Whilst away in America the team was invited down to New York to explore Madame Tussauds New York and see what one is better the one in London or New York!
Based on 5 floors Madame Tussauds New York has wax models and experiences to suit every generation. The first main room you enter you're greeted by a wax model with wings in the centre of the room on a plinth, the sets around the Tussauds attraction are a lot more grand and extravagant than the ones in London. Throughout the 2 hours walk around you come across some famous scenes such as Frankenstein, TV shows such as "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" and films like "King Kong", "Ghostbusters" and "Jurassic World".
Just like the one in London the New York Tussauds has upcharge attractions, for example, the Marvel 4D Cinema Experience and GHOSTBUSTERS: Dimension Virtual Reality Experience and create your own wax hand. The one thing its missing is a Taxi ride through New York built by Mack Rides.
One thing that makes Madame Tussauds New York unique is the inclusion of the "GHOSTBUSTERS: Dimension" Virtual Reality (VR) Experience. This experience is operated by The Void, a company that is pushing the limits to what VR can do, with what they call Hyper-Reality. They offer several stories across the globe but this one, in particular, puts you right into the action of the Ghostbusters movie where you are armed with a VR headset, a proton pack and a jacket that vibrates when you interact with certain objects.
In groups of 2 or 3, you enter rooms where you have to capture the ghosts. Unlike the ghost train at Thorpe Park, you can see each other and are free to walk around the room so you're not limited to sitting on the spot. In some areas of the set you have to walk over a wooden bridge which is visible in the VR experience, and in real life, the physical set reflects this. Twist a doorknob in the VR experience and you're actually turning a physical doorknob in real life. This is an experience that even Disney has recognised the potential in, with them currently (at the time of writing) running a Star Wars: Hyper-Reality experience in Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida and Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California. We've never done a virtual reality experience where we have wanted to go straight back into the experience for more. At an upcharge price of $20 per person, this is something that we highly recommend! VR has finally been put to good use and has been used to its full potential. We can finally see a future for VR attractions.
(For those thinking wanting to try an experience by The Void and think that going to America is a little too far, They currently run the Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire experience at several locations across the globe, with them occasionally setting up shop in London, I'm pretty sure we will be going next time it arrives in the UK as this experience at Madame Tussauds New York was unbelievable)
The Marvel 4D Cinema has also made it across the pond, Iron Man, Doctor Doom, and The Hulk are just some of the characters you encounter during the 10-minute film. Rather than being based around the New York city landscape you're in a nuclear reactor scene. What we liked about this show is that even though the theatre was really small it felt very action packed and the effects were used well. Rather than using effects for the sake of it they were used in areas of the film where you wouldn't normally associate them.
Overall Madame Tussauds New York is nice because its fresh and is different to how the one in London is laid out and set up. The sets around the wax models are a little bigger and themed better, however, with the attraction being located in central New York that might have something to do with it! All of the models in the building has been maintained really well and all of the effects around them seemed to be working. What we like is that some of the sets you walk around for free without the upcharge and several sets had points that you could interact with. For example, in the Ghostbusters section, you could press a button and trap Slimer into a trap from the films.
We highly recommend visiting if you ever find yourself across the pond with some time spare. Although it's not on the UK Annual Pass if you book online you can save yourself some money and still get it for a respectable price. Our advice would be to get their early and to book yourself onto the GHOSTBUSTERS Dimension Virtual Reality Experience, we can't express enough how unique it is. Fingers crossed we get something like it in London sometime soon.