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Merlin Entertainments brings Madame Tussauds to Sydney May 2012

From May 2012 Australian and international celebrities will be lining up ready to be photographed, and getting ‘up close and personal’ with visitors….. when Merlin Entertainments (‘Merlin’) opens Madame Tussauds, Sydney, the company’s 6th Australian attraction, situated on the waters edge at Aquarium Wharf, Darling Harbour. The AUD 14m, 1800 sq m attraction will be the 13th Madame Tussauds in the world and fourth in Asia Pacific – joining its highly successful sister attractions in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangkok.

Merlin promised to bring Madame Tussauds to Sydney when it acquired four of the City’s other top attractions earlier this year – Sydney Aquarium and Oceanworld Manly, and the soon to be relaunched WILD LIFE Sydney and Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK. The ultimate celebrity experience and world’s best known and most popular wax attraction, Merlin believes the new attraction will add a completely new dimension to the Sydney entertainment scene. In line with each of the other Madame Tussauds attractions, Madame Tussauds Sydney will also reflect the fun, and unique culture of Australia. Darling Harbour is already Sydney’s favourite leisure and entertainment area and Madame Tussauds is guaranteed to be a ‘must see’ attraction for both locals and visitors to the City.

Enter Madame Tussauds and you step into the world of the famous. The Sydney attraction will be home to local heroes like Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman who will be featured alongside other international A-listers like Johnny Depp and Lady Gaga; as well as politicians, literary and sports stars like Don Bradman, and many others – all bringing their own very special glamour and glitz to Sydney – thanks to Madame Tussauds. Amazing wax figures – so high quality and so lifelike that even the celebrities themselves do a double take when they see them – and all in stunning interactive themed sets designed to excite, amaze, and surprise, including some with unique animated features!

With no bars, ropes or barriers around the figures visitors will have no problem believing that they really are standing beside, or even ‘acting/competing’ with, their heroes in some of the exciting interactive parts of the exhibit which have become such a popular part of what Madame Tussauds offers – and the photographs taken with favourite stars are a special memory for ever.

The result of 200 years of expertise and painstaking research every figure takes Madame Tussauds’ gifted sculptors a minimum of three months to make. Most contemporary figures are also produced following sittings with the celebrities themselves – and talks are already well advanced with a number of Australian icons. They are the result of hundreds of separate measurements, hours matching skin tone, eye and hair colour – with every individual hair inserted separately. Celebrities and film studio wardrobe departments often supply clothing for their figures, or designers will reproduce significant or iconic outfits as exact replicas, only for Madame Tussauds. Inclusion in one of the 13 Madame Tussauds attractions around the world is seen as a huge honour and recognition of an individual’s contribution, status and achievement.

Commenting, Merlin Entertainments Midway Managing Director Glenn Earlam said: “Madame Tussauds Sydney is a very exciting development for Merlin. Sydney has a dynamic and very exciting leisure and entertainment scene, and when we acquired the four existing top attractions in the City we believed that they had great potential for development, and that is already proving the case. Madame Tussauds is the obvious one of our global brands to bring here first, and we believe will not only be very complementary to our other attractions but also add a new dimension to Darling Harbour. We have received a great deal of support here since our arrival, including working very closely with our landlords the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority to move the project forward. We hope too that it will be just the first of several major new investments in this amazing City.”

As well as Asia Pacific Madame Tussauds attractions can be found successfully operating in London, New York, Hollywood, Berlin, Amsterdam, Washington DC, Las Vegas, Blackpool and Vienna.

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS is a leader in location-based, family entertainment, and has seen dynamic growth over the last five years. Merlin now operates over 75 attractions, six hotels/two holiday villages in 17 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 43.6 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 16,000 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The EDF Energy London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park, Earth Explorer, Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK, Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter Underwater World, Oceanworld Manly and Hamilton Island Wildlife Park. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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