Niagara Wax Museum of History

Niagara Wax Museum of History

Niagara Wax Museum of History
3.5
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3.5
99 reviews
Excellent
31
Very good
28
Average
20
Poor
11
Terrible
9

Carole C
Scottish Highlands, UK24 contributions
Family
After reading the reviews we were pleasantly surprised with our visit to the museum. There was lots of interesting information about the residents of Niagara Falls, to the people who have gone over the falls by accident or on purpose. Also, information about the various crossings built to get to Canada and lots more. It’s very good value for the money.
Written May 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

curleekate
Westbury, NY31 contributions
Solo
From the moment you enter this museum, you are transported to a different time. A time when it was okay to have really inappropriate and/or confusing messages throughout an entire museum. Come with me as I share with you the journey that is the Niagara Wax Musuem of History. While the Niagara Falls State Park has greatly benefited from new rennovations, the area surrounding the park has not. It is stuck in time when kitsch was king and travelers revelled in 99 cent souveneirs. While strolling along the street, my first glimpse of the museum was an inaccurate wax figure of Abe Lincoln encouraging people to enter the museum through the gift shop next door. In addition to Abe, a creepy farmer wax figure sat behind a desk, smiling at all passersby. I went into the gift shop, this had to be good.

The museum greets you with a wax figure of a priest and a sign that reads "Father Louis Hennepin first white man to view the falls, 1678" I don't know about you, internet, but I love when my history includes information regarding when white men first see things. Thereafter you are taken past random individuals with bulging eyes and melting faces, in other words, typical colonists and native americans. Next, you are given the treat of a lifetime, a bridge walk over stagnant water with multiple "dead" wax figures strewn on the ground. Massacres are fun things to learn about. Are the figures covered in dust because life was dirty back then? Is the museum just too lazy to clean? The world may never know.

At this point we enter a time warp, where two old timey soldiers play a game of checkers with plastic pieces, in front of a clearly post 9-11 poster of the american flag with "united we stand" blazing across it in wondrous glory. Next to this scene is a wax figure that appears to have lost half of his face to a face melting disease.

What could possibly follow this amazing scene? Why Mother Theresa, Princess Diana and Julia Roberts of course! Clearly, these women shared integral historic moments in Niagara Falls!

Next, enjoy watching Abe Lincoln get his throat cut by his barber! After all, Abe had a tonsilectomy in Niagara Falls.

Finally, walk past a gigantic scene of a rocking boat and moving sailors, in a dark cooridor.

Is there a way to make this experience any more bizarre? Now image you are completely alone. The one visitor of this museum, and all you can hear are the creaking noises of wax figures being moved by unseen mechanisms. Would you be surprised that I literally ran through the last part of the museum? Don't be. It happened. Also, this place was so creepy that I actually had to keep my boyfriend on facetime the entire time, so I'd feel less alone. David, I couldn't have made it through the museum without you, and I therefore dedicate this posting to you.
Written June 16, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ashinklelmt
Findlay, OH7 contributions
Family
I enjoyed learning about the history of the falls. The wax figures made it a little eerie like walking through a haunted house, but educational none the less. My son was hoping for a bit more excitement but he still learned a few things.
Written October 1, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

pja00
NJ48 contributions
This is the worst museum we e ever visited. Wow. One exhibit had two Schwinn Bicycles from the 70’s or 80’s on display. Yes, you read that right. The wax figures were incredibly unrealistic. We did laugh a lot because we couldn’t believe this place was for real. It was.
Written October 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DJB1996
Endicott, NY52 contributions
Couples
My husband and I thought we’d give this a shot. We made it fun, but the museum is very dated. The lady in the shop was very nice- she said it’s been there 60 years (I assume never updated!). It took us about 30 minutes to go through and probably 1/2 of that was us trying to get our camera to take a timed photo at the end (photo in the barrel). There were some pretty interesting photos and reading info. My kids would have hated this! No need for us to go back. Not sure it was worth the $7, but we’ll check it off the list.
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

chairduck
Brooktondale, NY420 contributions
Couples
I don't think even Mark Twain's words could do justice to the EXPERIENCE that is visiting the Niagara Wax Museum of History. It's like a time capsule of a really cool museum that was built 40 years ago, and the owners just wiped their hands, said "welp, we did it," and never once looked back. Visiting here is like going on an archaeological expedition through the ruins of 1970s kitsch.

