Tag Archives: merlin entertainments

Behind the Scenes at Madame Tussaud’s Orlando

Madame Tussaud was born Marie Grosholtz in France, 1761. She was an art tutor who learned the craft of wax modeling early in life from Philippe Curtius, a Swiss doctor turned wax modeler. Marie inherited two wax museums from him when he died in 1794. During the French Revolution she made what is called a death mask, a cast of a person’s face made after their death which was often used in the creation of portraits. (Think: Ancient Egyptians.) These waxwork and paint techniques are still used today by the 20 person teams in London used to create each figure.

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Madame Tussaud

Standing with a waxwork of Madame Tussaud herself, Andres from Merlin Entertainments explains, “It takes about six months to make a figure. Every department concentrates on something. We start with a sculpting team. They make a figure exactly to the measurements of the person. Then we go into casting, where we make the bodies. Then it goes into a painting stage where we do painting techniques to simulate skin, textures, pores. It takes about 17 layers of paint to process.

Tussaud’s is hardcore on the details. From their figure’s every essence, to the vignettes where they stand, sit or play, an amazing amount of care is taken to ensure quality and accuracy.

Every hair that you see on our figures, from eyelashes to eyebrows to actual hair, is inserted by hand by one of our artists,” Andres explains. “Scars, freckles that a person might have, we try to make that exactly the same because that is our motto. We give you 100 percent of what they really looked like. This is all real hair. We styled the hair like they wore it. Every costume is made exact and created by our team in London.”

It’s almost scary how accurate these waxwork pieces are up close. Stunning work, of course, but a little off-putting. During the preview, I turned a corner and saw a man with his back to me staring someone down… or so I thought. The back of the man was Steve Jobs, who shares a room with Artist Andy Warhol. Tussauds Steve Jobs

“When they’re all done, they’re sent to the attractions like Orlando and a team of artists walk (the floor) every morning to make sure the figures have been cleaned, their quality, their color, their styles… everything has to stay perfect,” he says.

Andres has a Tussaud’s ProTip for you portrait and selfie fans, “Lighting plays an important factor because you want things to look as real as possible. When you go to take a picture, always aim at their eyes because they will shine and it will seem like they are looking at you.”

Tussauds Tiger Woods

When asked who else with a local tie may be joining Dan Marino, Shaquille O’Neal, Tiger Woods and OG Florida native, Juan Ponce de Leon, Andres says, “We will be getting more figures that are current to the city, current to the state. Anybody who represents an icon or something in the city will be here.”

Who would YOU like to see inside Madame Tussaud’s Orlando? Make your vote in the comments below!

The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium to open May 4th

May the 4th be with I-Drive 360 and with all of us!

Anticipated news dropped today from Merlin Entertainments. The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium are all scheduled to open to the public on Monday, May 4th! But wait… it gets better. (Standby for a Selachimorphic dance off…)

Visitors can sign up for ‘exclusive, early access’ (May 1st – 3rd) to all of these attractions via OfficialOrlandoEye.com!

Tickets to each attraction start at $25 ($20 for children 12 and under), however, combination tickets are available across multiple attractions and sister attraction LEGOLAND® Florida.

  • One Attraction: $25 for adults/$20 for children (12 and under)
  • Two Attractions: $39 for adults/$34 for children (12 and under)
  • Three Attractions: $49 for adults/$44 for children (12 and under)
  • Three Attractions and LEGOLAND Florida: $99 for adults/$94 for children (12 and under)

Added bonus for LEGOLAND fans, there’s a transportation option! A shuttle will pick your party up in the morning and drop you off on the first level of I-Drive 360’s parking garage daily, and it’s only $5 per person (plus tax)! Click here for operating schedule, park hours and to book in advance.

“We’re proud to offer economical and flexible pricing for all of our attractions so that guests will be able to fit in a visit to I-Drive 360 into that overall Orlando experience,” said Merlin Entertainments’ James Paulding at this morning’s press conference.

Tussauds Neil Patrick Harris

Also revealed at this morning’s press conference was Madame Tussaud’s newest figure addition. We know How I Met Your Mother fans will ‘suit up’ to meet Neil Patrick Harris as ‘Barney Stinson!’ Stay tuned after the reveal to meet Left Shark‘s dancing nemesis, Magnus from SEA LIFE Orlando.

First passenger capsule installed on The Orlando Eye

By: @jenvargas

Construction update!

Number One of thirty total glass passenger capsules was installed yesterday on The Orlando Eye at the new I-Drive 360 Complex!

