Funny story – my wife and I visited a wax museum on vacation once.
We stopped, politely, at the entrance as a woman snapped a picture of an extremely life-like wax figure of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The woman was bent down, trying to frame the picture just right, presumably so she could post it on Facebook and pretend she’d met the real thing.
My wife and I chatted while we waited, not really paying that much attention, but after a minute or so, my wife – not a patient woman – clucked her tongue in frustration as the photographer took her sweet time.
That’s when the security guard couldn’t hold it in anymore and busted out laughing. The photographer was as wax as the Rock. We hadn’t even paid for our tickets and we’d already been fooled.
It’s hard to understand the fascination with wax figures. But their popularity all over the world – for more than a century – speaks to just how much we enjoy a good replica of our favorite stars.
A review of the Hollywood Wax Museum in Pigeon Forge
The Hollywood Wax Museum in Pigeon Forge cuts a striking figure on the landscape of the main drag. The front of the building features a Mt. Rushmore of Hollywood Royalty with giant busts of Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and John Wayne.
Now, you and I, lovers of cinema as we are, may quibble with the selection process of this particular Mt. Rushmore – frankly including Elvis is an outrage. But as much as it may hurt, we must recognize the Hollywood Wax Museum is a capitalistic endeavor and Elvis has always had a way of putting butts in the seats.
The back of the building is actually cooler with a six-story tall Empire State Building being attacked by a giant King Kong, whose gargantuan posterior has provided my young son with hours of delight in the same “joke.”
“Look, dad! There’s King Kong’s butt,” he’ll yell before erupting in peals of laughter.
Inside the wax museum is a fun and diverting family getaway.
The rotating cast of stars includes Hollywood icons your kids are unlikely to recognize but also a wide variety of modern stars of movie, TV, music, politics and athletics.
Pose with Sandra Bullock. Pretend to do the moonwalk next to Michael Jackson. See the cast of Star Trek – in which case any of the wax figures are at least as good at acting as the actual stars of the show.
See Ellen or Dolly or dozens of other favorites. With four facilities around the country, the Hollywood Wax Museum is able to keep new faces appearing in each facility regularly.
Ultimately, the wax museum is fun. As a bonus, there is nearly unlimited dad joke potential around every corner.
The wax museum feeds our need to be a little silly, our love of bigger than life personalities and it allows us to get maximum mileage out of our selfie culture.
It also allows us to pretend we met Sam Jackson on our Smoky Mountain vacation and fool our friends.
Other things to do at the Hollywood Wax Museum
In addition to the wax museum, there is a mirror maze, the Castle of Chaos 5D adventure ride – which is like being thrust inside a movie – and Outbreak-Dread the Undead, a zombie infested haunted house-like experience.