Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bucket List NYC: Madame Tussaud's

As I mentioned before, the wind has changed and, like Mary Poppins, it will soon be time for me to move on. In the meantime, however, my husband Tom and I have been trying to do a lot of the New York things that we have neglected while we still have the ability to do them somewhat easily. I called it our Bucket List NYC, and the initiative has been quite successful thus far, so I thought that it would be fun to share some of the Disney-adjacent escapades with all of you. A while back we visited the site of the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair in Queens and it turned what was a burgeoning interest regarding the Fair into a full-blown obsession for me. We also went to the Museum of the Moving Image, which was having an exhibit in honor of Jim Henson. It is always surprising to me how much Disney is everywhere if you just root around a bit for it.
A shot of the museum from the roof of the
AMC movie theater next door. We took
this when we were seeing The Help.

Another jaunt that Tom and I have been wanting to go on for quite a while is to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in Times Square on 42nd Street. It's so, so, so touristy and expensive, but early in our courtship we had gone next door to the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum and unexpectedly had a blast, so it made sense for us to give Madame Tussaud's a whirl. I had been there once before years ago with my sister, but this was Tom's first time and we went with our lovely and hilarious friend, Jackie. (This is why none of the pictures have my adorable husband's mug in them. He was too busy shutterbugging for me. Sorry, hon. We still know how pretty you are.)

The Queen holding court.

The museum is actually a lot of fun. It is mostly divided into somewhat themed areas. You begin in a room with more current celebrities, such as Julia Roberts and Tyra Banks, silently posed as if they were at the most awkward Golden Globes after party ever. My favorite figure is in this room, however. It's RuPaul holding court above everyone else, looking statuesque and stunning atop a fountain in the center of the room. Right where she belongs. There are areas devoted to places (NYC), time periods, (fifties, sixties, etc.), and types of celebrities (musicians, movie stars, historical figures and politicians, etc.) with additional figures shoehorned in between. There is also an area that allegedly had all of the spooky stuff in it, but Tom and Jackie both refused to go in there with me for fear that someone would jump out and cause them to soil their pantaloons and I sure as shootin' wasn't about to go in there alone. So we walked on by.

We went in about an hour and a half before closing on a weeknight, which assured us of avoiding the crowds, and we had our run of the place while we were inside. We didn't have to queue up or linger waiting for others to finish up with the figures and had seen everything in a little over an hour (including a completely pointless, 15 minute long, 4D screening of an abridged Happy Feet where they blew cold air on you and which we should have just skipped). Though it's not something I would want to do on a regular basis, for a pop culture junkie like me it was definitely worth visiting one more time before heading out of the city. The wax figures, on the whole, were very convincing, well-done and presented in a fun (if not immersive) atmosphere. I love that you can touch and interact with them, leading, as you will soon see, to some very goofy photo ops if you are half the dork that I am (and I trust that you are, faithful readers, which is why we get along so swimmingly, eh?). Here are some of our exploits that evening with fake folks of the Disney persuasion.

Listen. You weigh a lot more than you did in your
MMC days, Brit Brit. Sorry bout it.

Pssst. Oprah. Tiana is totes my favorite princess.
So can we be besties now?

Thankfully she didn't morph into the Queen Narissa dragon.

So if Jackie is Kathy Najimy and I'm Sarah Jessica Parker,
then I guess that means Bette is Bette Midler, huh?
Amok, amok, amok!

You're totally right, Miley. It is the climb!

Mufasa. Mufasa, Mufasa, Mufasa.
Hrm. Not the reaction I expected.

Sorry, Captain Jack Sparrow. I still haven't
watched any of your movies yet, but
I do love the Michael Bolton song about you.

So is Destino about love? Baseball? Love of
baseball? Love of turtles? Explain, please and
thanks, you genius you.

Not quite as impressive when they don't move and talk.
The real question is, "Where is President Jonathan T. President?"

Jackie chooses to ignore Simba as punishment for
Inspector Gadget and gets cozy with Timon instead. 
Naaaaaaahsegwenyababbadiseewannababa! Heyyaheyyaoh!

Mostly I must have been angry about Lestat.
All of his Disney output is pretty righteous.

So did you meet Amy Adams, or did they just throw you
in a studio to record the song, wham bam thank you ma'am?

Good times, y'all! If you're looking for something low key and silly to do in midtown on a trip to New York City, I totes recommend a visit to Madame Tussaud's. It may be on the pricey side, but you'll for sure get some great Facespace profile pics and memories out of the the deal. Usually you can find coupons online that will knock a bit off the price, and if you know when you are going in advance, they often have discounted tickets available on, which is a relatively simple discount ticketing service, but it won't help you if you go on the spur of the moment, like we did. I hope you enjoyed visiting with me! The figures may not be as awesome as audio-animatronics and, as far as an attraction goes, the museum is leagues behind a Disney park, but I take what I can get until my next trip. That reminds me, Tom and I have planned our next trip to Orlando for early March! Big plans afoot! I'll make sure to keep you abreast of the goings on!

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