Thursday, March 7, 2013

Disney World 2013: Pick Your Pearl at Epcot

One of my must-do activities for our trip was to let Kate select a pearl from Japan at Epcot. I wanted her to have a piece of jewelry that she could always keep. The way it works is that you pay for your pearl (I bought two), then wait until they call your number. We had to wait through 2 other pearls before it was our turn.
There are two oyster tanks in a semi-circle and you can choose any oyster you want. I had read online that you should always pick the ugliest, hairiest, nastiest looking oyster- those often had two pearls inside! But the selection that day didn't really seem to have many ugly, hairy ones. I selected one of the uglier ones I could find for my oyster, and Kate selected one that was standing upright and wiggling around for hers.
 Your oyster is then cut open after the hostess teaches you how to count down in Japanese, 3...2...1... (or san...ni...ichi...). She then popped open the oyster to reveal what's inside.
 We watched a few, and sometimes the pearl was obvious and sometimes she had to dig for it a little bit. Kate's pearl was hiding inside the goop, but it was there.  Mine was sitting just at the edge of the oyster when she popped it open, and sadly I only had one. I was hopeful.
 Ta-daa! Kate's pearl. After removing it, the hostess places it in a bath and then places it in a bowl of salt to remove the icky residue and goop from the pearl. She then uses a little measuring device to tell you how big your pearl is. They say that the average pearl is 6mm, but I never saw one smaller than 7mm in the time we spent in the shop. However the largest we saw anyone get was 7 1/2mm, although I've heard of bigger ones.
 Here are our pearls side by side in the salt bowl. My pearl measures 7 1/4mm, and Kate's is 7 1/2mm! Little stinker got a bigger pearl than mommy.
 After announcing to everyone how big your pearls are and the coloring (ours both had a slight pink tinge), the hostess performs a short Japanese drum salute and celebration for your pearl.
They then bag your pearl for you with the size and date on your bag. You may opt to have it set in a piece of jewelry right there in the shop if you wish, for a price of course. However I had done my homework before we left and I purchased a necklace for Kate on Ebay for her pearl - a carriage like Cinderella's. It cost my $5.75 with shipping. I didn't look, but I seriously doubt they are that cheap at Epcot.
 We stepped outside so I could put Kate's pearl in her necklace for her. She was in awe! It was definitely worth the $16 each for our pearls, and now all I need to do is get a necklace for mine as well.

3 comments:

Judy Stokely said...

That is awesome! I didn't do that when I went...but I will next time!

Kitty said...

where did you get the necklace?

:::b r a n d i::: said...

Kitty - As stated in the blog, I bought the necklace on eBay.