If you’re like me, when you go to an attraction one of the things you ask yourself when your finished is “was it worth the money?”
It goes without saying that people have different tastes, so one person’s cup of tea is not necessarily another’s….you notice a lot of tea references slipping into my commentary?
In any event, this entry is about two London attractions – one world famous, and one you most likely haven’t heard of. The two in question are Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and the London Transport Museum.
Madame Tussard’s has reached almost iconic status and there are now locations in 7 other cities around the world. I’m guessing that everyone who reads this blog will have heard of it. There is of course only one location for the London Transport Museum, and I’d honestly be surprised if any of you have heard of it before now.
So is this really a fair comparison?
Well perhaps not, and maybe the problem Mary and I had in this case relates to expectations. We fully expected to be blown away by Madame Tussauds. In my case, I was also riding the nostalgic memories of a 13 year old boy who went to see it 40 years ago with the grandfather he had never met before.
The other thing about Madame Tussauds is the cost – £25 per person – that’s $50 a ticket! So at that price, we’re thinking this better be good.
The best I can give it is about a 6 out of 10. When you first go in you find yourself in a large room about the size of a basketball court. And to be fair, all around the room are amazing likenesses of current Hollywood celebrities and a few well known British celebrities as well.
Mary also noted that she had been expecting to see a walk through history through the many many figures that Madame T’s has produced during the years, but it was all pretty current. Except for the Chamber of Horrors, with the star of the show, Jack the Ripper.
Don’t get me wrong, the wax likenesses are remarkable, but when it was all said and done, was it worth the money? Not as far as we were concerned and we were in and out of there in less than 45 minutes. Oh and there is an IMAX film just at the end of the tour, which is an absolute waste of time, but as far as I can tell, unavoidable. At least we can check Madame Tussaud’s off our life-list!
Now I mentioned the London Transport Museum, and I’ll be the first to admit that for many people a look at the history of London’s transportation system might not be on the “must do” list. But we kept hearing people talk about it and I do love all things transit-related. Plus when we first visited Covent Garden, we had seen it right beside the main piazza. We poked our head in the door to check out the souvenir store and to see what the tour price was.
I have to say the store was one of the more interesting souvenir shops we’ve seen and the tour price was just £10 per person ($20). So we went for it. And it was great!
Now remember we are history nuts, and we both are interested in social sciences, so a museum that walks you through the history of London’s underground, bus, and rail system is right up our alley. But it was also really well done. And there were really great exhibits including various types and styles of buses, rail cars, and underground cars going back well over 100 years. There was even an area dedicated to the history of advertising on the underground, and one whole room was set up showing how the original font for the underground was selected and how it has been applied to all aspects of the transportation system consistently since its introduction in the 1920’s.
As we neared the end of the tour, Mary looked at me and commented “talk about great value for the money!”.
So, there you have it two person’s perspectives on two attractions that might make your to-do list when you set out on your own U.K. adventure!