Who is your favorite character to meet when you visit Universal Orlando Resort? With over 65 different character meet and greets between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, you could spend an entire day meeting them and still not see everyone. Below I have a list of the Universal Orlando Character Meet and Greets, where to meet them, and how to plan your visit.
Please check the location website before visiting due to COVID-19 rules and regulations.
Theme parks are a little different for 2020 and Universal has had to adjust there rules to make the experience safe for guests. Universal Orlando is offering meet and greets but in a different way.
Guests can meet the characters from a distance and take pictures from a safe distance.
Plan Your Day at Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort has two parks with character meet and greets at both. The two parks are Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. (Tickets are required for each park or you can purchase a park-to-park ticket.)
On your park map each section of the park has a list of attractions, characters, and places to eat. Check out the times for each character and plan you day accordingly. We really wanted to meet the Simpsons so we made sure to be around that area when it was time to meet them.
If you have ever done character meet and greets at Walt Disney World be prepared for a different pace. Character Meet and Greets at the Universal Orlando parks are a lot less scheduled and structures.
When we met the Marvel Characters at Island of Adventures they told us they would be “around the area”. This was a shock to a super planner like me but it ended up being really easy.
The wait times for characters at Universal Orlando rarely see more than 15 minutes, with a few exceptions like the Raptor Encounter. This is great because lines will be short and it doesn’t take up a lot of your time at the park.
We met over 20 characters and never waited more then 15 minutes. Often our character wait was under 5 minutes and the kids spent a lot of time with each character. They were so fun and engaging!
When you arrive at Universal Orlando you want to pick up the park map guide. The guide has information for both parks in it. You can review the map while you are waiting for the gates to open. This will save you time and help you plan out your day.
If you are a super planner like me-you can check out the Universal Orlando website about 30 days before you arrive for an updated schedule and times guide. I find the website a bit tricky to navigate but did find the times for character meet and greets under the showtime tabs. You can find them here: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic character meet and greets have changed. Guests can still see and take a photo with the characters but there will be designated spots 6 feet away. Guests will not have physical contact with the characters.
Universal Orlando Character Meet and Greet
Universal Studios Characters and Locations
- Despicable Me Characters
- Gru, Minions, the Girls(Agnes, Edith, Margo) Vector
- After the Riding Minion Mayhem or enter through the gift shop to see the Minions.
- During the Character Party Zone Times (Located typically on the street by Mel’s Drive-In)
- Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona
- Located near the exit of Shrek 4D in Production Central Area.
- Hashtag the Panda
- Located inside Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon. At times he may also be outside the area or in the gift shop.
- Pharaohs from the Mummy
- These characters are on stilts and roam around the front entrance to the Mummy attraction.
- The Transformers
- BumbleBee, Optimus Prime, Megatron
- There times rotate and you never know who will be out at what time.
- The Knight Bus Driver (Harry Potter)
- Located outside the entrance to Diagon Alley.
- Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees
- Daily shows inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley.
- The Simpson Characters
- Homer, Marge, Lisa, and Bart,
- Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob
- The character meet and greets rotate and do not know who will be out at the posted times.
- SpongeBob & Friends
- SpongeBob and Patrick.
- Located in the SponeBob StorePants store. Character appearances vary.
- Poppy and Branch
- Located near KidZone Entrance.
- Located to the back of The Barney Shop.
- There is also an air conditioned play area for kids in this area.
- Hollywood Icons
- Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop, Beetlejuice, Doc Brown, Scooby Doo and the Mystery Gang, Lucille Ball
- As you walk down Hollywood Boulevard you will see many characters walking around, interacting with guests, and you often see surprise characters that are not listed on the guides.
- Hello Kitty
- Located outside the Hello Kitty Store on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard.
- Blues Brothers
- Located in the New York area. Daily shows.
- Dora & Friends
- Meet Dora, Diego, and Boots
- During Character Party Zone times.
- The Secret Life of Pets
- During Character Party Zone times.
