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Family attractions: Madame Tussauds to Open in Prater Park, Vienna

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Hot on the heels of the news of a new Madame Tussauds to open in Bangkok later this year, Merlin Entertainments has announced plans for its 11th wax attraction, and fourth in Europe – Madame Tussauds, Vienna, scheduled to open early in 2011.

A £10m investment, in line with each of the Madame Tussauds attractions, Madame Tussauds Vienna will reflect the rich culture of the City in which it is situated.  Its planned location in the historic Prater public park also puts it in perhaps the most central and best known area of Vienna.  Famously featured in the iconic Orson Welles film ‘The Third Man, the Prater already attracts almost 3m visitors a year.  Merlin Entertainments is confident that the addition of Madame Tussauds Vienna will help to significantly increase this number.

Madame Tussuads Vienna will house around 70 wax figures, all of such quality and so life like that visitors and celebrities alike will undoubtedly often have to do a double take.  There will also be someone to interest everyone.   Vienna is the home of Freud, Einstein, Mozart, Hayden and Strauss, and these historic Austrian figures, together with contemporary heroes like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, racing driver Niki Lauda and pop sensation Falco will be featured alongside other international stars as diverse as President Obama and Brad Pitt.

With no bars, ropes or barriers around the figures visitors 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 attraction which have become such a popular part of what Madame Tussauds Vienna will offer.

The result of 200 years of Madame Tussauds’ expertise and painstaking research every figure takes their gifted sculptors a minimum of 3 months to make.  Most contemporary figures are also produced following sittings with the celebrities themselves.  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.  Indeed, Madame Tussauds is the ultimate celebrity experience, and inclusion in one of the attractions is seen as a huge honour and recognition of an individual’s contribution, status and achievement.

Madame Tussauds’ global team is already working closely with both Prater Services, the City body responsible for the Park, and other City tourist and leisure organisations to promote the opening, and to ensure that the attraction plays an integral role in encouraging visitors to the City.

Commenting, Merlin Entertainments Midway Managing Director Glenn Earlam said: “Madame Tussauds Vienna is a very exciting development for Merlin.  It will be our fourth site in Europe after London, Berlin and Amsterdam, and we could not have wished for a better location in this beautiful City.  We will be working closely with both Prater Services, and our new landlords, Calafati GmbH, , to create a stunning attraction which we believe will be a “must-do” place for everyone visiting Vienna.”

Madame Tussauds attractions are already successfully operating in London, New York, Hollywood, Berlin, Amsterdam, Washington DC, Las Vegas, Shanghai, Hong Kong, with Bangkok due to open in September.

 For further information please contact:

Sally Ann Wilkinson/Penny Roberts
Tel:         +44 20 8899 6110 / +44 20 8948 4225
Mobile:  +44 7774 415372 / +47887 542490
Home:   +44 20 8948 3725 (Sally Ann Wilkinson)
Email:    saw@thefirmcomms.com

 MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP is the leading name in location based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years.  The world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 60 attractions and six hotels/ 2 holiday villages in 13 countries and across 3 continents.  The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 38 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 13, 500 employees.  Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The Merlin Entertainments London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Zoo, Underwater Adventures, Heidi Park and Earth Explorer.

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