While the Hollywood Wax Museum which opened in 1965 predates Madame Tussauds Wax Museum which opened nearby on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009, Tussauds is the most famous name in wax museums. It dates back to 1835 when Madame Tussaud established her first permanent exhibition in London’s Baker Street. The Hollywood Madame Tussaurds was established in 2009. There are 11 other Madame Tussauds locations. Note that the correct spelling is without the apostrophe before the “s”.
If you are approaching the Hollywood Walk of Fame from the western edge at La Brea where the Four Ladies of Hollywood Gazebo is located, Madame Tussauds is the first to the two wax museums you will come to. It is located on the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Orange St. The Hollywood Wax Museum is a block further down at Highland Street.
As one visitor to Madame Tussauds said, “The whole museum is all about extensive photo opportunities. If you ever had an itch to take a photo with a celebrity, this is the place to do it.” The reviews of Madame Tussauds are all positive with the only trace of negative I saw was occasional grumbling about the ticket price and different ticket prices offered online, at the door, and by the street team selling discount tickets to lure people in. In this day of smart phones, I would say approach the museum, see what offerings are being made as you near the area. If none, check the online ticket price on the Madame Tussauds website and check at the door. If cheaper online then purchase them through your smart phone! (As of this writing online tickets are sale priced between $16.99 and $29.00 which is a great deal for what you get.)
Tours of the museum start on the top floor where there is a “dance party” with current stars. The second floor features stars from days gone by such as Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind, or Dorothy from Wizzard of Oz. The first floor has Marvel Characters. You’ll see Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Joan Rivers, Betty White, Elvis Presley, Travolta, Hanks, Cameron Diaz, Will Smith, Paul Newman, John Wayne and oh so many more!
If I was asked which wax museum you should choose when visiting Hollywood, I would lean toward Madame Tussauds. It is the older and more established. You’ll find Michael Jackson’s star on the Walk of Fame in front of it and while there you can stop into the Hollywood Highland Mall for some shopping.
Regardless of which of the two you choose, you will find a wealth of other places nearby to visit on your Los Angeles trip including the El Capitan Theatre, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! museum, The Guinness Book of World Records Museum, the Hard Rock Cafe, the Egyptian Theatre, and your chance to enjoy a meal and a drink surrounded by the characters from the Disney classic Snow White at the Snow White Cafe.
For more information on things to see while visiting Hollywood, see our Hollywood Attractions category.