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Character Meet and Greets at Universal Orlando - complete guide

OI Center

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Guests meet The Simpsons at Universal Orlando.

One of the most popular questions about Universal Orlando is: Are there characters at the parks? The answer is a resounding YES! This page will take a look at who you can see on your next visit to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.

Characters at Universal Orlando – General information
The characters at Universal Orlando can be separated into two groups: Those characters that make individually scheduled appearances, and those characters that show up periodically throughout the day.

The first group, those with a schedule, make appearances at set times and locations throughout the two theme parks. These characters are (usually) as follows:

  • Barney & Friends
  • Shrek, Fiona & Donkey
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
  • Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Storm, Green Goblin, Dr. Doom.
  • Dr. Seuss Characters including Thing 1 & Thing 2, Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, the Lorax, and more.

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A young Spider-Man meets Captain America.

How do I know when and where these characters will be available?
Universal Orlando makes this very convenient for guests by printing times and locations directly in the park map. Here is a sample of the information from over the summer (please be aware that these schedules change throughout the year):

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Character sample schedule at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

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Character sample schedule at Universal Studios Florida.

As I mentioned above, there are two groups of characters at Universal Orlando — those with schedules and those without. Here are some of the characters from the second group, who periodically make appearances during the day but aren’t listed individually on the park map:

  • Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat
  • Doc Brown from Back to the Future (+ Marty McFly on very busy days)
  • Despicable Me – minions, Gru & family
  • Dora & Diego
  • Krusty The Clown & Sideshow Bob
  • Lucy Ball & Marilyn Monroe
  • Optimus Prime, Bumblebee & Megatron
  • Shaggy & Scooby (+ more on very busy days)
  • The Simpsons
  • Woody Woodpecker
  • Betty Boop
  • Popeye & Olive
These characters usually make their appearances in the Character Zones. USF’s Character Zone is right in the front of the park near the turnstiles; IOA’s Character Zone is in Toon Lagoon. However, these characters have also been known to roam the parks.

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A minion from Despicable Me greets a guest.

How long are the wait times for characters?
In general the wait times for the characters are not too long — ten minutes tops. During very busy days, you may have to wait fifteen minutes, but you will rarely ever wait longer. In fact, many times there are no lines at all! This makes the character meet-and-greet experience quite comfortable, and it also means you do not have to plan significant portions of your days around waiting in lines for autographs.

If you are wondering about Express Pass access for meeting the characters, none is offered at any of the locations.

Does Universal have character dining?
They most certainly do. The most convenient option for most guests is Universal Superstar Breakfast hosted most mornings at Universal Studios Florida. During the holidays, Universal also hosts a Grinch & Friends character breakfast at Islands of Adventure.

Another option is the character breakfast held at Royal Pacific Resort on Sundays. This is a seasonal offering, so double-check that it is offered on the date you’re interested in. To learn more, click here.

Finally, characters also make appearances on select evenings at Universal’s Deluxe on-site hotels. They appear during the dinner hours at Islands Dining Room (Royal Pacific Resort), The Kitchen (Hard Rock Hotel), and Trattoria del Porto (Portofino Bay Hotel). Because the schedules change quite frequently, I recommend that you contact the hotels directly for more specific details. If you are interested, you can get contact information for each hotel in our section covering Universal’s on-site hotels.

Optimus Prime & Bumblebee – HD video
Click the play button to start the video. Note: Our videos do not stream in HD by default to ensure quick streaming. If you would like to view the video in HD, start the clip and then adjust the bitstream using the gear button.

Marvel Superheros arriving in style – HD video
Click the play button to start the video. Note: Our videos do not stream in HD by default to ensure quick streaming. If you would like to view the video in HD, start the clip and then adjust the bitstream using the gear button.

Characters at Universal Orlando – photo gallery

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