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Lessons Learned At Madame Tussauds

April 17, 2011

While living in London, my apartment was just around the corner from Madame Tussauds and I walked by daily on my way to and from school. The huge crowds and long lines always amazed me–who would be willing to shell out at least £25 (at the time, more than $50) to see wax celebrities?

Now I know what those people experienced. Thanks to an incredible Groupon deal, a couple of friends and I explored Madame Tussauds in Washington yesterday for just $6.00 and I finally learned what was behind Madame Tussauds’ velvet ropes.

Wax figures are slightly creepy.

Most of the figures were so lifelike, I half-expected to be watched as I walked from room to room. The Joan Rivers figure was especially creepy, probably because she is so wax-like in real life, too.

London may have Beyonce and New York has Britney but DC has all 50 Presidents. Starting with dear old George Washington, natch.

We’re helping row the boat, in case that’s not obvious. 😉 Getting up close and personal with the wax figures isn’t just allowed–it’s recommended.


If you want a photo with a president, make it an obscure one. Crowds huddled around Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy but Franklin Pierce was free for miles.

19th-century Tim Burton?

Simone made nice with Rutherford B. Hayes, which I only know from scrolling through the online Hall of Presidents gallery. Not only did he have a pretty sweet beard, he also appears to have a lazy eye.

James Madison and a 24-year-old Jewish New Yorker are the same height (5’4″). Apparently his weight never exceeded 100 pounds so that gives our fourth President a BMI of just 17.2!

Since time travel isn’t possible yet, insert yourself into any historical moments you want. For instance, go ahead and add your name to the Declaration of Independence.

Presidential polls at wax museums are not scientific. Samuel L. Jackson is narrowly edging out Barack Obama for the presidency…

… and I may or may not have stuffed the ballot box in Hillary’s favor. 😀

If you were a journalism major, it’s perfectly alright to get excited about seeing Bob Woodward’s wax figure. And if you don’t know who Bob Woodward is, please do a quick Google search and then come back to me.

Same goes for wannabe pianists. Go ahead and play along.

Shoot dagger eyes at anyone who tries to photobomb your photo. No one was invading my Bill & Hilary photo-op.

New Facebook photo? Perhaps.

It’s totally okay to have a wax figure of a former DC mayor (now city councilman) arrested for cocaine while mayor. Kids need role models, right?

Have you been to a Madame Tussauds museum? It’s an interesting concept but when you travel, there are so many unique attractions to visit. For instance, there is so much to see and do in London that I can’t imagine spending limited time or money on a wax museum.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2011 6:12 pm

    I used to drive past the Madame Tussauds in NYC all the time and could not imagine why everyone was lined up to go in. Seemed creepy and expensive. But I have a friend who would love this one for the pure presidental fun.

  2. April 17, 2011 6:19 pm

    I have worked at a Wax Museum for 11 years. Due to this, I go to the Wax Museum every place I visit. I admit, however, that if I hadn’t had this professional experience, I would’ve never been interested in going.

    • April 17, 2011 10:27 pm

      You work/worked at a wax museum?! That must be a pretty interesting job!

  3. April 17, 2011 7:34 pm

    I’ve been to the one in NYC with my mom and it was a pretty fun experience, although definitely pricey. It was fun to do once. Not sure if I’d do it again.

  4. April 17, 2011 8:18 pm

    I haven’t been there, but those pictures are hilarious!

  5. April 17, 2011 8:18 pm

    Haha I love the wax museums- I’ve been in London both times I went- though I wouldn’t go again unless the person i was with wanted to go. I find it fun myself- and I don’t think I’ve been to any other ones other than the one in London and one in Barcelona. Also, it should be said I went to them every time while jet lagged and trying to stay awake- it did the trick!

  6. April 18, 2011 12:02 am

    I would love to go there and see the presidents! I have an obsession with presidential trivia 🙂

  7. April 18, 2011 6:19 am

    I certainly have never been to one, but would definitely hit one up for a deal like that. It’s crazy how life-like they look…and the funny pictures make it totally worth it. 🙂

  8. April 18, 2011 9:06 am

    I went to the one in NYC a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. There were some figures that were so unbelievably life-like – I think Lucille Ball was my favorite, with Bill and Hillary a close second (I definitely took a picture just like the one you did!). I also really loved the Spice Girls. My sister and I took about five photos with them. That’s the next best thing to the real deal, right? 😉 Oh, and Barbara Walters – hers was great, too! She was another of my favorites.

    LOVE that you chose Hillary as President. How cool it must have been to tour the whole presidential exhibit there!

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