The Orlando Eye installs pax capsule

Over the next two to three weeks you should start seeing The Orlando Eye take even more shape as we start putting more and more capsules on,” said Robin Goodchild, General Manager of The Orlando Eye.

Visitors can expect a fully immersive experience while on or off the 400 foot observation wheel. “It’s going to be an overall fantastic 4D experience of all the sites Central Florida has to offer,” says Goodchild. “Onboard the capsule, not only will you have obviously air conditioning, there will be plenty of space to move around and take in those wonderful views. We’ll also have these tablets that we’ve installed at the moment, and they’re going to be an interactive experience. If there’s any part of Central Florida that you’re not quite sure about, you can zoom in and find a bit more information about that area.

I used my own Glass ‘eye’ (Google Glass) while chatting briefly with Robin, who was fascinated by the device. Here’s our interview…

International Drive’s Orlando Eye to be completed by end of 2014

by: @jenvargas

We’ve had our ‘eye’ on International Drive, have you? A little over three weeks ago, The Orlando Eye looked like this…


  On October 26th, it looked like this!

Now, her inner circle is all closed in and her outer circle will be filled in the coming weeks! (More about this below…)

Back in January, we told you about our Top 5 Development Projects of 2014. In April, we were one of the first to reveal the name of the new I-Drive 360 complex. Since then we have watched this area evolve into a more realized home of entertainment in the heart of the International Drive corridor. If you’re eyeing a major project in your area, as well, might as well get in touch with used forklift dealers and other sellers for quality used heavy equipment.

So, what are your thoughts, Top Fivers? What are you most looking forward to experiencing when I-Drive 360 opens next Spring?


The Orlando Eye

The Orlando Eye Completes Inner Wheel

Work now begins on the outer wheel, bringing structure to height of 400 ft

Orlando, Fla. – Oct. 31, 2014 – The Orlando Eye celebrates a major construction milestone with the completion of the spoke installation of the inner wheel, clearing the way for work to begin on the outer wheel, eventually bringing the massive structure to a height and width of 400 feet, making it the tallest observation wheel on the East Coast of the United States.

As it stands, the Eye can be seen from miles around, and many believe the structure is nearly complete. However, the outer wheel still needs to be constructed, then workers can begin the installation process of the glass capsules, and finally, work can begin on the electrical and A/V components of the Eye.

“This is a really exciting moment for The Orlando Eye. From this point forward, construction will soon showcase the true height of the Eye at 400 feet,” said James Paulding, head of new openings for North America for Merlin Entertainments. “Work is progressing quickly, and we are on track for our grand opening next spring.”

The outer wheel of the Eye is expected to be complete by the end of the year. To follow along with news and updates, visit www.officialorlandoeye.com.

The Orlando Eye is scheduled to open in spring 2015.


The Orlando Eye

Located in the heart of International Drive, the 400-foot Orlando Eye is the tallest observation wheel on the U.S. eastern coast, offering a new way to experience the breathtaking views of Central Florida.

Poised to become a top visitor attraction for the tourism capital of the U.S., the Orlando Eye, part of the I-Drive 360 entertainment and dining complex, will showcase 360-degree views of Central Florida, including nearby theme parks and attractions, downtown Orlando and Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s east coast, all within the comfort of 30 air-conditioned glass capsules. Each capsule has room for up to 12 guests to enjoy a serene 20-minute journey above the scenic landscape.

Included in the Orlando Eye journey is access to the pre-flight 4D cinema experience, taking guests on a full 3D aerial journey of Florida, with the added dimension of sensory experiences, including lighting, wind, spray and scent effects.


Merlin Entertainments

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS plc is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 105 attractions, 11 hotels/3 holiday villages in 23 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its almost 60 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and c25,000 employees.

Merlin has twenty three attractions and one hotel in North America  – including two stunning LEGOLAND Resorts – LEGOLAND Florida with its theme park, water park, and LEGOLAND California theme park with water park, SEA LIFE aquarium and themed hotel; Madame Tussauds celebrity wax attractions in New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas; Hollywood; and San Francisco LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Kansas City Missouri; Atlanta, Georgia; Boston; Westchester, New York; Toronto, Canada; a Dungeon in San Francisco; and SEA LIFE aquariums in Phoenix, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas/Fort Worth; the Mall of America in Minneapolis and Charlotte – Concord – underlining the company’s position as the world’s biggest global aquarium operator.  Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.