Universal Orlando Resort is a great place for thrills and attractions but you can also meet fun characters for all ages. The characters are engaging and you can often meet them without a long wait. They have family favorites for young and old. We had a blast meeting all the charcters. If you are planning a visit to Universal Orlando be sure to add character meet and greets into your plans.
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Organize Your Day at Universal Orlando
Universal Orlando has two parks to meet characters: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. You need separate admission for each park or you need to 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 that this is nothing like it! It is a lot less scheduled at Universal for Characters. 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.
Visitors at Universal are there for the attractions more then the characters. This is great because lines will be short!
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.
The park is divided into sections:
- Production Central
- New York
- San Francisco(No Characters)
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley
- World Expo(No Characters)
- Springfield: Home of the Simpsons
- Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone
- Universal likes to surprise you with characters. Even if an area says no characters you still have a chance to see one as you explore the park.
Characters to meet at Universal Studios
We met the Minions after you get off the Despicable Me:Minion Mayhem ride. If you don’t want to ride it go through the gift shop and the characters have a meeting space. We walked off the ride and walked right up to meet the characters. We also saw Gru walking around and taking pictures with people waiting in line! Sadly we missed him.
You never know which Transformer you are going to meet. We saw Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. They are huge and they talk to you!! It is so fun.
- Shrek & Donkey
We didn’t have the opportunity to meet these characters on our last visit but they are walking around the area and if you’d like to meet them you can easily find them.
- Blues Brothers
- Marilyn Monroe
If you had hopes of meeting Harry Potter I am sorry to tell you that its not an option. You can’t meet the Harry Potter characters but you can meet the Knight Bus conductor and he will chat with the shrunken head.
Springfield: Home of the Simpsons
- Sideshow Bob & Krusty the Clown
- The Simpson Family
On our visit we never saw the Simpsons walking around or at the meeting place. Both days it was Sideshow Bob & Krusty the Clown. If you have your heart set on meeting Bart ask the attendant if they know when they will be out. I find they are usually happy to help.
Woody Woodpecker KidZone
- Woody Woodpecker
- SpongeBob Squarepants
Hollywood Character Zone- At any given time/day you can expect to see some of these characters. Marilyn Monroe, Lucielle Ball, Betty Boop, Curius George, and many more. It really is a surprise. We were at the park a few days and we saw different characters every day.
If you want to meet Hello Kitty you will have your best luck going over to the Hello Kitty store and asking when she will be meeting. We met the Scooby Doo Gang and saw the Mystery Machine walking down the street.
They also have the Character Party Zone. The times are in the park. Honestly I didn’t know what it was but we stumbled upon it and met all the girls from Despicable Me!! At other times you can meet Dora & Diego, SpongeBob, and they have a Secret Life of Pets party.
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure is a loop around a lake. It has different immersive lands to discover. They are:
- Seuss Landing
- The Lost Continent(No Characters)
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade (No Characters)
- Jurassic Park
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong (No Characters)
- Toon Lagoon
- Marvel Super Hero Island
Characters to Meet at Islands of Adventure
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.
- The Grinch
- The Cat in the Hat
- Thing One & Thing Two
- Sam I Am
- The Lorax
The highlight of this area to meet is the Raptor Encounter. We didn’t have an opportunity to meet it but it is awesome. You get to meet a “real” raptor. On our next visit we will definitely plan to meet the raptor.
We did have an opportunity to see a baby raptor be born in the Jurassic Park Discovery Center. My son even got to name it. This is a nice area to explore and “meet” the newest dinosaur to the Jurassic Park family.
If you love the classic cartoons you will love this area. Look for the Classic Comic Strip Characters time on your park map and meet Popeye, Olive Oil and other nostalgic favorites.
Marvel Super Hero Island
There are two character meeting times in this land. Meet Spider-Man and Meet the Marvel Super Heroes. Spider-Man has designated times but we met him in the gift shop as we exited the Spider-Man ride. I really love how fun and accessible the characters are for the kids.
The Marvel Super Heroes are spread out for their meeting. We asked where they would be and were directed to one characters spot. There were 4 different spots. We met Rogue & Storm, Cyclops, Wolverine, & Captain America. The kids got to hold Captain America’s shield!!
Tips for Character Meetings:
- Ask the photo attendant to take your picture with your phone/camera. Everyone was very helpful with this.
- Universal does offer a photo package My Universal Photos. We didn’t use it but you can look into it. I don’t feel it is necessary and all of our pictures turned out great.
- Some characters will 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. At Universal you never know who you will meet.
- 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.
- Universal Orlando Resorts newest CityWalk restaurant Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen has two original characters that you can meet: Penelope and Jaques. If you are visiting I would highly recommend stopping at Toothsome for the food and the characters. You can read more about Toothsome and how much we loved it.
I love meeting the characters because they really make you feel as if you are part of their world. We had a blast and can’t wait to go back.