I'm amazed at how far theme parks have come in the last (ahem) 30 years. I remember spending hours waiting in line to ride the rides at Cedar Point as a kid and teenager. It seemed like we spent more time in line than we did on the rides...because we did. That was a once a year trip, as it was 4 hours away from our house.
Now we live 20 minutes from Busch Gardens and could ride the coasters whenever we want (with season passes)...except for the little ones. Boog is now big enough to ride most of the coasters and I was so proud when he tried one last year. He came off the ride and said "Mom, I did it...and I didn't even cry." When asked if he would like to do it again "No." was his reply. It's not very often that Hubster and I get there without the kids, so we spend a lot of time in Dragon Land watching the kids enjoy the kiddie rides. The only bonus is that the lines for all of these are about 5 minutes on the busiest of days.
Nowadays parks have front of the line tickets you can purchase that allow you to avoid waiting on the more popular rides and some even have single rider lines to insure all rides are full and make the regular lines go quicker. I really prefer NOT to ride alone as I think part of the thrill is sharing the experience with others.
If you find yourself at SeaWorld this summer and are looking to experience their newest ride (opening in May) Manta is sure to be every thrill seekers dream. Right now SeaWorld is offering front-of-the-line passes to anyone who logs into their site and participates in their Manta quiz. You can find answers by following them on twitter and throughout the site. You'll have to answer 5 questions and only get three chances (strikes) so don't rush through it. I figure you'd rather spend the time in the comfort of your home (or office) working on getting the correct answers than spending that time in line waiting. So head on over and get your front-of-the-line pass today.