I apologize, this is LONG! I'm pretty sure there is no way possible to cut this much, but hoping for some ideas on how/where I can save some. I thought I had done a pretty good job budgeting and getting good rates, but want to make sure. It will be the two of us and our 7yo DS. So, here is a rundown on our costs and stay details:
Air: $786 RT on Southwest (already paid for) fly out IND morning 10/13, back morning 10/21 direct flights
Car: $155 for midsize Alamo for p/u noon on 10/13, return 4pm 10/20 (I keep an eye to see if rate drops)
Rental villa $800 for 5 nights (already put down a dp)
Beach Hotel (Alden Suites) on St. Pete beach 2 nights $284.93 (also already put down deposit)
3 day base park tix $835 (from my local AAA) for MK 2 full days and HS 1 day
Universal Studios 1 day 2 park tix $445 (also from AAA) (+$210 for express passes)
MCO Hyatt hotel night before flight $216
parking at theme parks: $85
parking at our local airport $81
Food $800 (no idea if I'm in the ballpark or not on this one)
MNSSHP tix $231 (already purchased), doing this arrival day
I also have already purchased memory maker and the universal photo pass
10/13 - Trex lunch after flight lands, counter service dinner at MNSSHP
10/14 - HS: lunch at Sci Fi, dinner at Mama Melrose (Fantasmic package)
10/15 - breakfast at BOG, CS lunch, dinner at BOG
10/16 - breakfast at BOG, CS lunch and Rainforest Cafe dinner at DD
10/17 - breakfast Universal character breakfast, CS lunch and CS dinner (Monsters Cafe, Thunder Falls)
10/18 and 10/19 we will be at St. Pete Beach
10/20 - lunch at Planet Hollywood, dinner ? maybe at hotel or airport
Also would probably allow one purchased snack a day in the parks. We plan to use Brita bottles and get free ice water.
All that being said, the only places to save that I can find are the $210 for express passes at Universal, but I almost see that as necessary being as we have only 1 day to do both parks there. The other area would be to not stay at the Hyatt inside the airport and instead stay at the Holiday Inn with the shuttle to the airport which would save $110 but would be more of a hassle because we would still want to return the rental car on the 20th so we would have to get a shuttle from the airport to the Holiday Inn and then again back to the airport to catch our flight the next morning. I've even looked at changing our flight to leave on the 20th (it was much cheaper to leave on the 21st when I booked, and still is, but if that goes down I can change that for no fee and save the hotel cost.) Again, no major savings though.
Just want to make sure I'm not missing something! Also, is my $800 estimated for food in the ballpark or not enough??
Oh, and I have purchased the Orlando Entertainment book when it was $7 to use at least the Rainforest and Planet Hollywood coupons.
I know you've already made changes to this...but I would also encourage the 1 day MK pass and 3 day Universal ticket with no Express Pass. Since you'd be down to one MK day and 1 MNSSHP, you'd save about $550 just on the Disney tickets, $210 on the Express Passes, and $100+ for the Fantasmic Dinner Package...and you'd only be adding on about $150 tops for the Universal extra days...that's half of your husband's savings and a good compromise - 2 days of MK and 3 days of Universal for HP lovers should make an amazing trip...
And if it was refundable, I'd get rid of the 2 photo packs and bring my own camera...and now you're close to $1k in savings...