You’ve Never Heard Of The Most Unique Disney World Experience!

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The Most Unique Disney World Experience You've NEVER Heard Of!
Credit: Disney

This hidden gem of an experience can be found tucked away in Epcot, and it is one that you absolutely must not pass up!

Experiences at Disney World Parks

Credit: Jaelyn

When you go on vacation to Walt Disney World, every aspect of your trip is an experience in and of itself. While on the property, there is always something new to see or do, whether it be experiencing brand-new attractions for the first time, sampling brand-new snacks or festival offerings, or watching nighttime spectaculars. A good number of these adventures are widely known and have received a lot of publicity. However, there are some experiences and adventures that are a little bit off the beaten path and provide guests with a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

On this very blog, we have previously written about many of these extraordinary and one-of-a-kind opportunities. We love to check out all of the special offerings that Walt Disney World has to offer and share them with you all, whether it’s dining at restaurants that are incredibly delicious but a little tucked away from the main path, experiencing the unique entertainment that some resorts have to offer, or even staying in unique rooms and accommodations at Walt Disney World.

Hidden experiences can be found just about anywhere if you know where to look. Continue reading to find out more about this incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that awaits you in EPCOT!

EPCOT Experiences

Credit: Disney

At every corner, it seems like there’s a new and exciting experience waiting for you at EPCOT Center! This park is full of hidden experiences and activities that are the perfect combination of Disney-related intellectual property and ride-focused attractions and experiences that allow guests to explore the various cultures featured in World Showcase. This park is full of hidden experiences and activities.

Even though EPCOT is a favorite destination of many people due to its amazing attractions like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and its delectable festival food, it is also a leading location for unexpected and one-of-a-kind experiences as well as interactions with characters. There are wonderful things available for guests of all ages, such as Kidcot stops for the youngest visitors, seasonal scavenger hunts for prizes, and fun festival activities, such as the group painting that takes place during the Festival of the Arts or Bambi’s Butterfly Garden that takes place during the Flower and Garden Festival.

Credit: Jaelyn W.

My mother, my son, and I were able to experience a one-of-a-kind activity in the Japan Pavilion called “Pick a Pearl!” during my most recent trip to EPCOT, which has recently reopened after being closed for a considerable amount of time.

Pick a Pearl Location and Process

Credit: Jaelyn W.

Akoya Pearls is housed within Mitsukoshi, a massive store in EPCOT’s World Showcase’s Japan Pavilion. It is tucked away inside the store and requires some searching to find. This shop was very busy when we visited during Spring Break, and we had to look for where we were going! This attraction was closed for nearly three years, but with the return of the Cultural Representative Program in EPCOT and other exciting changes, Akoya Pearls reopened earlier in 2023!

The tank of oysters will be the first thing you notice when you arrive! Every oyster in this tank contains a pearl. There is also a large screen that displays each oyster’s opening on a larger scale for guests to see. Guests take a number and, when their number is called, they can choose their own oyster from the case for $20.00 plus tax. And now the magic begins!

The Actual Experience

Credit: Jaelyn W.

My 6-year-old son is a natural collector. He enjoys pin trading, rock collecting, and any other activity that allows him to acquire something unique or “rare.” This Pick a Pearl Experience would be ideal for him, I knew! As I previously stated, the store was extremely busy when we arrived. We took a number and waited about 20 minutes for it to be our turn. We were able to observe others going through the experience while we waited.

My son proudly selected his oyster from the case when his number was called. As she brought the oyster to the workspace to begin the process, the cast member was overjoyed. As she opened the oyster, the cast member taught him how to bow and count down from three in Japanese. She then cleaned the pearl and presented him with his 7 millimeter pearl! She beat the drums, danced with my son, and prepared the pearl for the next counter.

Credit: Jaelyn W.

Two more cast members are stationed at a counter with various jewelry settings and pearl storage locations on the next counter. For an additional $5.95, my son chose a sand bottle with box. As they sang “When You Wish Upon a Star” to him, the cast members encouraged him to hold his pearl and make a wish!

They then prepared his pearl in the sand bottle, packaged it safely for transport back to our resort, called us, and we were on our way.

Who Would Love This Experience?

Credit: Jaelyn W.

Pick a Pearl at Akoya Pearls was a one-of-a-kind and deeply meaningful experience for us! I loved that my son was able to experience Japanese culture in such a unique way while visiting EPCOT. We’ve been to EPCOT numerous times, but we frequently skip over some of the more hidden spaces in World Showcase in order to get to the next attraction or snack. I appreciated taking the time to slow down and enjoy this with him.

Pick a Pearl Experience is ideal for guests who enjoy unique experiences and enjoy visiting EPCOT to learn about other countries and cultures. The cast members truly made this experience magical for my son and all of the other guests present.

Credit: Jaelyn W.

Guests looking for a one-of-a-kind souvenir should also pay a visit to Akoya Pearls. It truly is an experience for people of all ages! I can’t wait to go back and do it again on our next trip!

Have you tried Akoya Pearls’ Pick a Peal experience? Is this something you’d like to include in your next trip to EPCOT? What are your favorite “secret” activities? Please leave a comment and share this article with your Disney travel companions!

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