Finding Characters at Universal

We did 1.5 days at Universal over Thanksgiving week (and an additional couple hrs the next day for just me, so kind of 2 days) and saw very few characters. Is there some sort of schedule they keep that I don’t know about? We did see the Knight Train driver and the Conductor of Hogwart’s Express, but other than that the only other one in the whole trip was Doc from Back to the Future. I really wanted to have my kids’ picture taken with Hello Kitty and got conflicting reports of when she’d be around, and never saw her the whole 2 days. We also never saw Simpsons and that was high on my list of characters we wanted to see. We are considering a 2nd visit with a lot more time at Universal either near Easter or at the 2nd half of August. Do they have less characters roaming around during busy holiday times? Thanks for any info.

I just wrote about this in my trip report. We never go looking for meet and greets. If we happen upon someone that we like, we’d stop. We met so many characters on this trip.

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I second what @padfoot86 said. I have heard rumors that there is a printed schedule somewhere, and I have noticed if you go on the website, they will give you a general idea of when characters will be around, we always just stumbled upon them.

It seemed like I always stumble upon the characters. There were signs of meets and greets and times in Seuss Landing in December, but I think that might have been Grinchmas activities? Even then, there were members of Whoville roaming the streets and stores. More often I just find this

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That’s delightful! I wish we’d seen more characters. I got the impression that with the Xmas parade they ended that stuff early in the day.

Sorry you didn’t see Kitty. I remember how you wanted to find her. Did you get to do the green screens in The Dark Room?

There are time guides for some characters, but for a lot of character you have to know their “zones” and “windows” when they come out.I found that the Orlando informer is a good source for this. There are times guides, but don’t put 100% faith in them. IME - They are about 75% accurate.


I have found the Universal App to be helpful. If you’ll select “Shows” you’ll see meeting places


Universal Orlando is a lot like Disneyland in that most of them are roaming. You can ask for photos and autograph “stamps”, but they don’t have a lot of dedicated facilities to line up and meet characters. (I can think of Shrek & Transformers off the top of my head, but not much else.)
IOA had a X-Men / Marvel parade about every 90 minutes over by the Spider-Man ride.

I did get a lot of pics with characters, but I was there 5 days and prioritize them over some smaller rides. (A lot of people do a “resort / pool” day while in Orlando. I do a leisurely character day! I might ride one or two things, but I mostly spend a day walking in the park with a Character TP)

In addition to Transformers and Shrek, there are organized lines where you can meet Spongebob characters in the shop (the Krusty Krab?) in the Kids Zone, Minions at the end of the ride/back of the shop, Simpsons characters in the roped area by the ride and Spiderman in the shop in Marvel Superhero Island (can’t remember the name of the shop - sorry!).

True! I did meet E.T and Spider-Man in their respective gift shops

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ET would’ve been a fun one to me, lol. So cool that you got to meet him!

I’m real happy with how my E.T pics came out. That’s why it’s my ID / profile pic on most of my social media accounts & etc…

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When I took the picture on the bike, I had my green shirt on and I lost my entire upper half. I was amazed that they were able to completely restore my body on the computer!

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It makes me happy that they do this. I miss the old days of WDW when the characters there would roam. Accidentally coming upon a character at Universal is so fun! And it’s neat that you take a day to character search. I actually kept my eyes open for characters on my last trip and saw a lot more than I ever have in the past.


Same here! Did you know that you can meet characters in Cabana Bay as well? We have met Minions, I Love Lucy, and Doc Brown in the lobby as we were heading out.


I have heard this, but I have never actually seen any characters the few times I was there. How cool that you did!

I really appreciate all the responses! :slight_smile: I didn’t do any green screen stuff but it seems like a big thing at Universal. We tried to get the Gringott’s ride photo op (we had the photo pass so figured we’d do photos) and saw the setup but no photographer was there. I was told we could go somewhere else nearby to do that but we didn’t have time. Then I saw that there was one at Shrek but that was also across the street…we had just not planned any time for any sort of thing like that. Next time I will find out more about this stuff before going. Overall I think that I was so used to WDW with the characters having specific times and places where they’d be, and mostly with character dining, that I was disappointed not to have that same planning capability. But we were very WWOHP driven for this trip so I guess it’s not surprising that something else we wanted to see didn’t happen. We did still enjoy the Hello Kitty store and the Simpsons area without the HK Simpsons characters.