- This is part show and then a meet and greet after. The characters stay on the float but you can take pictures and “meet” them.
- Penguins of Madagascar
- We met the Penguins of Madagascar on our last visit but couldn’t find any information about if they are still there.
- They were located behind Cafe La’ Bamba
Universal likes to surprise you with character meet and greets. Even if an area does not have a posted character time you may see some walking around and interacting with guests.
A Few of Our Favorite Character Meet and Greets at Universal Studios
The Knight Bus Driver
You can’t meet Harry, Ron or Hermione, but you can meet the Knight Bus Drive and chat with him and the shrunken head. It is a great photo-op and a fun moment for Harry Potter fans.
The Simpson Characters
Check out the video of what to expect when you meet the Transformers. They are truly massive and really interactive.
The Hollywood Character Zone is the place to meet classic characters. At any given time of day you can expect to see some of the characters walking around. It really is a surprise. We were at the park a few days and we saw different characters every day.
Moving on to Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando’s second theme park. Islands of Adventure has less characters than Universal Studios but the ones they have are awesome and you won’t want to miss them.
Related Post: Top 10 Universal Studios Characters
Islands of Adventure Characters and Location
- Po from KungFu Panda
- Located as you enter Port of Entry, the entrance of Islands of Adventure.
- We met him to our left towards the Hulk Roller Coaster.
- Marvel Characters
- Meet Spider-Man. Spider-Man has his own meet and greet times and we have seen him walking around the gift shop at the exit of the Spider-Man attraction.
- Meet Marvel Super-Heroes: Captain America, Wolverine, Cyclopes, Rogue, and Storm.
- Meet Marvel Villains: Doctor Doom and Green Goblin.
- All locations are within Marvel Super Hero Island.
- Lost Continent Area
- Meet She-Ra.
- Located near Mythos Restaurant.
- Classic Comic Book Characters
- Popeye the Sailor Man, Olive Oyl, and Betty Boop
- Located in the Toon Lagoon area.
- Raptor Encounter
- Meet an interactive dinosaur at the Raptor Encounter experience.
- Located in Jurassic Park area.
- Raptor Encounter typically has a long wait time and this may be a bit scary for young children.
- Harry Potter Characters
- The Frog Choir offers daily shows and usually you can meet and take pictures after.
- The train conductor also has photo opportunities near the Hogwarts Express.
- Both meet and greets are located in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade.
- Dr. Seuss Character Zone
- Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Sam I Am, the Grinch, and the Lorax.
- Located throughout Seuss Landing the characters have scheduled daily appearances.
- Typically the characters are all scheduled the same time but we have always had enough time to meet them all.
A Few of Our Favorite Character Meet and Greets at Islands of Adventure
Dr. Seuss Characters at Seuss Landing
This might be my favorite land because of the bright colors and fun characters to meet. On the times guide, Universal bundles the Seuss characters into the Seuss Character Zone. This is a window of time and the characters are spread through out the land. They are all close enough to easily meet everyone.
Marvel Super Hero Island
Related Post: Top 10 Characters at Islands of Adventure
Tips for Characters Meet and Greets at Universal Orlando:
- Ask the photo attendant to take your picture. Everyone was very helpful with this.
- Universal does offer a photo package My Universal Photos. We didn’t use it but it is an option.
- Some characters sign autographs, but it is not as popular as it is at Walt Disney World.
- You will meet characters spontaneously! We gave Beetlejuice a high five walking down the street and met the Mardi Gras Queen on the way to the parade.
- A few of the characters are not on the park guide. We met the Scooby Doo Gang and Hello Kitty but their times were not listed.
If you are planning a family vacation to Universal Orlando, I highly recommend the following posts to help get you started:
- Everything You Need to Know About Express Pass at Universal Orlando
- 70 Fun Things to Do at Universal Orlando with Kids
- Best Photo Spots at Universal Orlando Resort
I would love to answer any questions you may have about planning your vacation. Comment below! I answer all of my comments and would love to chat!
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