Everyone loves a Disney souvenir. Some of the most popular souvenirs include Mickey Ear Hats, apparel, and vehicle adornments, but there are some more unique souvenirs available in Disney World, too.
While on a recent trip to Epcot’s World Showcase, I saw a young couple on their honeymoon picking a pearl from the oyster tanks at the Japan Pavilion. The husband purchased an oyster for his new wife, and the couple carefully chose her oyster from the tank. The Cast Member put on a big show cutting open the oyster while another Cast Member banged drums. As the Cast Member opened the oyster and revealed the pearl, the young wife smiled as she looked at her very special souvenir. The couple then walked over to the jewelry case and chose a setting for her new pearl.
If you’d like to try this experience for yourself, here’s what you need to know!
1. Where can I Pick a Pearl?
The story above played out at World Showcase’s Japan Pavilion. This is the only Pick a Pearl location on Disney property that is actually run by Disney. This location will also give you the best show (as described above).
There are also Pick a Pearl locations in Disney Springs near the Pin Traders hut, a Typhoon Lagoon kiosk, and a Yacht and Beach Club kiosk outside of Stormalong Bay pool. These locations are run by The Pearl Factory, which also has locations in Hawaii, Las Vegas, California, and Universal Studios Orlando.
2. How does this work?
At the kiosks, you just walk up to the counter, tell them you’d like to purchase a pearl, pay, and choose the oyster. These kiosks are rarely very busy, so you’ll be serviced pretty quickly.
The Japan Pavilion location may be busy depending on the time of day. There is a register on the right side of the tanks where you can pay for the oyster. The Cast Member will give you a number much like a deli line. The Cast Members servicing the tanks will call your number, you’ll choose an oyster, get a show (including drumming, opening the oyster, and sizing the pearl), probably attract an audience, and they’ll clean your pearl and give it to you.
If you choose to have it set in a piece of jewelry, you’ll return to the register where a Cast Member will help you.
3. How much does this cost?
Prices may vary especially if you’re visiting one of the kiosks owned by The Pearl Factory, but the price is around $16 to choose a pearl.
If you decide to place the pearl in a setting, this will increase your cost. The most popular settings include rings (about $30), pendants to use on necklaces (prices vary depending on size, complexity, and material), and earrings (about $10). Keep in mind that if you choose to do an earring setting, you will need two pearls of similar color and size, which may be difficult since you can’t see the pearls before you choose the oyster.
4. How long does it take?
The process of choosing a pearl and opening it doesn’t take very long- maybe five minutes. However, if there is a line, you might wait up to a couple hours. If you’re pressed for time, ask a Cast Member for an estimated wait time and return at that time.
If you’d like to have your pearl placed in a setting, the minimum wait time is about an hour, but it may take much longer if there are several settings ahead of you. If you can’t or don’t want to wait for your setting to be completed, you can arrange to have it delivered to you like other souvenirs. Keep in mind there may also be a waiting period to wear your jewelry to allow the glue to dry.
5. Am I guaranteed a pearl?
I’ve never seen a sign saying that you are guaranteed a pearl, but I’ve also never seen a sign that has any kind of warning that the oysters may not contain an pearl. I’ve heard other people say that they have witnessed someone purchase an oyster with no pearl, and the Cast Member made a big deal about allowing the guest to choose another oyster.
6. What kind of pearl will I get?
Most pearls are white and measure about six to seven millimeters in size, but some may be larger than that. Occasionally pearls will be black, gold, pink, or a variety of other colors. Even more rarely, one oyster will contain two pearls. If you are lucky enough to get this fortune, both pearls are yours. Keep in mind that pearls are a natural occurrence, and no two pearls will be the same.
Have you ever picked a pearl as a Disney Souvenir? Glad you did?