The name Madame Tussauds is synonymous the world over for life-life wax figurines depicting some of the planet’s most famous people, and the New York branch of this iconic wax museum brand delivers on that hard-earned reputation. Situated in a prominent Times Square location, here you’ll find wax statues of beloved actresses, singers, world leaders, historical figures, and athletes—just to name a few. And since it’s New York City, this Madame Tussauds also features several Big Apple-specific galleries well worth your time.
History of Madame Tussauds
The woman who was to become “Madame Tussaud” is said to have been born Marie Grosholtz in France during the middle of the eighteenth century. She would get her start crafting statues of notable French elites like Voltaire, before becoming an art tutor to the French Royal Family. In 1795 she married François Tussaud, but only a few years thereafter she moved to London, where she would eventually establish a wax museum on Baker Street in London. Madame Tussaud would die in 1850, but her name—as well as a few of her actual sculptures—would live on.
Today Madame Tussauds is world-renowned for its hands-on exhibits and immersive displays that let visitors feel as though they’re mere inches from some of the planet’s most famous figures. At present, Madame Tussauds has over a half-dozen locations in the United States, and nearly two-dozen attractions worldwide.
What’s at Madame Tussauds New York
If you’ve ever dreamed of getting up close and personal with a famous person, Madame Tussauds is the place for you. Madame Tussauds New York is divided up into what they call “zones” and “experiences.” Current zones include galleries devoted to Marvel Superheroes, the Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. There are also zones that let you imagine sitting inside the White House’s Oval Office, pretend to strut your stuff down a fashion-show runway, and mix it up in the midst of legendary Broadway characters like the Phantom of the Opera.
There are several experiences to be had at Madame Tussauds New York, too. These include such highlights as a Marvel Universe 4D film and the Coney Island Carnival Carnage 7D, multi-sensory, interactive game. You can also purchase a “Photo Pass” that will help you elevate your selfie-snapping game to the next level as you move throughout the attraction.
You won’t find anything in the way of additional amenities at Madame Tussauds, but given its prime spot right in the heart of bustling Times Square, you’ll have no trouble treating yourself to whatever type of food or drink your heart desires. Likewise, world-class shopping abounds in the area, and you’re not far from a number of New York City’s most popular attractions. Other nearby attractions would include Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, and the Rockefeller Center, and many more sites worth exploring are not much farther afield.
Tips for Visiting Madame Tussauds in New York City
- The Statue of Liberty is included on several money saving tourist passes including the New York Pass, NY Explorer Pass and New York CityPASS as well as TurboPass NY
- If you’re planning on combining a visit to Madame Tussauds with a stop at one of New York City’s many other nearby attractions, be advised that the typical guest takes on average anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes to tour the entire site. This can vary from person to person, of course, but it’s a decent estimate to work with as you plan your day.
- No food or drink is permitted within Madame Tussauds New York, so be certain to finish that snack or ditch that coffee before entering its doors.
- Madame Tussauds New York is an entirely “cashless” attraction. This means they only accept credit cards or other “contactless” methods of payment. This might be moot if you’re utilizing some sort of attraction pass to visit, but if not, it’s definitely something to keep in mind.
- The popular Marvel Universe 4D feature (as well as Coney Island Carnival Carnage) is NOT included in standard admission at Madame Tussauds New York. Be advised that if you want to enjoy this experience, you’ll have to pay extra.