I'm thinking of heading down to AT during this years scarefest. I'm aware that AT will be very busy during this time but I was wondering if there is any particular time during scarefest that would be best in terms of que times? Or is the park always packed the whole way through scarefest?
Hello, Scarefest is probably the busiest time of the year for Alton Towers. The Saturdays (17/24/31 Oct) will be the busiest days, followed by the Sundays and also the Half-Term holiday which is 26-30th October. If you can make it from Monday 19th - Friday 23rd Oct then that will be the quietest week, and most rides should be walk-on from about 3pm onwards.
However, during the busier periods, the park is open from 10am-9pm, so although the gate figure will be high it's spread out through the day (you very often see a lot of people arriving in the early hours of the afternoon). Even if you pick 24th/31st October, which I'm guessing will be the busiest days, you should be able to get on all the major rides and mazes, and may even manage repeat rides too, depending on how well you plan your day for e.g. not walking straight from Nemesis to Rita.
I am also going to go down early next year for SW6. Is there a good time to go early in the year to avoid que's?
Well, sometimes opening weekend can be a bit hit and miss - it depends whether it opens in March or April really. I've known some opening days to be quietish (for a Saturday) (2004/2007/2008/2009), yet others to be pretty busy (2002/2003/2005/2006). As SW6 is a big ride, I'd expect it to be busy for each of the weekends at the beginning of the season, so I'd try and arrange to go on a weekday during term time where most rides will be walk-on. :)