How long do I need to leave to travel? On googlemaps I'm onyl 25 mins away (I live in West Drayton) yet I was wondering how the M25 southbound is at abut 9am?
It's probably likely to be quite busy being a Monday morning and because Junctions 16 to 13 is generally a busy stretch of road. (You have to deal with M4, M40 and Heathrow traffic along that stretch.) I'd give it 30-40 minutes just in case.
What 'route' should I take around the park? Is it likely that I'll be able to get a ride on everything, or will I have to pick and choose with my time?
Get the four big coasters out the way first, especially Colossus and Saw as they tend to be busier and Colossus has a terrible throughput. Inferno tends to be the quieter coaster and don't be fooled by the queue length, it's only about 20 minutes from the end of the first cattlepen. Also
As it's a working day queues shouldn't be too bad but if you're desperate to get on all the rides fastrack is available. (Or, seeing as you live relatively close you could buy a bounceback which is a ticket for another day for about £15 I think and come back another day.)
Also, don't miss Rush, it's a little gem.
Will Stealth be open? (I'll be upset if it isn't)
Should be but it can be quite unpredictable.
Also is Saw:Alive free?
Also, 6pm is when the QUEUES close not the ride, so get in a queue before 6 and you'll still get on the ride!
Hope that's helped and you enjoy your day! :D