The Lit­tle Things


Sou­venir shop­ping at the Walt Dis­ney World Re­sort is nearly as ex­cit­ing as one of the en­ter­tain­ing at­trac­tions for adults and kids alike. With such a se­lec­tion of stores, spe­cialty shops, kiosks, and street ven­dors, it’s hard to de­cide what you should shell-out your hard earned Dis­ney dol­lars for as a last­ing me­mento of your va­ca­tion.

Among all the ob­vi­ous choices, like the clas­sic plush toys, click pens, trad­ing pins, ap­parel, and ac­ces­sories that can be found at count­less lo­ca­tions through­out the Re­sort, lies a pearl of a sou­venir, tucked away in the Ep­cot theme park, that you may not have con­sid­ered or even known about that’s suit­able for ev­ery­one. It’s quite unique, and in fact, it is lit­er­ally a pearl!

The Pick-a-pearl ex­pe­ri­ence at the Mitsukoshi Depart­ment Store in Ep­cot’s Ja­pan Pav­il­ion is one of the BEST and lit­tle known op­por­tu­ni­ties to score an un­com­mon keep­sake from your Walt Dis­ney World Va­ca­tion. For a mere $18-plus tax (as of the writ­ing of this ar­ti­cle), Guests get the op­por­tu­nity to se­lect an oys­ter from a fully stocked wa­ter tank, which will then be cer­e­mo­ni­ously opened—by a very the­atri­cal Cast Mem­ber—re­veal­ing the prize in­side. In most cases, one pearl is dis­cov­ered, but it has hap­pened (to us) that TWO pearls are found in­side the oys­ter shell. “Twins” are cause for cel­e­bra­tion and the Cast Mem­bers do a great job of mak­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence, be it one or two pearls, pos­i­tively ex­cit­ing.

Af­ter the big re­veal, they will wash the pearl, mea­sure it for you and place it in a small plas­tic zip­per bag­gie, not­ing the size. At this point you have the op­tion to be on your merry way or have the pearl placed in a set­ting, which comes with a size­able price tag. In the jew­elry cases are rings, neck­laces, charms and cages, to name a few, that you can have your pearl(s) set into. De­pend­ing on how busy they are or the type of set­ting you choose, it could take about an hour to com­plete your or­der. On the other hand, Etsy has a won­der­ful se­lec­tion of crafters that sell beau­ti­ful and much more af­ford­able op­tions to show­case your trea­sured pearl. If you are con­sid­er­ing this ex­pe­ri­ence for your next visit, pre­emp­tively browse on­line to view some op­tions. This is the route that I took and I am very pleased with the qual­ity and price of my pur­chase.

While Pick-a-pearl coun­ters can also be found at Dis­ney Springs, the Yacht and Beach Club Re­sort, and Dis­ney’s Typhoon La­goon, the most mem­o­rable and fun ex­pe­ri­ence (there will be drumming) hap­pens in the Ja­pan Pav­il­ion in­side of Mitsukoshi lo­cated just un­der­neath the Tep­pan Edo restau­rant.

If you aren’t cer­tain if it’s for you, stop-in and watch the fun. The counter is in the mid­dle of the store and Guests of­ten gather around to see the show. There usu­ally isn’t a long wait, un­less it’s rain­ing out­side. In which case (which was ours) our turn came af­ter about 30 min­utes. To­tally worth the wait!

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