This post will give you a heads up as to what you can expect from your visit to Madame Tussauds New York, how long it will take to go through and how you can get discounted tickets. We also include review analysis to help you decide if a visit to Madame Tussauds is right for you. Lastly, we share some helpful tips to know in advance of your visit.
Madame Tussauds gives you a chance to get up close and pose for photos with famous fun figures of internationally renowned musicians, A-list stars, sports legends, world leaders and more. With over 85,000 square feet of interactive entertainment and several newly renovated spaces, including Project Runway, Kong: Skull Island, and Ghostbusters Virtual Reality experiences.
Be sure to check our extensive list of THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK with hundreds of activities!
You can expect to have a great time! That’s because it’s not just a museum with wax figures simply standing there in a row for you to walk by and look at. The figures are displayed in their ‘natural habitat’ lending an additional sense of realism. Madame Tussauds isn’t for everyone though. If you aren’t interested in seeing lifelike replicas of celebrities, then don’t go. But if you’ve ever dreamed of standing next to Justin Timberlake or Eli Manning, this is probably as close as you will get in your lifetime.
The very friendly staff encourages you to pose and interact with the figures, although they ask visitors not to touch the faces or hair of the figures. There are several sets where you can get up close and interact with the figure, for example, hop on a bike with ET, the Extraterrestrial. Be a guest on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” or duke it out with Muhammed Ali.
Madame Tussauds has a solid 4-star rating on TripAdvisor based on over 5,800 reviews. Approximately 75% of guests rated Madame Tussauds as “Excellent” or “Very Good.” Words like “amazing”, “awesome”, “fantastic” and “fun” appear hundreds of times in reviews. Guests were amazed by how “realistic” and “lifelike” the wax figures looked. Many guests loved the fact that you could pose for photos with the figures – and pose in pretty much any way you wanted. Photos from guests on TripAdvisor show them hugging their favorite film stars, dancing next to their pop music idols or challenging the many sports heroes. Impressively, numerous reviews state how wonderful the staff was, going so far as to mention them by name! Reviewers rave about the Marvel 4D Experience and the two different Ghostbusters exhibits.
Negative comments reflect the same themes: there were not as many wax figures expected or that the figures did not look realistic. Many of these reviewers had previously visited the original Madame Tussauds in London, thus they were comparing New York to their prior experience and so not giving New York’s Madame Tussauds a fair chance. People said that they had to wait on line too long for what they felt was too short an experience. Lastly, many people didn’t like the ‘sales pitch’ by staff to have a professional photo taken certain figures that are then made available for purchase. Overall, it appears that a visit to Madame Tussauds is likely worth it if you are interested in celebrities and love taking goofy photos! It is especially worth it when you take advantage of the many discounts and deals available (see below).
Madame Tussauds is located at 234 W 42nd St between 7th and 8th Aves.
Take the M57, M16, M11, M27, M42 or M104 buses. They all stop within a few blocks from Madame Tussauds.
Click on this Google map link to get exact directions from your departure point to Madame Tussauds.
Upon entry, an elevator takes you up to the 5th floor where King Kong greets you with an open hand…or should we say paw? Either way, hop on and take a photo with the big guy! Afterwards, make your way into the main exhibit space starting with an A-List party!
Opening Night Party
Join the party of the century in a glamorous hall where stars are standing throughout the room, waiting for you to come up and say hi. Rub shoulders with celebrities such as George Clooney, Leo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie (not sure if Brad will be there). Get friendly with Morgan Freeman, Sofia Vergara, Taylor Lautner and Johnny Depp and so many other stars.
This stately circular hall contains political leaders and influential figures of the past few centuries. You’ll see George Washington, Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr. and dozens more. Here you can step into the Oval Office and get your picture taken with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. (Better hurry, they won’t be in the Oval Office much longer!)
This hall showcases pop culture icons in chronological order. Start off with film stars from the early days of Hollywood like Charlie Chaplin and Boris Karloff. Move onto modern times with John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. Of course Elvis is there! So are pop icons from the 1960s and 1970s like Andy Warhol, Diana Ross, the Beatles, Bob Marley, Jerry Garcia and so many more.
Filled with pop legends, this is a vibrant exhibit and especially interactive. You can grab a guitar, sit at the drums or belt a tune into a microphone next to your favorite performers. In 2015, Pharrell Williams and Ed Sheeran joined the ranks of pop stardom in the Music Zone. Other favorites are Rihanna, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.
