Guide to Characters at Universal Orlando Resort

Do you love meeting characters at the theme parks? This guide to characters at Universal Orlando resort to meet and greet will help you include fun character interactions when visiting the Universal parks.

When we visit the Universal theme parks we love to include character meet and greets into our touring plans.

Universal has character meetings at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Guests can also meet characters at some of the on-site Universal hotels.

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.

Both parks have opportunities to meet characters from your favorite Universal stories like the Minions, Transformers, Dr Seuss characters, Marvel character meet and greets and even Jurassic Park meet and greets.

We think including character interactions to your vacation is a really fun addition.

Before you arrive at Universal Orlando be sure to purchase tickets and decide what park you are visiting. You can also purchase a park-to-park ticket which allows guests to visit both Universal theme parks in one day.

Check out this comparison of the Universal Orlando theme parks to help you plan your family which park you would like to visit.

characters at universal orlando shrek

Guide to Characters at Universal Orlando

I really enjoy meeting the characters when we visit the parks. I have divided the meet and greets between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure to make it easier to navigate depending on which park you are visiting.

Characters at Universal Studios Florida Character to Meet

One of the great things about Universal Studios is you will find characters walking around the park without scheduled appearances as well as meet and greets listed on the Universal Orlando app.

It is easy to meet them and they typically have little to no wait time. We have never waited longer than 5-10 minutes to meet a character at the park.

Universal Studios Characters and Locations

  • Dreamworks Destination (Currently closed, reimagined and reopening summer 2024)
    • Trolls, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar (This has closed and we are waiting to hear about the replacement. These characters can sometimes be found near E.T. Adventure attraction. I do expect many of these characters to return once this new land opens.
  • Illumination Theater
    • Minions, Gru, Margo, Edith, and Agnes
    • Sing Characters Rosita, Gunter, and Johnny
  • Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona (location closed at this time, but expect to be in the new kids area opening in summer 2024)
  • 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 SpongeBob StorePants store. Character appearances vary.
  • Trolls
    • Poppy and Branch
    • Located near KidZone Entrance.
  • 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 Studios Florida is continuously changing their character meetings and adding surprise ones. There are some that may not be there during your visit due to different events.

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.

Always check the Universal App to see the most updated information on characters at the park.

meeting gru at a character meal at universal studios

10 Best Character Meet and Greets at Universal Studios

We love all the rides at Universal Studios but meeting characters is a fun part of a theme park vacation too! These are our favorite characters that we like to meet on each visit!

10. Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers is a show that runs daily at Universal Studios. They don’t have a specific meet and greet but as they walk around before the show and you may catch a moment to snap a picture or say hello.

You may often see them driving their car around before or after the show. This can provide a moment to snap a quick picture with them as well. If you can’t stop to see them be sure to catch their show, it’s a great one!

9. Scooby Doo and the Mystery Gang

Meeting Scooby Doo and the Mystery Gang is a fun meet and greet at Universal Studios. You can often meet Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Fred, and Daphne all together in front of the Mystery Van.

The actual character appearances vary but it is likely you will meet at least a few of them.

This is a fun one because you get to meet the entire gang and talk with them about their latest mystery. You can find the characters on Hollywood Boulevard.

8. Despicable Me Minions

As you exit the Despicable Me attractions you enter a dance party where you can meet the Minions. They are on your left as you exit and the line is usually short.

We have seen one or two Minions at a time to meet and although they aren’t very interactive it is a fun character to meet.

7. Hashtag the Panda

Hashtag the Panda can be found near the Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon attraction. He doesn’t have a specific location to meet but can usually be found around the Tonight Show gift shop or inside the attraction at the waiting area.

6. SpongeBob Square Pants

SpongeBob Square Pants has a really fun store located outside of the KidZone entrance. Here you can see different SpongeBob merchandise and meet SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward.

They do not meet at the same time so you should ask an employee inside the store for more information.

Exploring the store is also a must for any SpongeBob fan.

meeting spongebob character at universal

5. The Simpson Family

At Universal Studios you can meet Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa all in one meet and greet. They can be found near The Simpsons attraction in Springfield U.S.A. The characters don’t talk but it is a great family photo to get at the park.

4. Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona

One of the things we love about the characters at Universal Studios is how interactive they are. On our last visit we met Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona.

They talked and made jokes with the kids. It was really funny and ended up being one of our favorite meet and greets of the day.

3. Knight Bus Driver

The Knight Bus Driver at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is another interactive meet and greet at Universal Studios. He can be found in the King’s Cross area of the park, before you enter Diagon Alley.

There you can chat with the Knight Bus Driver and his partner the shrunken head.

The fun part about this meet and greet is how the shrunken head and the knight interact with guests and really personalize the experience. We always really enjoy this meet and greet when we visit the park.

2. Transformers

At Universal Studios you can meet three different Transformers. They are Optimus Prime, Bumble Bee, and Megatron. They aren’t as interactive as some meet and greets, but the Transformers are massive, making this top on our list.

