Where to stay our first night

Ok, I can’t make a decision about this.
I am booked at AoA Sat 8/26, checking out 9/2. I plan to go to AK about 3PM on Sat.
The original intent was to fly in mid-morning on Sat, but the flight price went through the roof for the one I was going to take (>$800 for the 4 of us)
So I found a different flight that will get me in around 9PM Fri night.
Here are the options I am thinking about. Stay at a hotel near the airport that has a free shuttle from the airport, have breakfast in the AM there (most I have looked at have some kind of free meal), then take uber or lyft to AoA. Even though we will be too early to check in, the kids could go in the pool and if we didn’t get our room before we plan to go to the park we would have to get settled when we get back after park closing.
OR - change my reservation to stay Friday night at AoA - take magic express from the airport, then we will be in the room and able to relax the next morning before the park.
Trying to balance the difference in price vs. the convenience factor.
Staying at an airport hotel & taking uber - will probably be around $125 and will most likely include breakfast. It will be at least double that for AoA. I am saving a lot by going in Fri night, so even if I do AoA I am still under what I budgeted for flight & hotel.
Sooooo . . . how big a pain & time suck will it be to stay somewhere else the first night, vs. just going to AoA a day early but getting in at night???

Why not stay at an airport hotel, then get the shuttle back to the airport and get ME to AoA? TBH that’s what I’d do. I love getting on the ME bus, makes me feel like my vacation has started.

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Extra night at AoA. Waking up there the next morning, worth it at twice the price.

If you are under what you budgeted I would go straight to AoA and avoid the hasle of “moving again” … there is nothing like getting directly to disney and just waking up there and enjoy the day!
Personally my disney vacation “does’t start” until I get to the ME or resort … depending if I drive or fly!