9 Can’t-Miss Moments at Madame Tussauds

BY: Andy Seifert |Mar 5, 2019

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When wax sculptor Marie Tussaud created the first of her now-legendary Madame Tussauds attractions in 1835, it’s unlikely she envisioned pioneering photographers would be hauling in their primitive boxy cameras to take “sweet selfies” with Voltaire and the other figures inside.

But, as technology has evolved, so has Madame Tussauds. Now on a daily basis, people post selfies taken at Madame Tussauds from around the world. But while posing with your favorite celebrity is a fan-favorite activity, these attractions offer many more ways to “feel the fame.” To learn the top Madame Tussauds moments you have to experience, we talked to Helen Larimore, marketing manager at the Hollywood branch, who recommended the following:



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1. Spook Yourself at “Illusions of Horror”

Whether you’re a fan of old-school horror or the newer psychological thrillers, the “Illusions of Horror” exhibit at Madame Tussaud Hollywood offers the chance to step into scenes from some of your favorite scary films.

“This was also my baby because I am a big horror fan,” says Larimore, who helped design the exhibits. Borrowing wax figures from other locations, “Illusions of Horror” brings together Bela Lugosi as Dracula, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster, the Mummy (whose coffin you can get into), and more. Joining these classic horror film legends are scenes from The Shining, and one particularly spine-chilling moment from IT.

We have this area where all it is is a sea of red balloons, and you go in wearing a yellow raincoat,” Larimore says. ““That right now is probably the most-popular (thing on Instagram).”

Available at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood.


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2. Swing with Spider-Man at Marvel Super Heroes 4D

Do you or your kids enjoy movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Not only can you pose with the characters from those movies at Madame Tussauds (just don’t make Hulk mad), you can go on a superhero adventure with them during Marvel Super Heroes 4D, which is included with your ticket.

“It’s a nice treat, the last thing they do before they leave,” Larimore says. “And it’s 4D, so you put on the 3D glasses, and then it feels like you’re (getting splashed with) water, and there’s smoke, and it’s really cool.”

If you’re more on Team DC’s side, head to the Orlando location, where they’ve just unveiled Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Compare beards with the King of the Sea and help lift a helicopter with Superman, then check out their 4D show, Justice League: A Call for Heroes.

Available at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and New York. (Justice League 4D is available in Orlando.)


3. Take Home a Wax Version of Your Hands

For many, a visit to an attraction ends with a stop in the gift shop to look for a memento. You can do that at Madame Tussauds, too, but it offers a souvenir that’s a little different: it’s a piece of yourself. Specifically, a wax version of your hands.

“It takes like 10 minutes and you’re literally dipping your hand in hot wax,” Larimore says. “They have this whole process where you cover your hands in ice, and then you dip it in actual hot wax and when they come out you can do your hand in any gesture you want to–except for naughty ones–and you can get them in any color you want.”

Available at all Madame Tussauds.


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4. Spot a Celebrity Searching for Their Wax Self

If you see a celebrity at Madame Tussauds, it’s probably a wax figure. But you might want to double check, because cameos from a real, live, breathing celebrity (often to see the wax version of themselves) is a common occurrence. And most of the time, it’s a surprise.

“9 out of 10 times it’s unexpected. Like, they just come!” Larimore says. “The other day Drew Carey was here. He wanted to come for his birthday, and it was one of those things where we didn’t even know he was here, and then we saw him post on social media, and we were like, “wait, Drew Carey was here? Nobody saw him?” Stuff like that happens all the time.”

He’s not alone. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr. were spotted at the Hollywood branch over winter break. Michael Lohan (Lindsay’s dad) wanted to see his daughter’s figure in New York.  And sometimes, they do coordinate with Madame Tussauds, especially during unveilings (which is how Steve Aoki ended up eating cake off of a wax version of himself, pictured above).


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5. Attend a Special Event: Daybreakers, Comedy Night & More

Your experience at Madame Tussauds doesn’t have to be confined to what you might see on a normal day. Locations throughout the country have hosted numerous special events, from stand-up comedy nights, to a “Strut Your Mutt” dog-fashion show, to a Royal Wedding viewing party (pictured above). They’ve also hosted a group called Daybreaker, which organizes early-morning yoga and dance parties.  

“They fit 400 people in here and started at 5 a.m.,” Larimore says. “And they first did yoga for like an hour and then it was a full-on rave. Like DJs and live music. Our building was shaking. Then they all left at 8 a.m. to get to work by 9 a.m.”

Check your local Madame Tussauds for upcoming special events.


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6. Time Travel With Your Friends in the Virtual Room

Not all attractions at Madam Tussauds are made of wax. Some exist in a digital world, like the Virtual Room attraction in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. But it’s not like any run-of-the-mill VR experience–this is one of the world’s only collaborative virtual-reality games.

“It’s basically an escape room but in virtual reality and it’s time-travel themed,” Larimore says. “So you and up to 4 people, you’re on a time-travel mission in a limited time. And you work together, so you’re throwing things to each other, it’s highly interactive.”

Available at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood, Las Vegas, San Francisco.


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7. Act Like a Kid in the Ball Pit

“Here in Hollywood, we introduced a ball pit for the holidays,” Larimore says. “It was like our version of having snow in Los Angeles. ... It was right in this beautiful window area that looks right onto Hollywood Boulevard. So if you were walking down the Boulevard, you would look up and see a ton of people in a ball pit swimming against the window.”

And yes, adults can play, too! With winter coming to a close, the ball pit will no longer be snow-themed. It’ll be transformed to a colorful, Lisa Frank-esque neon ball pit to promote the newest exhibit. (Read on to learn about this new exhibit...)

Available at Madame Tussauds Hollywood.


8. Hang Out with Britney at Relive the 90s (Coming Soon)

Remember the 90s? Larimore does, and she’s determined to recreate her high-school bedroom from 1999 as part of Madame Tussauds’ upcoming “Relive the 90s” room.

“This has been a perfect project for me,” she says. “I’ve been personally shopping for all those fun items, like Furbys and CD towers. I’m going to get super detailed, so you feel like you’re completely transformed.”

Expect to see iconic 90s figures like Tupac, Whoopi Goldberg from Sister Act, Selena, the Terminator, and much more. Plus, Larimore plans on using their Britney Spears figure to remake the music video for the mega-hit “(You Drive Me) Crazy.”

Coming to Madame Tussauds in Hollywood & Las Vegas.


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9. Find Your Personal Best. Selfie. Ever.

“If you think about it, Madame Tussauds kind of started the selfie,” Larimore says. “because this is a place that’s been around forever, for over 200 years. Even before cell phones, when people had their cameras, they were looking for ways to get a photo of themselves without being able to see it.”

From a social-media perspective, Madame Tussauds is the ultimate destination. Because it’s not a place where everyone takes the same selfie—its hundreds of different selfies with all sorts of different options. Your selfie can be different from anyone else’s.

That said, there are some popular patterns. We asked Larimore which wax figures were most popular: “It seems like it’s the heartthrobs, you know what I mean? So, a lot of women love taking selfies with Brad Pitt; a lot of guys take selfies with Rihanna or Taylor Swift. The girls go crazy for Justin TImberlake.”

Your options are endless: from Kylie Jenner to Elvis Presley to Jackie Chan, Beyonce, Marilyn Monroe, and even King Kong. Get your camera ready and practice your pose.



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