The meet and greet is more of a photo-op because the characters don’t talk much with you but it is an impressive character to meet during your day.

1. Beetlejuice

Our number one character at Universal Studios to meet is Beetlejuice. Even though our kids have never seen the movie we still found this meet and greet to be one of the best.

Usually Beetlejuice is walking around the Hollywood Boulevard area. He doesn’t have an official location or time. Finding him is pure luck and he doesn’t disappoint with his fun banter.

characters to meet at universal orlando transformers

Islands of Adventure Character Meet and Greets

At Islands of Adventure you will meet the Marvel characters at Marvel Island, Dr. Seuss characters at Seuss Landing, as well as a “real” dinosaur in Jurassic Park.

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.

Always check the app for most updated information.

10 Best Character Meet and Greets at Islands of Adventure

10. Cyclops

You can find Cyclops in Marvel Super Hero Island area of the park. He doesn’t have a specific location but will be listed on the times guide for the Super Hero meet and greet. When we met him he was located outside the arcade.

9. Frog Choir

The Frog Choir has shows during the day at Islands of Adventure. If you stick around after the show you can meet them and have your picture taken.

There are no official wait times for the Frog Choir but you can find them on the stage located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade area.

8. Popeye & Olive Oyl

It is easy and often a surprise to meet characters in the Toon Lagoon area of Islands of Adventure. You can look on the Universal app for times but we were walking through the store and had a quick meet and greet with Popeye.

They are fun and engaging, even if your kids aren’t familiar with the characters.

7. Captain America

Captain America is probably one of the most popular meet and greets at Islands of Adventure but you will still find short wait times of 20 minutes or less. We have never waited longer than 15 minutes for any characters at Universal.

6. Lorax

I really enjoy meeting the Dr. Seuss characters at Islands of Adventure because they are colorful and playful. Usually you can meet the Lorax with Sam I Am. It makes for a fun meet and greet with the family.

5. Spider-Man

We have been lucky to see Spider-Man for a quick meet and greet at the exit of the Spider-Man attraction. You can also meet him across the street at his own location. The times will be listed on the app or in the guide you pick up when entering the park.

4. Po Kung Fu Panda

The Kung Fu Panda movies are great for family movie nights, and it is fun for families to see Po at Islands of Adventure. He is usually found to the left of the Port of Entry, near the entrance to Marvel Super Hero Island.

characters at universal orlando Kung Fu Panda

3. Villains

One of my favorite character moments at Universal’s Islands of Adventure was meeting Doctor Doom at Marvel Super Hero Island. He was creepy and perfectly in character. You can also meet the Green Goblin. The meeting times are on the app or in the park guide.

2. Grinch

Seuss Landing is one of my favorite areas to explore at Islands of Adventure. Check out this article where I share the best things to see and do at Seuss Landing. One of the best things is meeting characters!

The Grinch is a familiar character to most for the holiday classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. During the Holidays at Universal they transform Seuss Landing to celebrate Grinchmas, but you can meet him year round at Seuss Landing.

Locations and times vary and can be found on the app and in the park guide. Guests can also make reservation for breakfast with the Grinch and friends during the holidays.

1. Cat in the Hat & Thing 1 + Thing 2

Meeting the Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 & Things 2 is so much fun because it is 3 meet and greets in one. Guests can say hellp and interact with these fun and mischievous characters.

They offer different times through the day and can also be found as part of the “Oh the Stories You’ll Hear” show located in Seuss Landing.

characters at universal orlando jurassic park

More Places to Meet Characters at Universal Florida

The parks are the best places to meet characters during your Universal visit but you can also meet them with character dining and at the on-site resorts.

Character Dining at Universal Orlando

Character dining at Universal includes a seasonal Grinch Breakfast and a brunch at a few of the on-site resorts. Guests can also reserve The Marvel Character Dinner year round inside Islands of Adventure.

Character Meet and Greets at Universal Orlando Resorts

If you are a guest at an on-site Universal resort you will find special meet and greet times upon arrival at the resort. We met Homer Simpson at Cabana Bay Beach Resort and saw him visiting with guests during our stay at Endless Summer Surfside Inn and Suites.

Read more in this article: Best Universal Hotel for Families

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

I highly recommend adding character meet and greets to your Universal Orlando vacation. They make the experience unique and are so much fun.

Read Next: 70 Fun Things to Do at Universal Orlando with Kids

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8 thoughts on “Guide to Characters at Universal Orlando Resort”

  1. This is very helpful I’m a Disney girl too and I feel like I’m missing so much information lol did u see enough marvel characters at the park? Did u go to the marvel place to eat or do u think what u see in the park is enough?

    • We have met Spider-Man, Storm, Doctor Doom and a bunch more. I feel like the marvel area has a lot of the characters. If you are looking for the Avenger characters you will not find them at Universal. We didn’t eat at the restaurant but we met all the characters from the dining around the land.


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