Madame Tussauds is a famous tourist attraction located in Central London. It can be found in the former London Planetarium. It is easily reached from Safestay Hostel and you can be there in less than a half hour. You will need to walk to the Underground Station at Elephant and Castle. The station can be reached in 9 minutes. Take the Bakerloo Line towards Queens Park. After 8 stops disembark and you have arrived.
Madame Tussauds has branches in 9 major cities with London being one of the most well known. The museum attraction has recreated in wax some of the most famous people in the world from many different walks of life.
One can see characters from E.T. to Wolverine. There are sports stars, pop stars, Hollywood Stars, Bollywood Stars and of course members of the English Royal Family. Also included are a number of cultural and world leaders including Prime Ministers, American Presidents, and notable figures such as Albert Einstein, Charles Dickens, Pablo Picasso and Madame Tussaud herself.
Opening hours can vary according to season and day of the week as well as special functions. Hours of operation therefore can be as early as 9:00 am to 10:30 am and closing times vary as well. Tickets purchased on line will provide up to a 25% discount. Regular ticket prices are 30 British pounds ($45.67 U.S) for an adult and 25.80 British pounds($39.27 U.S.) for children ages 4-15. A family package for 4 is available for 108 British pounds ($164.40 U.S.). Children under 4 are admitted free. Discounts up to 50% are available for Late Saver Tickets. These are for visitors who come later in the day but are subject to limited availability and must be purchased on line.
Included in your admission price is entry to the Marvel Super Heroes 4D movie experience, Scream and the Spirit of London. The 4D movie includes special effects of water, wind and tremors to make one feel they are part of the action. The story unites a crack team of Super Heroes fighting villains. Scream is within the Chamber of Horrors and features live actors and is somewhat intense.
Both Scream and the Spirit of London which is a journey through the city of London's past take about 5 minutes each. The entire visit usually takes 2 hours to fully experience. Refreshments can be purchased along with novelty items at the end of your tour at Cafe Nero and the Gift Shop.
Millions upon millions of people have visited since the original Tussauds opened. Beginning in France in 1770 it was a traveling exhibition that came to Britain after the French Revolution. A permanent base for the collection was finally created in London in the early 1830's. Madame Tussaud herself learned the art of making wax figures from Dr. Philippe Curtis. At the age of 17 she became a tutor of art for the sister of Louis XVI.
The arrival of the French Revolution forced her to prove her loyalty to the new regime by creating death masks of executed aristocrats. She later received permission from Napoleon Bonaparte to leave France for England. Madame Tussaud would create her own model in 1842. She would die in 1850 but her family would continue which had now become a family business. In 1925 the museum would be severely damaged in a fire.
Although many of the models were destroyed the molds were left untouched so many of them were later remade. Today the attraction is owned by Merlin Entertainments whom also own the London Eye.