Begin the day with Diamondback, the big coaster addition from 2009, then work counter-clockwise around the park hitting the main coasters as you go (Beast, Vortex, Flight of Fear, Firehawk, Back Lot Stunt Coaster, and Flight Deck). Once your main coaster tour is complete, and you have ridden the family coasters, midway rides, and water attractions that interest you, visit the Eiffel Tower for some nice views of the whole park.
My advice is to take a left out of the gate and head toward Coney Mall. There you'll find the Racer, Flight of Fear, Firehawk..etc. Waiting in line for Firehawk can be a pain because it's a low capacity coaster and the line doesn't move very fast. The last thing you want is to get stuck in a long line waiting to ride it. I would actually head for that one first. Flight of Fear is right next to Firehawk, and the Racer and Vortex queues are close as well.
April 17 is technically opening day, but it's a soft opening day. All the rides will likely be open (except Son of Beast), but some small shops, vendors, shows..etc probably either won't open until the afternoon or won't be open at all. Regardless, expect crowds if it's a nice day.
Going to the other side of the park is only really good if you are there when the park opens. If you don't get there until afternoon, throw my strategy out the window.
Also while on the subject, a group of people who are obviously together going into the single rider line is quickly becoming one of my biggest theme park pet peeves....almost up there with line cutting, line smoking and bouncing basketballs. I've seen the Diamondback single rider line become ridiculously long at times because of it. Ride ops started to crack down on that late last season.
groups should be allowed to go into the single-rider line as long as they're fine with splitting up from the rest of their group and filling in the empty seats. Which is the true use of the single-rider line.
I go to parks with my family all the time. Most of our time is spent on family and kid rides. My kids aren't big enough to ride with me, but my wife is a sport and keeps the kids busy while I steal a ride on Diamondback. In that case, the single rider line is for a guy like me right?
I walk up to the Diamondback queue, and what do I see? People (mostly teenagers) walking into the line in groups of 6 and then going into the single rider line...making what should be a fairly short line of true single riders a lot longer than it should be. When I'm not a single rider, I wait like everyone else. Call it an unspoken park courtesy I guess. It's not really against the rules, just inconsiderate of people who the line is really for, and also of those who wait in the regular line with their parties.
Again, it's my (and a whole lot of other peoples) opinion. Do what you gotta do I guess.
It exists so that all the seats get filled, which means all the people get on the ride quicker.
If the single-rider line is filled up with people splitting their group, it means every single seat is being taken, and that makes everybody move faster, even the single riders who are in the regular line.
The park doesn't require that single riders get in the single line, so it's not like a single rider is forced to wait longer than everybody else.
It is nice when single lines are close enough to the front that single riders can decide for themselves whether the line will slow them down or not, and get in it accordingly.
What I hate is on those water raft rides where they force you into a 3-person or less line, and then they make you wait if there are lots of 4-6 person groups, rather than occasionally putting sets of people from the 3-or-less line together. But that's kind of a different thing.
In the Griffon at BGW, I've seen cases where lots of people got in the single-rider line, and they've let an entire row in from that line. I don't like THAT, but I understand trying to let some people out of that line because that line separates from the regular line at the beginning of the ride line, so there's no way to make a decision about which wait is less.
If the line is short, the group will almost always wait to get the seats together. If the line is long, groups use the single rider line to avoid waiting in line because they don't want to wait like everyone else. The problem arises when several groups start using the single rider line, which is what inevitably happens when people see a few groups going in. When that happens, the single rider line (which wholly depends on how many spots are open after the regular line has boarded and hence doesn't move as fast) gets longer than it should and takes longer to go through. Most rides using the single rider line are busy, and those seats don't always open up on every train.
I don't buy the technicality argument about "we are filling empty seats" and that's what the line is designed for. It's about not waiting in line, pure and simple.
Maybe I don't visit parks as much, but almost every time I have visited theme parks, the single rider line is never more than a ten minute wait, even with groups in them. I agree, a lengthy single-rider line sort of defeats the purpose, but I've never encountered this problem. In fact, when I was at Kings Island last Labor Day weekend, the attendant at Diamondback only let a certain amount of people at a time into the single-rider line so this sort of overcrowding wouldn't happen.
Last, I do agree that our culture teaches us to do everythig now as well, the whole "fast food" mentality (as you stated). The increasing number of attractions though doesn't exactly help this though. If KI spent some money on theming their queue, I may be more inclined to wait, but it's just a monotonous set of switchbacks, with your only aid from some measly covers and fans that you only feel every once and a while. For example, I am actually excited to wait in line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey since the theming and recreations look absolutely incredible. No "speed through the line" there.
You don't want fighting. But it's OK for you to tell others to "grow up" and call us "creeps" on your other Kings Island thread.
To borrow a phrase from Ralph Kramden (ask your parents)..I've met some hypocrites in my day, but you may be the hippiest critic of them all.
All you need is love, fellas.