Friday, July 12, 2013

"Treasure Hunting" in Epcot...A Great Souvenir

(A Great Souvenir for commemorating a Run Disney Event, Wedding, Anniversary, Birthday, or any other special event at Disney)

epcot center
Japan pavilion in Epcot
When we visit Disney parks and resorts we always try to look beyond the “obvious” attractions. That is why my husband and I were so intrigued the first time we discovered the large oyster tank in the Mitsukoshi store in Epcot’s Japan pavilion. This was a “Pick a Pearl” station.  We watched a few people through their process of picking their pearl before we decided to do it too.  This is how it works.

Once you decide you want to purchase a pearl, you will get a number from the nice Japanese lady or gentleman behind the oyster tank.

Once your number is called, you point out the oyster shell that you want.  Since doing this I have heard rumors that the ugliest shells produce the best pearls.  I can’t confirm this because I do believe I got some nice looking pearls and I don’t remember looking for the “ugly” oysters. 

The lady or gentleman behind the tank will pull out the oyster you’ve selected and cut it open. They do this in front of you so you can see the pearl as it is revealed.  The pearls will vary in size and color. The colors range from white to what they call a champagne color and all shades in between.  Some oysters even produce black pearls. I have also heard of people receiving “twin” pearls in their oyster.  That is great luck if you are trying to make a pair of earrings with matching pearls.

My husband and I each picked an oyster. Inside the first one was a cream colored pearl with a pinkish tint.  It was a pretty decent size at 7.5 mm.  When the employee measures the pearl to find out how large it is they will than pound on a drum in celebration of your “treasure”. All the employees behind the counter will clap and cheer!

The second oyster that we picked produced a pure white pearl that measured 7mm.  We were told that getting a pure white pearl was pretty rare and that both pearls measured larger than normal.  

After our pearls were cleaned and polished, we had the option of taking them home as is or purchasing a setting for them. We decided to have the pure white pearl set into a ring and the other set in a necklace. We waited about 30 to 40 minutes for our settings to be completed and were told to wait several hours before wearing them and to not get them wet.  This is true for all pearl jewelry whether it is new or old, you should not get it wet.  

This is one of our favorite activities in Epcot. I love that my husband enjoys it so much as well. He refers to is as “treasure hunting”. It is exciting not knowing what exactly you are going to get. I’ve done this activity in Epcot about 10 times. I’ve made rings, necklaces, and pendants and I have about a half a dozen loose pearls that I’ve packaged up and brought home.  At some point I thought I would get two pearls that are similar so I could make a pair of earrings.   I haven’t been lucky enough to find “twin” pearls in my oyster yet!

When we first discovered “treasure hunting” for pearls, the cost was $13 an oyster.  At the time of this post  it is now up to $17.  This does not include the cost of the setting .

Although we enjoy the experience at the Japan pavilion, there have also been pick a pearl stations set up near the Beach Club Resort and at Downtown Disney.

                   Have you ever done the pick a pearl at any of these locations?


  1. I LOVE this idea. I have never heard of it until now - definitely want to check it out in October :) Thanks for posting!

    1. Ahh, I'm glad this will be on your "Disney to Do List" now!

  2. If you don't mind me asking (if you do, it's fine!) - how much was the ring setting?

  3. Honestly I really don't remember the cost of the setting. It was probably around $20 or so, but I imagine the price has gone up a bit since the last time I did it.