2) Tips to maximize the experience? I would say just go and enjoy yourself. Don't plan what you're going to do, just let it happen. Like I said, 3 days is enough time to see and do everything. Just have fun. :)
If you are not the napping type or dont feel fufilled by not being on the Point for the full day I suggust Soak City. They have this Adventure River which is long, has some random waterfalls and buckets to keep you confertably wet, waves and stands in the shadow of Magnum so you can watch happy riders most of the ride. Did I mention they dont make you get off after one lap? There has been days where I have been on that ride for 2+ hours and 10+laps it is wonderful.
Stay on the Point, more specificly Breakers (if you can afford it) it is wonderful to be able to wake up, and walk to an amusment park. Plus you get in early so you can hop on TTD before the park opens and then hit the other major players with little or no line while everyone else is getting there first ride on TTD. Plus there is a TGI Fridays in Breakers, which even if you arent staying there is a must for a normal meal while at the park.
Place yourself in line for MF during the Summer Spectactular, that way you can sort of see the show but also not miss any riding time. Be sure to get Fronteir Elephant Ears at some point. Wait until 1 and be sure to get on before 8 if you want to ride the Gemini as a racer.
Thats about all I can think of right now. Have fun :)
Summer 03-CP, HP, Canobie, SFNE, SFWOA, and SFGAm.