WHAT Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre (Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England; 44-149/489-2192; www.roalddahlmuseum.org; reservations recommended). WHY Beyond the Wonka factory gates, join a tour led by Matilda and inspect the potting shed where Dahl wrote. The museum, 40 minutes north of London, opens June 11, just before Tim Burton's version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp.
WHAT The animated movie Madagascar (www.dreamworks.com). WHY Zoo animals break out in search of their pal, a wanderlustful zebra (Chris Rock). Through a series of mishaps, they're all shipped to Madagascar, where they start reverting to their natural state—the pampered lion (Ben Stiller) realizes his best friends are below him in the food chain, while the hypochondriacal giraffe (David Schwimmer) becomes a homeopath.
WHAT Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, N.J.; 732/928-1821; www.sixflags.com). WHY The centerpiece coaster at the park's new 11-acre, jungle-themed Golden Kingdom isn't for newbies—it climbs 45 stories and clocks the fastest speed (from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds) on the planet.
WHAT Fear Factor Live at Universal Studios L.A. and Orlando (800/711-0080; www.themeparks.universalstudios.com). WHY Spin the Wheel of Fear to find out which creatures—live ball pythons, emperor scorpions, darkling beetles—you'll be covered in. Or hang 30 feet above the ground while playing a game of catch—with squids. And watch out for the audience: they get to blast contestants with air and water cannons, at the most inopportune times, of course.
WHAT SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (888/800-5447; www.buschgardens.com). WHY It's the first "dive coaster" in North America—combining a 200-foot, 90-degree drop with a 70 mph forward plunge into an underground tunnel, ending, literally, with a splash.
Required Summer Reading
In Laurent (son of Jean) de Brunhoff's latest, Babar's World Tour ($16.95; Abrams; due out in August), the elephant's kids marvel at new cultures but are not immune to boredom, preferring cruise-ship ping-pong to Antarctic icebergs. Also consider: Clementine in the City ($15.99; Viking), in which T+L Family contributor Jessie Hartland tracks the adventures of one smart poodle. Clementine leaves her tiny hometown to join the circus, but finds her true calling as a travel writer. Doggone!
This Season's Fad Nauseam!
A robot named Ralph, a doe-eyed puke-a-pet, an airsick puppy, and 17 other cartoons culled from a worldwide design contest are making special guest appearances on Virgin Atlantic's limited-edition barf bags this summer (800/862-8621; www.virginatlantic.com). Consider trading with your seatmates—each flight comes with the full collection, randomly dispersed. Not to nab one would be such a waste.