We had a blast at the inaugural Epic Character Race Weekend at Universal Orlando. We completed the Epic Character Race 5K and 10K race distances! Our favorite part of the 10K race was the many miles throughout Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Orlando! With two parks so close together, it is a great way to spend 6.2 miles in and around the theme parks!
Running Universal Epic Character Race 10K Course
Seriously, with the exception of the beginning stretch to get from the start line outside of the parking garages over to the theme parks, we spent the rest of the race inside or in the backstage areas of Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios! The course had many twists and turns, which is common for a theme park race, but we were entertained the whole time and the miles flew by!
The 10K race entered Islands of Adventure first near Toon Lagoon. Runners exited the park’s main entrance to loop around City Walk before returning to complete the circle around Seuss Landing, The Lost Continent, and Hogsmede! Running through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a huge highlight of the 10K distance! We exited just past Jurassic Park and Skull Island: Reign of Kong.
Separating the two parks was some backstage running. Many people never get to see the behind the scenes area, so we loved this part as well! We entered Universal Studios in San Francisco and immediately went towards Diagon Alley! Again, we love running through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! We circled the back side of World Expo to add some mileage returning through Springfield and Hollywood before our big finish in New York!
Running Universal Epic Character Race 10K Characters
During the 10K, we had the opportunity to stop for 13 different character stops, plus additional entertainment like DJs! In Islands of Adventure, we met Betty Boop, stilt walker genies, the Who’s from Whoville, and Puss in Boots with Kitty Softpaws. We missed the baby triceratops when we ran by, but baby dinosaurs are so needy so it is understandable. Popeye and Olive Oil were the last character stop as we exited Islands of Adventure.
In the backstage area between the parks, Scooby Doo and Shaggy were meeting with the Mystery Machine. Daphne, Velma, and Fred were spotted by some runners, but they were likely tracking some clues when we passed. Inside Universal Studios, we were greeted by Winnie Woodpecker (Woody Woodpecker’s best friend) in a cute Running Universal shirt! The Knight Bus driver was out in London and Homer and Bart were welcoming runners to their hometown, Springfield! We were SO excited to see an entire Mardi Gras float and several performers out after Central Park. Optimus Prime was meeting as we ran by, but we got lucky and Megatron took over before we got to the front of the queue! Finishing up the course were the Blues Brothers and Hashtag the Panda.
In the Finish Line area, Blue the Raptor was meeting and had a long queue. We appreciated that they held this character meet until the end of the race, as we experienced a decent delay with this meet and greet in Universal Hollywood. Woody Woodpecker was also meeting runners, he is a great photo op! We have only seen him in the park a handful of times!
Running Universal Epic Character Race 10K Medal and Swag
The 10K medal matched nicely with the 5K medal we received the day prior. A minion and raptor from Jurassic World are running together, or maybe the minion is running from the dinosaur in the center! We love the brand crossover! This medal was also a spinner medal, which is a great unexpected bonus! The t-shirt is equally as fun and a wicking material! This is great for training or a day in the parks!
Overall, we had so much fun at the Epic Character Race Weekend at Universal Orlando. We are anxiously awaiting information on the next race! This 10K course was great for a fast PR opportunity or fun to take your time and meet characters! We love a good race that can be both!