Factors that effect my decision on waiting longer to visit new attractions include weighing the probability of the ride malfunctioning vs how often I could visit/ how close I live to the park; and also the novelty of the experience. Examples- I live on the ears coast, and when Magic Mountain opened X I wanted to ride that one of a kind attraction! However the ride suffered extended down time right out of the gate, therefore I waited a long time before making the expensive trip out west. When Dragster opened at Cedar Point I immediately headed over to ride it, I lived realitivly close and could afford to risk malfunction. In contrast when Kingda Ka opened I waited- it is farther away from me, and very similar to Dragster- so not worth the risk.
THERE. WAS. NO. ONE. THERE.
There literally could not have been 300 people in the park. I rode everything that was open, saw some shows, and came away with great memories of two of my all-time favorite rides...Led Zeppelin and Nights In White Satin.They didn't even charge me for parking. I still have my guitar-shaped souvenir cup. Great day.
Here are examples for the new for 2012 attractions in my local parks:
Cars Land (Disney California Adventure Park): Openend in June, I visited in September. This was both due to pass blackouts and to avoid insane summer crowds (no ride in existence is worth more than a two hour wait, not even the best ride on Earth).
Transformers (Universal Studios Hollywood): Opened in May, I rode in June. Normally, I would have waited a bit longer, but since July was booked, my pass expired in Mid-August, and the ride had been soft-opening for around a month I decided to go as soon as school got out.
Manta (SeaWorld San Diego): Openend in May, I rode in August.
Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom (Six Flags Magic Mountain): Opened in July, I haven't rode yet. I've learned to not trust SFMM's opening dates after they missed announced dates on both their coasters last year, so I would never plan a visit to this park until I knew the ride was running. Additionally, since I didn't get a 2012 pass but am getting a 2013 pass, I decided to wait until they were available before visiting (currently, I'm planning to go in December to try this one out).
Pirate Reef (Legoland California): Opened in May, I haven't rode yet. Since this is not a major attraction, I have no current plans to visit the park (I just visited last year), but will ride it next time I do visit (usually I visit Legoland every 2-3 years, so I'll probably be back in either 2013 or 2014).
For parks outside of Southern California, I won't plan a trip to visit them just becuase they got a new ride, but I will put them back on my park visit priority list if the attraction is major enough (for example, I haven't wanted to go back to Cedar Point since my visit in 2008, but GateKeeper is enough for me to add it back onto my list). I still usually prefer to visit new parks over return visits, but as long as the park is on my list I'm interested in visiting again.
I bid in the charity auction for intimidator at Carowinds and won a seat on it opening day. That was a no brainer. Carowinds is the closest park to me, so the drive is only 2.5 hours and nobody was bidding, so it was cheap cheap cheap. I paid $65 for the seat, which came with two admission tickets so my wife and I didn't have to pay to get in, plus a free 'First Run' T-shirt. That was cheaper than if we had paid admission, plug I didn't have to wait in line to ride the ride other than I had to show up before the park opened.
I tend to go in the off season, so if something opens when school is out I'm likely to wait until later.
Also, first day for Disneyland attractions, back in the day, before Annual Passes.
Remember the truly amazing original EPCOT Center? If not, sorry you missed the best park ever!!!! Nothing since has improved it.
It depends on the attraction, but I'm the guy who will stand in line 60-90 minutes the first time to take in everything. It always makes my wife raise an eyebrow to me, but I want to see everything from the guest's perspective one time when there is a significant line so I can see the queue and how people react and respond to it. After the first time I will not wait in line for anything more than 20 minutes because we live in Orlando, have passes, and can come back anytime when there are no lines.
A good example of this would be the first time I experienced Expedition Everest. I personally feel it is one of the best queues of any ride. Once you hit the entrance to the attraction queue it feels like you have been plucked from Florida and dropped in Tibet. The visual is stunning.
Same (but much more high tech) holds true for FJ at IOA. Incredible queue that everybody should experience at a slow pace a time or two.
I rode RSR in June and I waited about 20 minutes (single rider line.....the timing worked out because we just hung out around the single rider line until it opened)
With Transformers, that was in soft opening for awhile, so that was easy.
On my list of new items to see at Disneyland Resort are... Carsland, Little Mermaid, World of Color.
At WDW, not much. Heh!!!
I almost got burned the year Top Thrill Dragster opened. I waited until after it had been opened for a month, and even then I wasn't sure I would get a ride. Luckily I had planned to be in the park 3 days, and Dragster ran intermittantly one of the 3 days I was there. It didn't run at all the other 2.
That was the last time I will ever stand in an hours-long line for anything.
I also find that no matter how long I wait, rides are closed if I only have 2 days to see them. Like "Demon" at California's Great America, the Raging Wolf Bobs at Geauga Lake, or this last weekend at Hershey Park and their "Sky Rush". I also went to Kings Island the summer they closed Son of Beast to remove the loop.
So I don't have much luck.
If I'd only known how much Disney memorabilia was going to be worth…
In the age of youtube, it is very painful to have POVs of Forbidden Journey, Transformers and Radiator Springs Racers on every theme park site and then have to wait more than a year to ride them spoiler-free.