Exhibits are in disrepair. A wax statue of Mother Teresa (that famous historical figure of Niagara Falls, right?) is leaning to the side. One display cabinet of fossils and minerals appears to be held together by packing tape and hope. There's an exhibit of an old-timey general store, with a frightening realistic shopkeeper, and several jars of candy. The candy is not wax---you can tell, because it's barely even candy anymore; over the last few decades it's congealed into an indecipherable mess. It's endearingly revolting.

In another room, an exhibit boasts an atomic clock that is 100% accurate, all of the time, forever. It's three hours slow. NOBODY HAS NOTICED, and nobody has done anything to fix it. Signage scattered around the museum was printed out on computer paper, now wrinkly and browning with age.

Perhaps the clearest indicator of neglect, though, was a display listing every U.S. President who's visited Niagara Falls. The last time it was updated was for Jimmy Carter.

I thought all of this was FANTASTIC. I'm glad my wife and I were the only visitors at the time, because I couldn't stop laughing and jumping around---yes, actually jumping around in excitement, and I'm almost thirty---at how weird and goofy and insane every single piece in this museum was.

It wasn't just that half the place was falling apart. That's nothing unique in Niagara Falls; EVERYTHING is falling apart here. But so many of the exhibits barely had anything to do with anything. You might see an exhibit on daredevils going down the falls, and in the next room over---there's a hall of presidents! With license plates from every state! And an animatronic statue of Mark Twain in a rocking chair, because I guess he mentioned the falls once in a story.

You're my kind of insanity, Niagara Wax Museum of History. Never change. (But I have a feeling I don't have to worry too much about that.)

The museum leads you to a gift shop at the end (of course), although there's almost nothing there that has anything to do with the museum itself; it's mostly generic Niagara Falls stuff. The only item I could find that actually said "Wax Museum" on it was a bumper sticker that looked like it was manufactured in 1972 and left sitting in a warehouse ever since, only recently unearthed and put on sale for less than a buck. (It didn't even have the museum's current name; it just said "Niagara's Museum of History U.S.A".) I wanted to buy them all and give them a good home.
Written November 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ldygenieve
Massillon, OH56 contributions
If this place was $3, maybe I wouldn't feel so guilty wasting my money. The history of the falls shouldn't be shown so outdated, dusty, and overall neglected.

As we arrived at the museum, even before I could ask about the price of admission, a teenage girl (who was both texting on her phone and chatting with her friend at the counter) loudly said , "$7!".

The entrance was dark and I was expecting a brilliant wax museum, but instead, I was met with a dusty, musty smell and stale, uncirculated air (Yes, there is no air conditioning).

The figures were once very nice and the narratives were wonderfully worded and framed at each exhibit, but the warm atmosphere and lack of basic dusting were deteriorating the figures and exhibits.

I'm sure when this museum opened years ago, it was quite a site to see! The video exhibits didn't work (I assume they hadn't worked for years). Some of the exhibits that had water as a feature were mostly dry. You could only imagine how amazing it would have looked with water. There was even an exhibit that had a wax figure dressed up in a painter's outfit with tools and a ladder next to a sign that read "Under Construction, Opening Soon". I think 'Soon' means in the next decade.

Overall, if you want to burn $7 for admission just to see some interesting history facts about the falls and don't mind the forgotton wax figures and the total unkempt nature of this place, go here. Otherwise, travel to the Canadian side and see the better museums.
Written July 28, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ServicedogBelle
Ohio3 contributions
On the Passport to the Falls, there is a discount ticket to the Wax Museum. It was overrated: hot (no a/c), old, shabby, and too expensive even with the $1 discount. IMHO, WHY Niagara State Park put such a sleazy attraction on its Passport, I cannot fathom. It was not a good representative of all the OTHER good things that we saw! It needs to be drastically refurbished (and add a/c!)
Written August 25, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Trish L
Forest City, NC43 contributions
Family
Some of the wax figures are just ok.. I believe their clothes dont fit them very good... but the history in this place makes up for all of it.. they have a range of historical facts... one that interested me was when Niagra Falls stopped completely for 30hrs in the 1800's.. as people thought it was the end of the world.. you must read to find out why the basin went dry.. very interesting..
Written August 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kelly T
Lock Haven, PA155 contributions
Family
Yes it is a little old and cheesy, but you can't miss it! We had a blast in here. This was one of our favorite things. And, at the end they have an area where you can take your pic so it looks like you are going over the falls in a barrel (priceless) and sitting on a bench in front of the falls. I loved this place as a child. I loved it as an adult. And, I had so much fun sharing it with my son.
Written November 1, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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