13 Best Characters Experiences at Universal Studios

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My family has been going to Orlando area theme parks for a long time. Since we’ve had kids, character encounters have been a massive part of the experience.

But this year at Universal Studios, we’ve had some of the best character interactions ever.

And the best one for my youngest wasn’t someone even one who was even remotely on our radar.


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What characters can you find at Universal Studios?

The list is long and eclectic. The most important thing to remember is that character appearances vary. When your goal is meeting characters, remember that any character may or may not be in the parks on any given day.

With that in mind, here are some of the best characters you can find around Universal Studios in Orlando:

Universal's Guy Am I and Happy Child
Guy-Am-I made Ainsley’s day (photo by John Gullion/HeyOrlando.com)

1. Guy-am-I

Seuss Landing, Islands of Adventure

In Seuss Landing, we spotted Guy-Am-I, the doubting Thomas of Green Eggs and Ham.

My youngest went in for the hug and giggled as she posed for pictures. Guy-am-I noticed the M&M on her shirt and playfully tried to pluck at it. Ainsley thought this was uproariously funny.

He then did something I’ve never seen a character do in all of our years of going to Orlando theme parks. He pulled up a chair and sat down next to Ainsley and spent some time with her. It absolutely delighted her. It made her trip and created a memory she will have for the rest of her life.

She talked about it the whole week and still talks about it. “He didn’t want Green Eggs and Ham,” she’d say. “He wanted orange M&M!”

lorax character at universal
The Lorax and other Seuss characters can be found at Universal Studios (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

2. Other Seuss characters

Seuss Landing, Islands of Adventure

Universal also has characters like Sam-I-am, the Grinch, Thing 1 and Thing 2 as well as the Lorax characters.

These are high Q-rating characters and the kids all had a great time seeing the show and getting their pictures made with them.

It’s a great experience.

The raptor experience at universal
The Raptor Encounter was a great experience for my family (photo by John Gullion/HeyOrlando.com)

3. Blue the Velociraptor

Jurassic Park, Islands of Adventure

While my family was in line to see the big raptor at the Raptor Experience, they asked if anyone wanted to see the baby first. We went and saw the baby raptor then right back in line to see the big animatronic one.

It’s not like my wife didn’t know what was coming. We saw the other people go up for their encounter, one by one, unable to stop themselves from jumping when the large – incredibly realistic dinosaur made its move. She laughed when one boy dang near jumped out of his shorts.

So when the handler positioned us for a family picture, he mentioned that the raptor (not Blue) might be interested in Leslie’s hair bun. We lined up as a family, Leslie in the middle rear and my son JP in the front.

The photos were snapped and I turned to the side, knowing what was coming next. The dinosaur lunged.

Leslie pushed our youngest daughter to the side while she dashed ahead like the raptor was coming out of the paddock to get her. It was a memory I’ll never forget.

Universal's Blues Brothers Venue
The Blues Brothers put on a performance at Universal Studios (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

4. The Blues Brothers

New York, Universal Studios

Is this technically a meet and greet? No. It’s a performance. But the Blues Brothers – a foundation film in my life – come out in the street and dance so I’m counting it.

I love the “Blues Brothers” movie. In fact, I wore out the soundtrack growing up. I STILL listen to the “Blues Brothers” soundtrack.

Paul Schaffer – David Letterman’s famous sidekick – put together one heck of a band. Those are big shoes for the guys at Universal to fill, and I give them credit for trying. Plus, The Blues Mobile is awesome.

5. The Minions

Illumination Theater, Universal Studios

The Minions are a big deal at Universal. Sometimes you’ll also catch the characters Gru, Vector, Agnes, Margo or Edith.

The minions can sometimes be spotted around the exit of the Minion Mayhem ride.

Scooby Doo and the Gang
Scooby Doo and the gang paused their sleuthing to pose do a meet and greet (photo by John Gullion/HeyOrlando.com)

6. Scooby-Doo characters

Hollywood Blvd, Universal Studios

We met Scooby, Shaggy, Velma and Daphne along Hollywood Boulevard. Fred was missing – likely getting the oil changed in the Mystery Machine.

If I’m being honest, I find many of the human characters at Universal leave a little something to be desired. There are a couple that I really like, though.

sideshow bob at universal
My kids with Sideshow Bob at Universal (photo by John Gullion/HeyOrlando.com)

7. The Simpsons characters

Springfield, Universal Studios

The Simpsons Q-rating has dropped a little over the years, but I suspect the shelf life of Bart Simpson to endure Betty Boop-style at least.

