I am from Pittsburgh and the best advice is to be in the parking lots by 10:30am. The rides open at 11:00. Go to all the major attractions - Sky Rocket, Phantom's Revenge, The Exterminator, Thunderbolt, Jack Rabbit and Racers. You will ride more in the first hour than you will the rest if the day after the crowds arrive.
Good to know about the opening procedure; may have missed that. I'll assume you listed rides in a good order for starting the day. I'm also guesssing that like most regional parks, only the coasters and water rides on hot days are likely to be overwhelmed with mobs of people. We are there Labor Day weekend so I did suck it up and shelled out $15 for the VIP pass, but I'm sure there are a few we will want to ride more than once.
Also, my son turns 19 that Friday. If you have any suggestions for something to do they are welcome and appreciated.