As I type this post I am sitting in the car with the Beans all buzzing, talking about who was their favourite waxwork model at Madame Tussauds. We are on our way home from a fun afternoon spent at the world famous museum in London.
Madame Tussauds isn’t an attraction I have ever really thought about visiting before and certainly not with the Beans but we were given the tickets by Windows Phone so that we could try out the Virtual Personal Assistant that is Cortana for a little ‘pub quiz style’ fun. Equipped with a Nokia Lumia 735 our journey amongst the waxwork stars began.
Perhaps the first thing you will notice about the models, other than how lifelike they really are, is just how tall or short these people are. We have watched them on our screens or have seen them in magazines and newspapers building up our own mental picture and then standing by their replica model you say “really?”.
I always expected Tom Cruise to be short, but he was even shorter than I had imagined, I had Patrick Stewart flagged as being quite tall but he was surprisingly short too. Seeing Brad and Angelina, I was struck by just how slim she is – she has the tiniest frame.
The models are so lifelike and blended in with their surroundings that I even managed to apologise to a couple thinking that I had stood in their way or stood on their toes and then realised that I was saying sorry to a model. It took Little Bean a couple of rooms to warm up to the models as he was a little suspicious of them to begin with but Beanie Boy thought they were brilliant right from the off and Jelly Bean was quick to point out “that one now”, “over there” and “this one Mummy”.
The Beans being so young didn’t know who all of the models were but I was quite surprised by the ones that they did recognise. Little Bean spotted Emma Watson as Hermione even though her model wasn’t staged as Hermione but as Emma herself. Curly said his favourite was Bruce Willis and unsurprisingly Beanie Boy liked the Marvel Heroes (Spiderman in particular). Little Bean liked climbing on the bicycle with ET and she loved the Spirit of London Taxi ride so much she wanted to go back and do it again.
Beanie Boy was a little bit spooked by the plague section on the Spirit of London Tour and despite being a huge Marvel fan he refused to watch the 4D movie and chose to sit on my knee with his eyes covered throughout the entire film. I tried telling him that he would enjoy it but he switched himself off to it all.
Before we went I had read mixed reviews of attending with a young family and thought it would be too busy but we booked our tickets online for 1.45pm and inside looking at our first models by 2pm as the staff are so efficient at processing the crowds through the doors. You need to be patient if you want photographs of you or any part of your group with any of the models and whilst I don’t suggest you stand back and let everyone push in front of you, you need to stand forwards with confidence and try your best to wait your turn.
Tips for an enjoyable trip to Madame Tussauds
- If you have booked tickets, arrive on time and wait until your entrance time.
- Try not to take large bags with you or check them at the cloakroom. Small bags cost £3.
- Many of the waxworks are in low level lighting so if your camera needs a separate flash don’t forget to take it.
- Look all around as the models are dotted about everywhere – sitting on walls, chairs, standing in the middle of a floorspace, coming down from the ceiling. . . everywhere!
- Be patient – if you want to take photographs you will need to wait your turn but also be confident in moving forward for your photograph as there will be lots of people keen to jump in.
- Make sure you see all that you want to within each room as you can’t easily go back if you missed anything.
We listened to the history of Madame Tussauds and how the museum came to be which I had never really considered before. I didn’t realise that Madame Tussaud had been a real person. I asked how it was that we were allowed to touch the waxwork models without causing them damage with the grease from our hands and was astounded to hear that makeup artists will visit the models 3-4 times a day to retouch their make-up and again after the museum has closed. That’s some upkeep!
Getting to the Museum was really easy. We drove to London and parked in a car park we have used for years and was just a 15 minute walk to Madame Tussauds and has a lovely little park next door so we were able to enjoy a picnic with the Beans before the museum and a play in the park afterwards.
We had a truly lovely family day out and will be telling you more about the Nokia Lumia 735 and Cortana very soon.
DISCLAIMER: We were given free tickets for our day out at Madame Tussauds for the purpose of trying out Cortana. All words, images and opinions are my own and may not be copied without my permission.