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.
Both parks have opportunities to meet characters from your favorite Universal stories like the Minions, Transformers, and Marvel character meet and greets.
Before you arrive at Universal Orlando be sure to purchase tickets and decide what park you are visiting. Check out this comparison of the Universal Orlando theme parks to help you plan your family vacation.
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- Guide to Characters at Universal Orlando
- Character Meet & Greets at Universal Orlando During COVID
- Universal Studios Character Meet and Greets
- 10 Best Character Meet and Greets at Universal Studios
- Islands of Adventure Character Meet and Greets
- 10 Best Character Meet and Greets at Islands of Adventure
- More Places to Meet Characters at Universal Florida
- Tips for Characters Meet and Greets at Universal Orlando
Guide to Characters at Universal Orlando
Universal Orlando Resort has two main theme parks, a water park, an entertainment and dining area, and numerous resorts. Guests can meet characters at Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, at some Universal resorts, as well as character dining options.
Character Meet & Greets at Universal Orlando During COVID
Theme parks are a little different these days, and Universal has had to adjust their 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 six feet distance and take pictures.
- Guests may remove their face mask if they are socially distanced and must put their face covering back on as they exit the meet and greet.
- Masks are required for indoor meet and greets.
- Parades are not happening at this time but characters from the parades will be available to meet with guests at Universal Studios through the day.
Universal Studios Character Meet and Greets
One of the great things about Universal Studios is you will find characters walking around the park without scheduled appearances. Many times we have walked out of a gift shop or attraction to stumble upon a character walking around the park.
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. It is this interactive feel that makes the character meetings feel personalized to you.
Universal Studios Characters and Locations
NEW!!! Universal Orlando announced a new character experience at Universal Studios. DreamWorks Destination will allow guests to strike a pose with their favorite DreamWorks characters.
This will be located in the KidZone section of the park. Guests can meet characters from Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Trolls, and more under a nighttime sky inspired by the DreamWorks opening sequence.
An exact opening date has not been announced but expect it soon.
- 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 SpongeBob StorePants store. Character appearances vary.
- 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 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.
10 Best Character Meet and Greets at Universal Studios
We love all the rides at Universal Studios but 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
10 Best Character Meet and Greets at Islands of Adventure
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Related Post: Best Rides at Islands of Adventure with Kids
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 has been temporarily paused but typically includes a seasonal Grinch Breakfast and a brunch at a few of the on-site resorts. I will update this as more character dining experiences are added.
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.
Due to Covid the characters in the lobby may be limited and I suggest asking at the front desk.
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 you arrive at Universal Orlando you want to pick up the park map guide. The guide has information for both parks in it. 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.
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.
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