Sure, a small army of Oompa Loompas could fit inside, but does it have air bags?
Sure, a small army of Oompa Loompas could fit inside, but does it have air bags?

Going Wonkas

Surfing. Candy. Mayhem. One would imagine that after all the scientific discoveries made over time, you'd know that large amounts of sugar pumping its way through the bloodstreams of 100-plus children in the middle of July is a recipe for disaster on the scale of Woodstock '99. You should learn the warning signs: First their pupils get all small, then they start shaking, screaming and jumping while freakish strength enters them. By this time you must take whatever measures possible to distance yourself, because once they've spotted the man dressed up as Snoopy or those Pokémon Super Mega Deathtron collecting cards, your safety is at risk.

Willy Wonka's in town. Along with his entourage of Oompa Loompas and giant blueberry schoolgirls, he's brought with him something new: Six Flags Hurricane Harbor's 2003 WONKA WAVE Surf Challenge, a contest held on something called the WONKArrific Surf Simulator. There will also be the WONKAmobile candy factory, the WONKAnized photo lab and the WONKAvision activity center, packed with Willy Wonka candy and chances to win tons of WONKAlicious prizes. Super. Great. WONKAtastic.

If your child thinks he can wow the crowds with his enthusiasm, body language and overall wackiness while surfing, you might want to attend. If you are so blessed as to have the most hyper offspring in Dallas/Fort Worth, a Hammacher Schlemmer aboveground pool may be soon on its way to your back yard, a godsend in this hellacious Texas heat.


The WONKA WAVE Surf Challenge is 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, but Willy Wonka and his WONKAmobile will be present with free candy from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, 1800 E. Lamar Blvd., Arlington. Park admission is $18.99 to $28.99, plus $7 to $10

So come to Hurricane Harbor and watch as your kid's eyes grow wide with fascination. "It's candy, and it's free?" Oh yes, children, free candy. Free like the air we breathe. Free with, of course, the price of admission. Luckily, if the tykes get too hopped up on the sweet stuff, you'll be in the middle of one of Texas' largest water amusement parks, giving them the time and place to spaz out. And if you don't believe us, just watch. The kids will be crawling into bed.

Personally, we think spending hours baking in the summer sun, surrounded by Harry Potter nuts and their Harry Potter nut parents noshing away on Lik-m-Aide, filling their bodies with empty calories before hopping on a pseudo-surfboard and shaking themselves like jelly would be like a visit to the second circle of hell, but that's because we're bitter and kids annoy us. The fact that we easily could be put in the same category as kids annoys us even more. The fact that we barely missed the age range of 8 to 14 for Hurricane Harbor's WONKA WAVE Surf Challenge is downright depressing. It's knowing that a simple subtraction of two years from our life would make us eligible to compete in a contest judged by Willy Wonka himself to find the "wildest, wackiest surfer around" that makes the thought of even continuing on seem worthless. We do not like being referred to as "wacky." But hey, free candy!


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