Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Visit to Madame Tussauds Singapore

One of the first travel posts I published on the blog detailed the various tourist attractions within Singapore. However, after that post was published, several more tourist attractions sprung up on our sunny shores which I neglected to update. But I realised that there were way too many to compile in a single post so I would do separate posts under one label. Singapore is constantly evolving so I'm sure there will be something new to explore and enjoy every year!

Madame Tussauds brings a galaxy of stars to Singapore!

Aren't we all just that little star struck? Everyone wants a piece of celebrity. But it isn't everyday that commoners can catch a sighting of the bigwigs in politics, sports & the entertainment industry. For the likes of us, Madame Tussauds has come up with a teeny tiny consolation - displaying lifelike waxworks of the celebrities that one can interact with and get up close and personal. We tend to be very cautious while visiting museums because generally it is an offence to touch any of the artifacts/objects on display. Not to mention, there are security cameras zooming in on you and guards monitoring your every move. At Madame Tussauds, you can not only cozy up to the wax figures but strike your goofiest poses alongside them for as long as you please! In addition, there are props, interactive touch screen panels & live action games to liven up your experience at the museum. 

I have been to the original Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London but that was several years ago and I only have foggy memories of it. When I heard that a branch opened in Singapore in October last year, I was eager to visit but life got in the way and I wasn't able to go until the perfect opportunity presented itself a few days ago. After holidaying in Bali, my parents decided to stop over in Singapore for 10 days. Since none of us had been to Madame Tussauds here, it was a unanimous decision to go take a peek on a balmy weekend morning. Lady luck was with us that day because the museum wasn't terribly crowded and the kids were in a sublime mood. The museum houses around 60 wax figures of well-known personalities across the globe and I was able to take several photographs (but not many full-length ones because of the relentless photobombing!). This is regrettably the generation of the selfie and as exasperating as the wax figure monopolizing can get, there is no escaping it so get in line! Anyway, fair warning - this post has a gazillion photos so I suggest you go through it when you have considerable time on your hands  


Lady Gaga

Madame Tussauds Singapore begins with a short boat ride and moves on to 8 themed interactive zones. Allow me to walk you through it.

1. Spirit of Singapore Boat Ride

Celebrate as you take a journey through Singapore's history

A stunningly illuminated 4-minute boat ride celebrating everything that is Singapore. From the epic annual F1 night race to the lovely Botanic Gardens (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the world famous Beijing Opera - experience Singapore in all its glory!

Note that strollers have to parked at the stroller point outside the entrance of the ride and babies are not allowed to be held in their parents arms during the boat ride. My little ones sat next to me (feeling rather important indeed!) and were fortunately very taken in by the sights and sounds to think about getting into any mischief!

Sightings during the boat ride



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2. World Leaders

Address the nation and meet the leaders who have shaped our world

In this section, you will be welcomed by the historical leaders who shaped Singapore (Yusuf Bin Ishak, Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Chok Tong), past influential politicians (Mao Zedong & Soekarno), the world's leading peacemakers (Nelson Mandela & Mahatma Gandhi) and current leaders (Lee Hsien Loong, Barack Obama & Queen Elizabeth II).

I was mighty impressed with the figures of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Yusuf Bin Ishak
Lee Kuan Yew and his wife Madam Kwa Geok Choo
Queen Elizabeth II
Barack Obama





Mahatma Gandhi
Nelson Mandela
3. Sport Stars

Get ready to compete alongside your favourite sporting heroes 

This zone features the sporting heavyweights in cricket, boxing, football, basketball, formula 1, tennis, table tennis & golf. Some of the legends that are on display are Sachin Tendulkar, Muhammad Ali, David Beckham, Ronaldo, Yao Ming (is he really that freakishly tall?!), Fandi Ahmad, Rudy Hartono, Feng Tianwei, Sebastian Vettel, Serena Williams & Tiger Woods.

Michael Schumacher and Roger Federer would have been good additions. I hope we can look forward to seeing them in the future.

You can play hoops in the basketball area and challenge the footballers in the penalty zone.

The figure of Ronaldo looked quite badass but I wasn't able to get within 2 feet of it because of the swarms of giggling girls puckering up to him and animatedly taking selfies *rolls eyes*

UPDATE: On my second visit, I got it!


Ronaldo





Sachin Tendulkar




You should check out Sebastian Vettel's facial hair up close. Pretty real!

Sebastian Vettel

Methinks the best of the lot in this category is that of Serena Williams.

