Glitch at Madame Tussauds' local debut

Glitch at Madame Tussauds' local debut
Visitors to Madame Tussauds Singapore pose for a photo with a wax figure of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The one of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong is on the left.


Visitors thronged Madame Tussauds Singapore yesterday, the first day the attraction on Sentosa was opened to the public, but the famous wax museum's local debut was not without hiccups.

A boat ride attraction called Spirit of Singapore, touted to be the first of its kind at a Madame Tussauds museum, was shut down from around 12.30pm due to a technical issue and remained closed for the rest of the day.

"With any new piece of technology, sometimes you have little glitches... We are working very hard to resolve it," said Mr Graham McGrath, development manager at Madame Tussauds Singapore.

Saying that he was personally disappointed as well, he said the boat ride should be back up "within a couple of days". Visitors who could not take the four-minute boat ride were given free tickets to visit the attraction again.

The entrance fees to the museum located at Sentosa's Imbiah Lookout cost $30 for adults and $20 for children.

Despite the slight let-down, visitors generally said they were impressed by the realism of the more than 60 wax figures featured in the attraction, Madame Tussaud's 18th museum.

These include Hollywood actors such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, as well as sports stars such as basketball player Yao Ming and golf legend Tiger Woods. Singaporean figures, from former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and his late wife Kwa Geok Choo to singer Stefanie Sun, are also featured.

Mr Edmund Wong, 50, a project coordinator, said the figures of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong were quite "true to self".

Ms Geline Lim, 26, who runs an education company, said the inclusion of local politicians made the museum "relevant" to its location. However, others such as Ms Shikin Imran, 24, a paramedic, thought the attraction could do with a larger selection of international personalities as "Sentosa is supposed to attract tourists".

With visitors clamouring to take photos with the wax figures, some also said it got crowded at times, with people sometimes bumping into one other.

Mr McGrath said the visitor numbers for the first day was "25 per cent more than what they had planned for".

Filipino Leo Santos, 30, a chemical engineer based here, was awestruck by the life-sized figures.

"They looked realistic... the size of the figures were based on their actual heights," he said.

This article was first published on October 26, 2014.
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