also has a horrors section, and I’m like you. I do not do haunted anything. I freak out, and then I have nightmares for days. I’m such a chicken!

  • Caroline
    February 25, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Yeeeeah, love Madame Tussauds! I haven’t been for quite a long time but it’s always a good day out. Some of the waxworks are better than others though…..Kate Winslet, thumbs up. Leo, thumbs down! He’s much better in real life ;)

    Caroline x

  • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe
    February 25, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    I’ve never been one that had any interest in going to this museum, but I love how you were able to stand next to “the stars” and take fun shots! =)

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 25, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      If the discount voucher hadn’t found it’s way to me, we wouldn’t have gone either. But now that we have, I’m really glad we did. It really was a blast just being silly for a few hours!

  • Alyx
    February 25, 2014 at 4:36 AM

    HA! Love the hitler picture. I’ve always wanted to go to Madame Tussaud!!

  • Sammy @ Days Like This
    February 24, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    I have been to the one in Hong Kong and it was fun! My work Christmas party was here last year. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go but everyone had a great time. Can’t believe Robert Downy Jr is only an inch taller than Tom! I thought he was 7 foot!

  • Natalie
    February 24, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Wow for real these look sooo real! I’m so glad you guys are doing so many things while you live overseas! Memories of a lifetime!

  • rorybore
    February 24, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    wow!! they look so real! I think Nicole Kidman and the Jacob guy from Twilight look the most real. I honestly thought he was just standing there in the photo. Amazing — they must keep the place at a certain temperature? Or it’s a special kind of wax?
    Don’t know if someone already answered, but the athlete with the killer abs looks like Jessica Ennis. She did pentathlon (I know because that was my event too, once upon a time) and other multiple events.

  • topchelseagirl
    February 24, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Jessica Ennis – she won the Heptathlon at London 2012 Olympics.
    You can have Leo, but step away from Johnny – he’s mine!

  • Jo
    February 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    I’m dying to take my kids. I’ve been to the one in Amsterdam and we enjoyed it (the mr & I … before the kids came along). Oh and that is Jessica Ennis: she won the gold medal in 2012 for the hepathalon

  • Stacie Stamper
    February 24, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    That looks so cool…and you said cheeky, how very British of you!

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 25, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      Ha! I have adopted a few English words and phrases. :)

  • Katrin
    February 24, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    Love this. I went to Madame Tussaud’s in Amsterdam and it was so much fun. I think I got too many pictures of Robbie Williams and me though. :) Love all your pictures, especially E.T. :) And you and Leo make a great couple! I am surprised they have Hitler there!

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 25, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      I was surprised to see Hitler, too! Although, I suppose he does still count as a world leader, albeit an evil one. When I was looking something up for this article, I read a story about a man beheading the Hitler figure at the Berlin Madame Tussauds: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/2252083/Waxwork-Adolf-Hitler-beheaded-in-Berlin.html

      • Katrin
        February 25, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        Haha, I did not even hear about this. I guess they pretty much had to expect something like that to happen. I mean, most Germans hate Hitler and I guess they don’t want to see a wax figure of him. I understand the controversy. It’s a part of history but Germans don’t really want to see his face and be reminded of him I guess.

  • Julie
    February 24, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    If you like to read/enjoy historical fiction, I’d recommend Michelle Moran’s “Madam Tussaud.” It’s about her before and then during the Revolution. Worthy read.

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 25, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      I will definitely check that out! Her life story is so fascinating!

  • Keith Wynn
    February 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Oh my goodness this looks so fun. I can’t believe how incredibly and vividly real they all look – especially Nicole Kidman!!

  • Jenn
    February 24, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    I’ve always wanted to go to the one in NYC it just never worked out – it’s crazy how realistic they look!! Also, I had no clue Madame Tussaud was a real person! That’s kinda cool.

  • emi
    February 24, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    haha this is great! love the one snuggling up to leo :) xo

  • Dannielle @ Chicadeedee
    February 24, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    I’ve been to the NYC one but in 2003 (holy cow) and really want to go to the London one to see how far they’ve come in making the figures. They look even more lifelike than I remember! I love the Audrey one.

  • Amy | Club Narwhal
    February 24, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    This. Is. AMAZING! I’ve always heard about how cool Madame Tussauds is but seeing the figures in your photos really gets the point across–they’re almost creepily life like! What a fun adventure :)