Animal Kingdom Lodge VS Polynesian

Family of 5 (7yr, 4 yr, 1 yr old) trying to choose between Polynesian & Animal Lodge
We’ve never stayed at a Deluxe resort. We had our first family trip last year and stayed at a value resort. My husband hated waiting for buses at the end of the night. So we’re leaning towards the Polynesian this time but I’ve seen some bad reviews related to unreliable monorail and size of the resort. The decor, activities, animals and food at Animal Lodge seem possibly worth it.
Advice please?!

Both are great resorts - I preferred the Poly over the AKL as the access to MK is hard to beat and with the ages of your kids, I’d imagine you will spend more time at the MK than anywhere else. Everything from AKL is by bus so you won’t solve the bus situation via staying there. And at true end of night (after fireworks), you’ll have a wait most places to catch the monorail or boat regardless unless you can walk back to your resort (Contemporary from MK or Epcot resorts from Epcot) unfortunately. Although you can time your exit to avoid the crowds in theory.

I think whenever the monorail has issues it’s frustrating and gets reported. When we were last there in December '15 we had no monorail issues beyond the Epcot monorail wasn’t running early to get us to a pre-ropedrop ADR at Epcot. I don’t know if we were just lucky or not though…

The Poly does offer boat service to the MK - it also stops at the GF prior to the Poly, but the boat waits tend to be less at the end of the night than the monorail lines…

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You may feel a bit remote staying at AKL but I personally love it. Because there are several thousand fewer people staying at deluxe vs. value, the buses are not the hassle that they are elsewhere.
If you think you’ll spend most of your time at MK, seriously consider the Poly as the better choice. With the ages of your kids, that may be your plan.