Located right outside the exit of the Simpsons Ride, seeing the Simpsons characters like Bart, Homer, Marge and Lisa Simpson as well as Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob in the yellow flesh is cool.

I didn’t actually realize where I was, waiting for the kids to exit the Twirl ‘n’ Hurl when I turned to see a giant Sideshow Bob staring me right in the face. It was both unnerving and excellent.

Cyclops at Universal
Universal has theme park rights to Marvel characters like Cyclops (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

8. Marvel characters

Super Hero Island, Universal Studios

Personally, I don’t really like the feel of Super Hero Island. Specifically, it seems a little more outdated compared to what has been done in the Wizarding World, Jurassic Park and other places that get into the theme.

However, the Captain America meet and greet was exceptional.

Cap took time to speak with each of the kids, giving them individual attention and really interacting.

The Spider-Man meet and greet was also really fun.

Spidey hit the right tone of the character, even pretending to flirt with Sofia, a “fellow teenager” getting ready to go into her senior year of high school.

There are several popular characters on Marvel Super Hero Island, including X-Men-related Marvel characters like Magneto, Wolverine, Cyclops, Rogue and Storm as well as Marvel superheroes villains like Dr. Doom and Green Goblin.

Front of knight bus with conductor
Stan Shunpike can usually be found in front of the Knight Bus, near the Hogwarts Express (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

9. The Knight Bus Driver

Diagon Alley, Universal Studios

The Wizarding World could use some more characters if you want my opinion.

But the kids enjoyed the Knight Bus complete with the talking shrunken head. Both drivers were funny and engaging, asking the kids about their houses.

Sofia was thrilled to have someone talk Harry Potter with her.

You can also interact with goblins at the Gringotts Money Exchange.

patrick star at universal
Patrick Star is available for a meet and greet at Universal Studios (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

10. SpongeBob and Patrick

SpongeBob Squarepants, Universal Studios

In an air-conditioned area, you can meet SpongeBob Squarepants and Patrick. What more could you want?

The kids were in heaven. They got to explore the shop and Ainsley bought a giant SpongeBob and had it shipped to our hotel. It was very convenient.

Spot the Transformers outside of the ride (photo by Daniel Munson/HeyOrlando.com)

11. The Transformers

Production Central, Universal Studios

Near the Transformers ride, you can meet favorite characters like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron. They are some of the coolest-looking characters around the park.

12. Popeye and Olive Oyl

Toon Lagoon, Islands of Adventure

I’m not sure that many kids know who Popeye and Olive Oyl are these days. Still, it can be a fun character experience if you spot them around Toon Lagoon.

King Julien at Universal Studios
The Lost Continent is currently in a state of transition at Universal (photo by John Gullion/HeyOrlando.com)

13. DreamWorks characters

Universal has several popular DreamWorks characters that are not currently listed at specific meet-and-greet locations.

Previously, you could spot them around the Lost Continent. But with a new DreamWorks-themed land coming to Universal Studios in 2024, we have likely not seen the last of these popular characters.

Some of the characters of the DreamWorks cartoon movies include Puss in Boots, King Julien, Alex and the Penguins of Madagascar.

There’s also Kung Fu Panda and some of the characters from Trolls.

Also, we were literally among the last to see Shrek, Donkey and Fiona at their former location near Production Central. We were the second or third to last in line at the end of the day.

Dora the Explorer and Boots at Universal Studios
Dora the Explorer and Boots can also be found at Universal Studios (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

What other characters does Universal have?

Universal Studios is also known to have characters like Dora the Explorer, Marilyn Monroe, Doc Brown, Lucy from “I Love Lucy”, Beetlejuice and Betty Boop.

A good place to spot some of your favorite characters is around Hollywood Boulevard in Universal.

marilyn monroe character at univeral
Marilyn Monroe makes an appearance at Universal Studios (photo by Daniel Munson/HeyOrlando.com)

Is there a character dining experience at Universal Studios?

Right now the Universal Orlando character dining is limited to the Marvel Character Dinner at Café 4. Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm and Rogue have been known to make appearances on select nights.

There are also seasonal options during Halloween and Christmas such as Halloween Horror Nights and Dr. Seuss’ Wholiday events.

What are your favorite characters at Universal Studios Florida? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo of author


John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

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