Serena Williams


4. Authentic History

Discover the secrets about how wax figures are made and learn about the real Madame Tussaud

You can go on a journey, 200 years back in time when Marie Tussaud first opened the doors to her Baker Street bazaar in London.

You'll get to explore her past and uncover the dark beginnings of the attraction. There is an interactive story which tells the dramatic, and sometimes dark, story of Madame Tussaud's life and the legacy she left behind, accompanied by authentic props from the Madame Tussauds archive.

Marie Tussaud
You will also learn what it takes to create one of the iconic wax figures - explained by a celebrity who’s been made themselves. Every step of the process is explained; the sitting, sculpting moulding process and the painstaking finishing touches required make a Madame Tussauds figure look so life-like.

You can feel actual celebrity hand casts and then test everything that you have learnt in a touch screen quiz.

Celebrity hand casts

For those interested, you can even create your own wax hand cast, for a very special and personal Madame Tussauds memento.

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5. T.V Studio

Join your favourite TV stars on set!

You can plonk yourself on the couch next to Oprah or mingle with the local celebrities Gurmit Singh and Zoe Tay.

I uploaded a pic of myself sitting next to Oprah as my Facebook profile pic and a few people actually thought I really had been interviewed by her  

Oprah Winfrey
Gurmit Singh

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6. Music Mania

Grab a microphone, get on stage and croon along with your pop icons

In this section you can strike your best singing pose with Katy Perry, Beyonce, Elvis, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift and teenybopper sensation One Direction. There were a few more Asian artists whom I didn't recognize so I didn't include them.

The decor of this section is fun and funky!

All the figures in this section get a huge thumbs up from me.

Katy Perry
Beyonce Knowles
Elvis
Madonna
Michael Jackson

There was a separate display room for One Direction. I'm not a fan but I thought the wax figures were really neat!



Man, this girl is seriously skinny!


7. Film Personalities

Relive iconic film moments alongside the legends who bought them to life

Lights, Camera, ACTION!

In this section, expect to see some of the most iconic characters and scenes in International film. Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, E.T. (the only non-human being) and Bollywood celebrities Hrithik Roshan, Madhuri Dixit & Amitabh Bachchan.

Marilyn looked a bit thin to me. I swear I imagined her to be better endowed than what is on display (hahaha!). Amitabh Bacchan looks like he could do with a burger. Madhuri Dixit's figure is most disappointing. It doesn't look much like her. She had such an iconic hairstyle in her heyday but what we see is badly colored nondescript hair which sadly does nothing for her. The museum should have chosen a classic look from one of her several blockbuster movies. Oh well!

Marilyn Monroe
E.T.

Jackie Chan
Bruce Lee
Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast at Tiffany's)
L-R: Hrithik Roshan, Madhuri Dixit, Amitabh Bachchan


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8. A-List Party

Mingle with celebrities at the hottest party in town!

This section is the most glamorous of the lot bringing in an international ensemble of celebrities. Greeting you at the entrance is Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan followed by beauty queen Aishwarya Rai and a bevy of Hollywood A-listers including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Michelle Yeoh, Johnny Depp and power couple Brangelina. A glitterati packed room like no other.

I hated Aishwarya's bird's nest like hairdo at Cannes (even though the Elie Saab gown was gorgeous) so I wasn't thrilled that it was the look that was the inspiration behind her wax figure. I know Tom Cruise is short but I was startled to actually see the height of his statue.

The best figures in this section in my opinion are of Michelle Yeoh, Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt.

Aishwarya Rai

Leonardo DiCaprio

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie
Tom Cruise

Michelle Yeoh
Nicole Kidman
Johnny Depp
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9. Gift Shop

Get your piece of celebrity and memorabilia here

The gift shop has a nice collection of souvenirs and memorabilia so if you have time, it is worth taking a look at. The glittering oscar trophies are eye catching but I already had one of those that I bought from Universal studios a few years ago.



That wraps up my experience at Madame Tussaud's Singapore. I had a really good time and it was totally worth the visit. I'd like to go again (sans the kids) so I can spend more time to really appreciate the realism of each figure and take pictures without any distractions.

UPDATE: I did go again (but it wasn't sans the kids) so I couldn't really do what I said I would! 

Multiple ticketing options are available both on-site and online. Pre-book tickets online for discounted prices (which was what we did). 

So, roll out the red carpet and get ready to hobnob with the stars!



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Madame Tussauds Singapore
40 imbiah Road
Sentosa
Singapore 099700

Opening hours
Mon-Fri: 10am to 6pm
Sat, Sun & Public holidays: 10am - 7:30pm

Tel: (+65) 67154000


Cheers,


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