Wax Museums in Florida

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Interested in checking out a wax museum in Florida? There aren’t many to choose from but the ones that do exist are considered great museums.

The following is a list of wax museums in Florida:

(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I earn a commission from purchases made through the links in this post.)

Potter’s Wax Museum:

Address: 31 Orange Street, St. Augustine, FL

Website: www.potterswaxmuseum.com

Established in 1948, the Potter’s Wax Museum is a historic wax museum in St. Augustine and was actually the first wax museum in the U.S.

The museum features over 160 wax sculptures of real and fictitious figures including politicians, historical figures, celebrities and horror characters.

A recent addition to the museum includes a wax figure of Martin Luther King Jr, who actually visited St. Augustine in 1964 to protest the city’s segregation policies while trying to drum up support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The museum was founded by George L. Potter who was inspired to start the museum after visiting Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London, England as a child.

After Potter made a small fortune in real estate, he decided to open the museum in St. Augustine on the corner of King Street and A1A as Potter’s International Hall of Fame.

Potter died in 1979 and the museum continued until 1986 when the Potter family sold off the collection and closed the museum.

In 1987, the museum’s former curator, Dottie White, tracked down and purchased the original collection of about 150 figures and reopened the museum on King Street.

In 2013, the museum moved to its current building on the corner of Orange Street and Cordova Street, inside the historic Old Drugstore building, which is the oldest pharmacy in the United States.

In 2014, Historic Tours of America purchased the museum. Historic Tours of America also owns Old Town Trolley Tours, the Old Jail and the Oldest Store Museum.

If you would like to visit Potter’s Wax Museum and want to save money on tickets, Trusted Tours and Attractions sells discount tickets.

Madame Tussauds Orlando:

Address: 8387 International Dr, Orlando, FL

Website: www.madametussauds.com/orlando

Established in 2015, Madame Tussauds is a wax museum in Orlando’s ICON Park. The museum is one of many in Madame Tussauds’ worldwide chain of wax museums.

The Orlando location features over 200 wax figures of celebrities, musicians, actors, scientists, politicians and world leaders and famous athletes.

Recent additions to the Orlando location include wax figures of Ariana Grande and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.

Ariana Grande Wax Figure with Guests. Photo courtesy of Madame Tussauds Orlando.

Madame Tussaud was a French artist who established a touring exhibition of her wax figures in Britain in the early 1800s.

The exhibition toured Britain for 33 years before Tussaud established her first permanent exhibition, the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum, on Baker Street in London in 1835.

The museum grew to be a major tourist attraction in London and later expanded as a chain of wax museums around the world in places such as Amsterdam, Istanbul, Berlin, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, New York City, Tokyo, Budapest, New Dehli and more.

In 2005, Madame Tussauds was sold to Dubai International Capital for £800 million. In May of 2007, the Blackstone Group purchased Madame Tussauds from Dubai International Capital for $1.9 billion. The company was merged with Merlin Entertainments and operation of Madame Tussauds was taken over by Merlin.

Visitors at Madame Tussauds Orlando. Photo courtesy of Madame Tussaud Orlando.

On July of 2007, Merlin sold the freehold of Madame Tussauds to private investor Nick Leslau and his investment firm Prestbury under a sale and leaseback agreement.

The Madame Tussaud museums are owned by Prestbury but they are operated by Merlin based on a renewable 35-year lease.

If you want to learn more about wax museums, check out this article on the history of wax museums.

If you would like to visit more museums in Florida, check out this article on the 9 best museums in Florida.

Sources:
Kelley, Jenna. “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Received A Wax Figure At Madame Tussauds Orlando & It’s His Twin.” Narcity, 4 April. 2022, narcity.com/orlando/dwayne-the-rock-johnson-receives-wax-figure-at-madame-tussauds-orlando-its-his-twin
Aniftos, Rania. “Ariana Grande Gets Madame Tussauds Wax Figure in Orlando.” Billboard, 3 March. 2022, billboard.com/music/pop/ariana-grande-madame-tussauds-wax-figure-orlando-1235042845/
Singh, Olivia. “38 Photos of Celebrities and Their Realistic Wax Figures That You Won’t Be Able To Tell Apart.” Insider, 21 Sept. 2022, insider.com/celebrities-realistic-wax-figures-2017-11
McDermott, Meave. “Was Beyoncé’s wax figure whitewashed? Madame Tussauds blames ‘flash photography.’” USA Today, 20 July. 2017, usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2017/07/20/beyonce-madame-tussauds-wax-figure-whitewashed/495016001/
Pugh, Jena. “Madame Tussauds Orlando Wax Figures Revealed.” Best of Orlando, bestoforlando.com/articles/madame-tussauds-orlando-wax-figures-revealed/
Who We Are.” Madame Tussauds, madametussauds.com/orlando/information/who-we-are/
Gardner, Sheldon. “St. Augustine Unveils Martin Luther King Jr Statue.” The Florida-Times Union, 25 Feb. 2016, jacksonville.com/story/news/2016/02/25/st-augustine-unveils-martin-luther-king-jr-statue/15701602007/
Bjprkman, Sue. “Potter’s Wax Museum Preserves Historic Business Mold While Looking Ahead.” The St. Augustine Record, 4 Dec. 2014, staugustine.com/story/news/local/2014/12/05/potters-wax-museum-preserves-historic-business-mold-while-looking-ahead/16093083007/
‘Reasons to Visit the Museum.” Potter’s Wax Museum, potterswaxmuseum.com/homepage-callouts/reasons-to-visit/

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