Tuesday, December 9, 2014

THE WORLD'S #1 WAX MUSEUM CHAIN
(which isn't a "wax museum" anymore)

The undisputed grand-dame of Wax Museums has got to be Madame Tussaud's. Having a history that spans from the 1780's the museum has morphed itself into an interactive "wax attractions" attempting to shed the perceived negative stigma of being a museum (though I've never personally understood what's wrong with museums, especially seeing as though the Themed Entertainment Association figured an estimated 106,000,000 people visited the world's top 20 "museums" last year alone!)
   With that all said, Madame Tusssauds (they dropped the apostrophe after the acquisition of the museums parent company, The Tussaud Group, by Merlin Entertainments) has now/plans to expand aggressively. This map represents Madame Tussauds current locations (with Orlando, Florida and Chongqing, China presently under construction). The museum chain will continue it's global expansion with no signs of slowing down and already has several possible international locations being considered. But until they're confirmed (or denied) we'll just have to use our imagination of what a Madame Tussauds South Korea, Toronto or Chicago would be like and settle for a visit to the real deal in any of these (almost) 20 world cities!


 Madame Tussauds from around the World
                              (and across time)

1835 - The First Permanent Madame Tussaud's & Son's Exhibition located on the second floor of the                                                               Baker Street Bazaar, London.
                                      

1884 - twenty-four years after the death of the museums founderess, Madame Marie Tussaud, the exhibition moved to the current site on Marylebone Road, London.

1925- A great fire destroys the exhibition. Luckily, many of the priceless molds were stored in the basement of the building and survived.

 1928 - The exhibition reopens in a newly rebuilt building Though it lacks many of the grandiose features of the previous museum it does eventually install a restaurant and cinema. During the Second World War the Cinema was destroyed and was eventually replaced with the London Planetarium.


1970 - The first permanent exhibition of Madame Tussaud wax figures opens on the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

1973 - Madame Tussaud's purchases Wookey Hole and uses the former paper mill as a storeroom for the priceless molds and opens several attractions, including a recreation of what Madame Tussaud's Exhibition looks like as she traveled the English Isles for 33 years! (The attraction would later be closed and the property sold off)

 1978 - Tussaud's purchases Warwick Castle, in Staffordshire, and over time develops several important recreations and exhibitions many of which use Madame Tussaud wax figures.

1982 - Madame Tussaud's Limited creates an original exhibition at the Windsor & EEton Central Railway Station called Royalty & Empire: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (the exhibit would close in the 1990's)

1989 - Rock Circus opens in the heart of London's Piccadilly Circus and features dozens of Rock n' Roll legends recreated in both wax and life-like robots (The attractions would later close)

1991 - Madame Tussaud's Amsterdam moves from it's original location to the heart of the cities famous Dam Square.

1997 - Madame Tussaud's begins an international Touring Exhibition in Melbourne, Australia.

1998 - The Touring Exhibition moves from Melbourne to Sydney, Australia

1999 - Madame Tussaud's makes it US debut in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Venetian Resort & Casino.


1999 - The Tussaud's Traveling Exhibition moves to Singapore.

2000 - Opening in the heart of New York's Times Square, this museum featured 85,000sq ft of interactive wax exhibits.

2000 - After three years of traveling over thousands of miles, the Tussaud's Traveling Exhibition makes Hong Kong's famous Peak Tower it's permanent home.

2002 - After the Tussaud Groups purchase of the Heide Park theme park, in Soltau, Germany, the company sets up a limited-time exhibition called 'Rock & Pop'. The exhibited featured many of the best exhibits from London's closed 'Rock Circus'.

2006 - breaking into the mainland Chinese maker, Madame Tussaud's Shanghai opens on the 10th floor of the New World Department Store.

2007 -  Madame Tussaud's Washington DC opens in the Woodies Building, not far from Ford's Theater.

2008 - Madame Tussauds Berlin opens as Merlin Entertainments (the new owner of the chain) 8th attraction along the cities famed Unter den Linden.

2009 - Housed in a purpose built $55million (US) building located directly next to Hollywood's famous Chinese Theater (with it's 'hand print' display) this attraction featured the creme-de-la-creme of cinemas past and present stars.

2010 - With a December 4th opening, Madame Tussauds Bangkok took up residence on the 6th Floor of Siam Discovery.

2011 - Madame Tussauds opens on the famous Blackpool Promenade at England's most famous beach resort. The attractions takes over the nearly 100 year old location of the much less dignified (and often mocked) 'Louis Tussaud's Waxworks'.

2011 - Beneath the fabled cars of Prater Parks famous Ferris Wheel, Madame Tussauds Wien (Vienna) allowed visitors interact with the like of both Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and David Hasselhoff.

2011 - A special, limited time engagement exhibition opened in Tokyo, Japan.

2012 - Sydney's Darling Harbor gained a new attraction (and the Aquarium gained a neighbor) when this branch opened "Down Under".

2012 - A special, limited time engagement exhibition opened at the Centum City (The Guinness Book of World Record holder for the biggest Department Store) in Busan, South Korea.

2013 - A permanent Madame Tussauds Tokyo makes it's debut at Decks Tokyo Beach in Odaiba, Tokyo.

2013 - Inland China's 1st Madame Tussauds opens along Wuhan's Han Street.

2014 - Opened in May, Madame Tussauds Beijing, China's 4th attraction, is located in a historical building along the cities Qianmen Street but blocks from the famous Tiananmen Square.

2014 - Replacing the much missed Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf, Madame Tussauds San Francisco is a expertly crafted addition to the famous waterside tourist district. 

2014 - A special exhibition located within one of the Halls of cities already existing Wax Museum, Madame Tussauds Prague recently announced that it's "limited time engagement" had been extended until at least October 2015. With the city already home to the highly successful 'Grevin Praha' (the third branch for the French 'Grevin' wax museum company) we might see, as we did in Blackpool San Francisco, and Singapore, the Tussauds permanent take over of yet another wax museum.

2014 -  Opening on October 25th of this year,  Madame Tussauds Singapore features a wax figure filled boat ride and replaced Sentosa's former wax museums, the Images of Singapore.  

2015 - Madame Tussauds Orlando

Chongqing, China..............and beyond.

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