Updated: May 21, 2015
Visting the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in New York CityReview of our visit to the Tussaud Wax Museum in New York:
The Madame Tussauds Wax Museums are world famous. They have 9 locations around the world - Amsterdam, Berlin, Hollywood, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Shanghai, and New York. Madame Tussauds learned her craft in Paris in the late 1700s - even in those days, people would pay to see wax models of the royal family up close since they might never see them in real life. She even made death masks of guillotine victims during the French Revolution. After moving to England, Tussauds first had a traveling road show before creating a permanent museum location in London. Now, 200+ years later, the curious still pay to walk through the wax museum halls to see and pose with the macabre, the famous, presidents and kings. We recently visited the New York Tussauds Wax Museum - below is our report on what it is, what to expect, information on discount tickets to the Wax Museum, hours, photos, etc -- we hope this will give you the information you need to plan and enjoy your own visit!
Tussaud Wax Museum New York Location - Wax Museum HoursFirst off, where is the Tussaud Wax Museum in New York? It's easy to find, just a stones throw away from Times Square. Most people come into Times Square from the north, walking down Broadway past 45th Street, 44th Street, etc. Keep walking until you get to 42nd Street and cross to the south side of 42nd Street -- it's right there between 7th and 8th Avenues on 42nd. You'll see large hand on top of a building with a large sign hanging below it that says "Madame Tussauds" -- it's hard to miss. Seems like a big building, but the exhibits really are strewn across 5 floors of museum space. You enter and buy tickets at the front of the building. When is the New York Wax Museum open? They are open every day of the year, from 10AM to 10PM (last ticket sold at 10PM, but you can go near closing time and still take your time seeing the exhibits -- kind of a fun thing to do late night with kids). How much do tickets for Madame Tussaud Wax Museum cost? Tickets are $35 for adults (12 and above), $28 for children (kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult), available at the ticket window. You can buy them online at MadameTussauds.com for a 20% discount -- we'll talk a little more about discount tickets and coupons below. Online tickets are valid for any date within one year of purchase, so your plans can remain flexible.
We went on a Thursday night about 8:30PM -- there were no lines, no waiting, just walk right in (on holidays and some busy summer days, the wait to get in can be up to an hour). After buying your ticket, you'll ascend a walkway to the 2nd floor -- a huge Hulk figure guarded the entrance when we were there (see photo at top of page). This ranked among the highlights of my visit, and I wasn't even officially in the museum exhibits yet -- very cool. One thing you'll find that sets this museum apart from others is that you are allowed to interact with the exhibits -- take all the photos you want, pose with figures, touch them (carefully), touch their hair, etc. That's really what makes Tussauds fun - pretending like you are hobnobbing with the rich and famous while your family and friends laugh and take funny pictures. So stop, play, enjoy -- don't just rush through the halls. We have heard some people say, "It only took me 30 minutes to see everything, what a rip-off." Sure, you could run through the 5 floors that quickly, but why? You should plan on spending 60-90 minutes there for a relaxed visit.
Anyways, onwards and upwards. After the Hulk you veer to your right and follow the signs for the elevator that will take you to the top floor (you then work your way back down). When the elevator opens, you walk into the Opening Night Party plaza (photo above). A-List stars surround a central fountain -- Hugh Hefner was there, Julia Roberts, Oprah, Brangelina, Woody Allen. Make your way around the room. Some of these figures look VERY real, some look so-so. Brad Pitt didn't look that great, Oprah could have passed for the real woman. Another fun thing here is that the celebrity wax figures are built life-size. How tall is Carrie Underwood? You'll find out. How about Beyonce? Walk up to her, put your arm around her and find out!
The entire museum experience is self-guided -- you just meander at your own pace from floor to floor. Check out the VIP nightclub, where we saw the Jonas Brothers, Jessica Simpson, George Clooney, and Miley Cyrus to name a few. You'll pass through rooms of athletes, musicians, world leaders (who else has a picture of them and the Pope on the family bookshelf?) and famous historical figures (yes, I am taller than Napoleon but shorter than Obama). One section, Scream, is a little scarier, with famous killers and figures from horror movies (and maybe a few "real" creatures to add to the scares) -- we had an 8 year old with us so skipped this section, but we could hear laughs and screams emanating from within...They are also pushing something called Cinema 4-D, featuring a 3-D movie (complete with the 3-D glasses) and additional special effects, like fog and splashes and scents inside the theater. If you've been to Disneyworld and seen things like the Bugs Life 3-D show, you know what to expect. It was entertaining, but nothing worth visiting by itself.
One thing to keep in mind is that the figures on display change from time to time. So something that you heard was there before (like Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lopez, Obama...) might not be there when you visit. So you have to kind of take what you get, but the variety and selection of celebs should be enough to keep just about anyone happy, from children to seniors. Overall, we rate this museum an 8 out of 10. We really enjoyed our visit, going into it without knowing what to expect. It's great for the whole family, especially fun to visit at night in Times Square, makes for a lot of terrific photo ops. Yes, it is a little expensive -- that's about our only complaint.
Tussaud Wax Museum Discount Tickets - Coupons to Save Money on Wax Museum TicketsAs we mentioned above, tickets to the Tussauds Wax Museum are not cheap. If you have a family or large group, it can add up pretty quick. True, everything in New York is pretty expensive, so $30 or so a ticket is not all that outrageous (property lining Times Square isn't getting any cheaper..). However, we're not against saving a few bucks when we can. There are a few ways you can get discount tickets to the New York Wax Museum. One popular choice is to purchase a New York Pass card (NewYorkPass.com). You can check out the details at their site, but basically you pay a flat fee for this pass and then get free admission to more than 50 locations in New York, including Madame Tussauds, MoMA, NBC Tour, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, Bronx Zoo, Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, Tour at Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall Tour, etc. A 2-day adult pass is about $100, while a child pass for 2 days is around $75. If you plan on visiting a few locations they cover, you could save quite a bit of money with it.
As mentioned above, you can also get 20% off the ticket price when you buy it direct from the Tussauds website in advance. You can also check out BroadwayBox.com - they offer Wax Museum discount coupons for $6 off per ticket.