Pick a PearlHidden in the Japan pavilion in Epcot is a secret treasure you must discover on your next Walt Disney World vacation.

The Pick-A-Pearl adventure is part souvenir, part adventure, part learning all combined into one. As a person that loves to give unique Disney souvenirs to my daughter and nieces at our family reunions, I was excited to finally be able to experience this with five of my favorite girls in the world. While there are multiple Pick-A-Pearl locations at Walt Disney World, the most elaborate experience is in the Japanese pavilion gift shop located under the Teppan Edo and Toyko Dining restaurants. When you walk into the gift shop head to the area from which cheers, chants, and drumming are originating.Pick a Pearl

The first thing you will need to do is pay for the experience which starts at $17 an oyster. With your receipt you will get a customer number and then await your turn while watching other guests before you. The oysters are located in two different pools of shallow water. The advice I had been given was to pick the ugliest oyster I could find and inside would be some of the prettiest pearls one could receive. I passed that on to my daughter and nieces and they really did find some great treasures.

Pick a Pearl Once you’ve picked the oyster, the cast member will open it up for you. Here’s where the learning comes in. Before they open it, they have you count to 3 in Japanese! There is definite fun involved in the anticipation of what your pearl will look like and learning how to count in Japanese gives you a moment of thrill in that anticipation. “Ichi, Ni, San!”, the oyster is opened to reveal your souvenir! Sometimes, the oyster will open up and reveal twins are hiding inside – this was the case for 4 of the 5 girls in our group and it caused quite a commotion for everyone to have so many twin pearls revealed one after another.

Pick a PearlThe pearl is rinsed off and then with pomp and circumstance, the cast member will reveal the size of your pearl. The ceremony comes to an end with a drum roll and you have a souvenir you can keep forever. The store offers settings for your pearl including earrings {perfect for those with twin pearls or who have purchased two oysters as their souvenir}, charms, and ring settings or you can find some perfect Disney themed settings online on such websites as Etsy. Before our trip, I found a great deal online for Cinderella carriage pearl holders and presented them to the girls before we went in to pick the oysters.

Pick-a-pearl locations can also be found at Disney Springs, the Yacht and Beach Club resorts, and Typhoon Lagoon but the most memorable show happens in the Japanese pavilion. Be sure to check out one of these locations on your next stay and take home a beautiful souvenir!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist