This time last year, I was walking around the Japan Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. I walked into the Mitsukoshi Department Store, which I never really did in the past, save for a mission while playing the former Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure. And there I saw it! “Pick-A-Pearl” Pearl Diving! Right in the center of Mitsukoshi, there is a long counter of tanks containing countless oysters!
I had to do this. The only time I ever did before was on Premiere Cruise Line’s Big Red Boat as a kid. So, in my mind, it was no accident I discovered this as another Disney experience.
When I “dove” for my oyster, a Cast Member beat on a mini taiko drum, like a tiny version of Matsuriza outside. She cracked it open and revealed its contents: a perfect, white pearl. I had the choice to keep the loose pearl or walk over to the other side of the counter to select a setting. And here is where the “crafting” begins.
Diving for one of these cultured pearls is right around $17.00 each (at the time I did this). It doesn’t matter what size pearl your oyster contains. Settings are an additional cost, which start at right around the same price. For example, if you would like pearl earrings, you would pay $34.00+ for the two oysters and an additional cost depending on your settings.
I chose the Cinderella Coach (shown with my photos). If you flip it upside-down, it is a Hidden Mickey. I loved that setting as soon as I saw it.
Placing the pearl takes some time, so it’s a great chance to browse the store, see the Pavilion exhibits or even snag a kaki-gori or sake.
The idea of “pearl diving” is not new to Disney Parks. According to the D23 article, Pearl Diving at Disneyland?, at one time an entire Japanese-themed area was proposed for Adventureland in Disneyland. This was to “include a pool where divers would bring oysters up for guests and have them set into jewelry in an authentically Japanese merchandise area”. This plan surely influenced the present form over at Epcot’s Mitsukoshi Department Store.
While this “crafted” option might be on the pricey side, you will be getting a truly one of a kind souvenir~one you helped to create. It is also uniquely from Epcot and, in essence from, Japan.
So, enjoy your day and “dive” in next time you are at the World Showcase!
This is the first of two posts focusing on crafting necklaces. So, please stay tuned for the amazing Bead Necklaces found over at Epcot’s Outpost!
Arthur, Justin. Pearl Diving at Disneyland?, D23 . 2013, July 9. < https://d23.com/site-search/?q=pearl+diving> accessed 6 November 2013.
All photos are by Fran Cassano.
Fran Cassano invites us capture our own memories through Practically Perfect Disney Crafting…Break out the tools that have been gathering dust. And let’s figure out how, together!