I was so excited to have been invited to London last month by The London Eye and Madame Tussauds. Despite having lived in London as a child and having visited in 2005, 2015 and 2018, these were two London attractions I had never experienced.
With Madame Tussauds I had no idea what to expect. I had, of course, heard about the wax figurines as they relate to pop culture but I have to say that the experience really exceeded my expectations! In addition to the over 250 wax figures they have, the attraction also has a variety of other ways to entertain guests including live theatre (my favorite was helping Sherlock Holmes solve a mystery), a 4D Marvel film, high tea with the Queen and even a ride that takes you through London history. I couldn’t believe how long one could spend here!
We were also treated to a behind the scenes experience where we got to hear from the archivist who looks after all the amazing pieces Madame Tussauds has (Elton John’s shoes for example) as well as one of the painters for the figures. The process of creating figures is painstaking. If a celebrity chooses to “sit” for their figure (Queen Elizabeth has done so 4 times! They have over 20 figures of her now) the Madame Tussauds team takes nearly 300 measurements to get as accurate as possible. It’s how the figures turn out so lifelike. Diana Spencer, the Kardashians, Dua Lipa and so many other famous people have sat with the Madame Tussauds team to have their figure made. And every day a team sweeps through the attraction to ensure every figure is looking its best. (With between 4,000 and 6,000 people coming through the attraction every day taking up close photos with the figures they often need some TLC). The care and attention to detail was truly amazing.
As for The London Eye, I am personally always a fan of seeing a city from above, but The Coca Cola London Eye took it to another level given you get to enjoy the rotation for thirty minutes and see London from 360 degree views. We were treated to a champagne rotation in the afternoon and a chocolate tasting experience at sunset into the evening. There’s so much to take in! The London Eye opened in 2000, has 32 capsules and it takes you up nearly 500 feet in the air and I can’t explain the feeling of being at the very top with so much to see. I was a bit worried with my slight fear of heights but it ended up not being an issue for me.
While Big Ben is under scaffolding until 2021, that didn’t take away from the rotation as, since the wheel is located in the heart of London, you’re also able to see Parliament, Westminster Bridge, Buckingham Palace, The Shard, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral Green Park and much more. Let us also have a moment for the fact that my favorite band in high school made their first music video on The London Eye! Haha.
While the Eye itself is beautiful to look at from the ground, I really can’t recommend the rotation itself enough. After sharing my experience on Instagram I was inundated with DMs of “but is it really worth it?” and I replied to every one an enthusiastic “yes!” The great Instagram photos you’ll get are one thing but I also think it is an extremely serene experience to see one of the world’s greatest cities from above.
If you’re heading to London, be advised it is highly recommended to buy your tickets for either attraction online and select a time to ensure you get to avoid lines. You can buy tickets for Madame Tussauds here and The London Eye here. Consider buying a combo, ticket, too for some savings.
And if you’re looking for a great hotel, we had such a nice stay at the London Marriott Hotel County Hall. The location is directly next to The London Eye which means certain rooms boast amazing views of the Eye, The Thames River, Big Ben and Parliament. They had such friendly staff, a wonderful bar and truly you can’t beat the location. It’s walking distance from so many amazing London sights! It’s particularly great for first timers to London given its proximity to some of the city’s highlights. You can book here if interested.
I want to thank the teams at Merlin Entertainments for having me on this trip I will never forget.