Universal Parks are not comparable to Disney Parks in many ways, including dining, guest experience and merchandise. But, one thing that they’ve got down pat are the character interactions.
Islands of Adventure
You’re a mean one, Mr Grinch! You’re also absolutely hilarious to engage in a conversation and your personality (???) shines through when you’ve got the chance to riff with guests of all ages. If you ask the right questions in the right order, there’s a very good opportunity to be laughing harder than you’ve ever laughed while meeting a character in a theme park. He’s that good at improv!
BLUE, THE RAPTOR FROM JURASSIC WORLD
Not only do you get to interact with a raptor from Jurassic World, you also get to spend time with one of the coolest roles at Islands of Adventure…the Raptor Handler!
Lines get pretty long, but the goal is to set the anticipation for what you’re about to see!
When you first walk into Hogsmeade from the Lost Continent, the Hogwarts Express will be found on the right hand side. Iconic sight with a great photo opportunity, made even better when you get a chance to visit with the conductor. If you wanted to talk about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – this is the character experience for ya!
- Students of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang (Harry Potter)
- Marvel Super Hero Island Heros – Captain America, Cyclops, Storm, Rogue, Spidey
- Marvel Super Hero Island Villains – Green Goblin and Dr Doom
- Betty Boop
- Popeye and Olive Oyl
- Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and 2, Sam I am and the Lorax
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Universal Studios Florida
When they switched out Back to the Future with The Simpsons, we were all worried that the charm of the classic film would be lost. Well, it was…but then guests had the chance to meet Doc Brown in Universal Studios Florida and everyone was happy again!
The actors that they bring in to portray Doc are brilliant, especially when you think that he’s usually just off by himself with no handlers and no real backdrop. He can be found over by the train, or you can also just find him riding his bike around the streets. Great experience!
There are a couple of characters that just belong at a Universal Studios theme park, and BJ is one of them! Sure, he’s not 100% family friendly…but that doesn’t mean that the material of the Tim Burton cult-classic film can’t come around and be relevant again.
I’ve never had a bad interaction with Beetlejuice! If you ask him about the most mundane and off-kilter things, it’ll make everyone’s day. We tend to ask him about his neighbours in the park (Scooby and Friends or the Simpsons) or about the long-lost Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue, and it tends to be a solid chat.
OPTIMUS PRIME, BUMBLEBEE AND MEGATRON
The stars of Transformers are a highlight for any guest, and it’s less about the conversation and more about just being there. The photos are great but the real skill comes from the banter that comes from Megatron when he’s let loose on unsuspecting park visitors that don’t really know who he is!
KNIGHT BUS CONDUCTOR
Huge lines are probable, but for any Harry Potter fan…you’ll definitely want this photo!
- Scooby Doo and the Gang
- Shrek, Fiona and Donkey
- Gringotts Goblin (in the Money Exchange)
- Lucille Ball
- Marilyn Monroe
- Blues Brothers
- Betty Boop
- The Mummy Guards
- Hashtag the Panda
- Barney & Friends
Universal Orlando Resort is the place to be when you want to hang out with characters! They’re all over the place and all you have to do is walk around with a plan to selfie-it-up with the best of the best!