Many of the figures here are placed in the natural habitat and you can become part of their world. For example, get comfy on Kelly Ripa’s couch on the set of LIVE with Kelly! Be a guest on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Stand next to swanky Jon Hamm as Don Draper from Mad Men and get goofy with Lucille Ball. TIP: If you want to see the real Jimmy Fallon or Kelly Ripa, attend a taping of their shows, see our post on how to Get tickets to see Kelly Ripa show taping or a live taping of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
This space features great movie stars on sets of one of their best-known movies. Dressed in character you’ll see Whoopi Goldberg as she was in Sister Act, Daniel Craig as James Bond, Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones, Will Smith in Men in Black and plenty of others.
Like the Music Zone, props make the experience much more fun. Put on gloves and prepare to face Evander Holyfield. You can pitch to Derek Jeter or call a play with Eli Manning. Recently added in 2015 is soccer icon and star forward for FC Barcelona Lionel Messi. You can practice your best kick in a virtual soccer arena with an interactive soccer simulator.
The Ghostbusters exhibits have been drawing much acclaim and guests say they are both amazing. There are two different attractions, one is included in your ticket and the other has an additional cost.
TIP: For die-hard Ghostbusters fans, be sure to read our Top Ten Ghostbusters Locations post!
Marvel Super Heroes 4D Experience
Marvel Super Heroes 4D Experience brings some of Marvel’s most beloved superheroes to life in multi-sensory fun including interactive themed areas, wax figures, and a Marvel Super Heroes 4D film adventure. Inside Marvel’s Secret Command Center, you’ll have a chance to feel what it’s like to have superpowers. Hang from the ceiling with Spider-Man and feel the Incredible Hulk’s mighty squeeze. Then watch the “Avengers” 3-D show in a 4D state of the art surround sound 120 seating theater.
Reviewers rave about the Marvel experience, and say it is absolutely worth the additional ticket cost!
Open 365 days a year. See their calendar for dates when hours are expanded, such as holiday season in December. The calendar also shows dates of closure for special events. Hours are Sunday-Thursday 10 am to 8 pm; Friday & Saturday 10 am to 10 pm.
Prices listed below are for online purchases. You can buy tickets at the box office on the same day you want to visit but will pay about $4 more per person.
Note: To be admitted to Ghostbusters: Dimension guests must be at least 48 inches tall. It is recommended that children be 13 and older to visit this exhibition.
There are so many ways to save money on visiting Madame Tussauds or to buy a combination ticket or tourist pass that includes Madame Tussauds. Always check the “combo” section of the Madame Tussauds Ticket Page.
If you are not sure if you should get a tourist pass, read our post New York City Attraction Passes: Which One Is Best?
Tourist Passes that include Madame Tussauds:
Bus Tour combination tickets:
See our detailed post on New York Bus Tours for more information on bus tours in New York City.
Other deals and discounts:
Tip: Always read the ‘fine print’ on discounts for instructions and expiration dates!
For more ideas on saving money in New York City, be sure to read our posts about:
What is the best time to go?
Madame Tussauds tends to be the least crowded on Mondays and Tuesdays in the morning. It is busiest every day between 1 pm and 5 pm. Weekends are especially busy. To avoid crowds the best times to go are, ironically, on a sunny day, since most tourists would rather be outside and save indoor attractions as rainy day backups.
How long can I expect to wait in line?
During busy seasons (i.e. holidays and summer), the wait can be up to an hour. Again, try to go early in the day to avoid the wait.
How much time will I need to see everything?
It will take you about an hour or two, depending on your own pace and how many famous figures you want to say hello to and pose with for a photo. Add on a bit of extra time if you are taking the Marvel 4D Experience or the Ghostbusters: Dimension feature.
Can I take photographs or videos?
Yes (except for special exhibits). You may want to have a flash handy since some of the exhibits are dim with the figures in the spotlight. If you are using a selfie stick aim your camera in line with models eyes. Your pictures will be much more realistic.
Will children enjoy this attraction?
Elementary school-age kids, tweens, and teens will love Madame Tussauds. It is fun, exciting, lively and interactive. However, chances are toddlers may be a bit overwhelmed or even scared.
Food and Gift Shops
They do have a food and snack shop but it is quite overpriced. Eat before you go! There are two gift shops, one in the middle of the museum, and one at the end.
Can I take large bags or luggage to Madame Tussauds?
No. For security reasons, large bags or luggage are not permitted to be left with Madame Tussauds staff. Smaller bags are permitted and are subject to search upon entry.