Run fast to meet all the characters at Universal Orlando

November 25, 2019, 5:43 PM · What's the fastest way to get to all the character meet and greets in a theme park? Running, of course.

Now, I don't mean running during operating hours. That's a big no-no — an inconsiderate and potentially hazardous way to get around the park. I mean running during parks' special running events, which often feature excellent opportunities to meet and take photos with a wide variety of park characters.

Universal Orlando is kicking off its Running Universal series with an "Epic Character Race" at the resort on February 1 and 2. It announced today that the character line-up for its 5K and 10K runs will include the Minions, Shrek and family, Autobots and Decepticons from Transformers, and Blue from Jurassic World. The characters will appear throughout the race courses, taking photos with fans who decide that getting pictures is more important than posting a fast time.

Registration is now open for the Universal Orlando event, which features the 5K on February 1 and the 10K run the next morning. Both runs start at 5:30am (before the parks open, as the racers must be clear from the parks before then), and parking will be complementary for runners. Packages with discounted theme park tickets and hotel rooms also are available.

Meanwhile, Universal Studios Hollywood is taking registrations for its next Running Universal event, which will feature Dreamworks Animation's Trolls. That event, on April 26, 2020, will feature a Kids' 1K as well as 5K and 10K runs. Early Bird pricing is now available, as well as discounted theme park tickets for race registrants. Previous Universal Studios Hollywood runs featured Jurassic World and the Minions.

Both events feature the chance to run through theme parks, including the Universal Studios backlot in Hollywood. And, as always with such things, registration includes swaggy medals (though the designs for these races have yet to be released).

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