While Universal is known for its thrill rides and experiences like Halloween Horror Nights, there are plenty of ways to interact with characters from franchises like Illumination Studios, DreamWorks, and—of course—Universal at the theme parks. However, finding where to meet characters at Universal Studios Orlando can be tricky, as many characters don’t have set appearance times and roam around Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. That’s why we created the guide for finding the best places to meet characters at Universal in 2023!
Location: Springfield, U.S.A. - Universal Studios
Greet some of Springfield’s most famous residents, like Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Krusty the Clown, and Sideshow Bob, at this meet and greet location in the Simpsons-themed section of the park. Specific characters aren’t advertised, so you never know who may be around.
Location: Production Central - Universal Studios (Near Transformers: The Ride)
These larger-than-life alien visitors are sure to wow you. Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron rotate meeting guests and posing for pictures during the day here.
Location: Marvel Super Hero Island® - Islands of Adventure
Meet Marvel heroes like Spider-Man, Captain America and members of the X-Men like Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, and Rogue. You could also snap a picture with Green Goblin or Dr. Doom on occasion. Spider-Man has his own meet-and-greet station inside the Marvel Alterniverse gift shop. The other characters roam around Super Hero Island throughout the day. For extra time with the Marvel superheroes, book the Marvel Character Dinner experience, which features a meal at Cafe 4 and appearances by Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Cyclops, Storm, and Rogue.
Classic Comic Toons
Location: Toon Lagoon - Islands of Adventure
Take a walk down memory lane with your chance to meet some early comic strip heroes like Popeye the Sailor, his girlfriend Olive Oyl, and Betty Boop.
Minions & Despicable Me Characters
Location: Illumination Theater, Minionland - Universal Studios
This brand-new area near Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride is the place to hang with everyone’s favorite supervillain sidekicks. There’s a Minion-themed dessert shop and a souvenir shop that have already opened, with a second minion-themed attraction that will open later this summer. On the other side of the Bake My Day dessert shop, you can enter the new Illumination Theater to meet Minions, Gru, Margo, Edith, and Agnes. Bonus: You’ll find Rosita, Gunter, and Johnny from the Sing franchise here, too.
Location: Inside the SpongeBob StorePants™ Store - Universal Studios
You can meet the famous sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea in Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone section of the park. The accompanying store is filled to the brim with merchandise, themed decor, and puns from the famous Nickelodeon cartoon. SpongeBob’s best friend, Patrick Star, is also known to stop by.
Wizarding World of Harry Potter™
Location: Across from the entrance of Diagon Alley™ - Universal Studios
You can get a picture here with the Knight Bus, one of the two actual props used in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™, which is a character all its own. Talk to Dre Head, the bus’ shrunken head, and you may find the Knight Bus Conductor around too.
Students from Durmstrang & Beauxbatons
Location: Hogsmeade™ - Islands of Adventure
Watch a lively celebration of the other wizarding schools during the Triwizard Spirit Rally, then get the opportunity to take a picture of these students after the show.
Location: Hogsmeade - Islands of Adventure
Like the Triwizard Spirit Rally, this show performs at Islands of Adventure throughout the day. It features a capella songs from the wizarding world, sung by Hogwarts students and their croaking frog counterparts. The cast will sometimes pose for photos after the show.
Blue the Velociraptor
Location: Jurassic Park - Islands of Adventure
The only way to get up close and personal with a dinosaur is at Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure. This interactive encounter lets you get a picture with the world’s most famous velociraptor and hear some funny commentary from Blue’s handler, who will share some little-known facts about the breed. You may even spot Jurassic Park’s six-month-old raptor hatchlings, Sierra and Tango.
Location: Seuss Landing™ - Islands of Adventure
Your little ones will love meeting characters from their favorite Dr. Suess stories like The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, Green Eggs and Ham, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Don’t miss the interactive storytime featuring these characters during Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear! show, which takes place in Seuss Landing throughout the day.
Location: Near the former entrance to the closed Woody Woodpecker KidZone - Universal Studios
Poppy and Branch from the DreamWorks animated hit, Trolls, greet guests randomly during the day. If you happen to see them, be sure to “pop” by!
Hollywood Character Zone
Location: Hollywood Boulevard - Universal Studios
You can spot several unique characters at Universal Studios Orlando throughout the day here. Themed with replicas of buildings found in Tinseltown, characters from several franchises greet guests throughout the day. Stop by at the right time, and you may catch the gang from Scooby Doo (complete with the Mystery Machine van), Marilyn Monroe p. performing a musical number, Betty Boop, and Doctor Emmett Brown from Back to the Future testing out his latest invention. Kid-friendly characters like Dora the Explorer, Diego, and Puss in Boots also stop by here.
Several meet and greets are available for limited times during the year. During the holidays, Seuss Landing is transformed into Who-ville during a celebration called Grinchmas™. You can experience a retelling of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, special character dining, and a limited-time meet and greet with the Grinch and his best dog pal, Max. You can also catch various citizens of Who-ville roaming around the area as they prepare for the Christmas season.
In the fall, you may be lucky enough to catch a rare sighting of Beetlejuice, who may be spotted greeting guests along Hollywood Boulevard. In past years, Universal has also offered a Halloween-themed character dining experience during Halloween Horror Night events.
Universal Studios Vacation Planning with Just Add Magic Travel®
Meeting characters is subject to change on a daily basis, and character encounters are never guaranteed. Download the Universal Orlando app for the most accurate characters at Universal Orlando meeting times and locations on the day of your visit. Haven’t booked your trip to Universal Orlando yet? Just Add Magic Travel can help! We’ll plan an unforgettable vacation filled with thrills, chills, and family bonding. Get a free quote for your trip here!
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