Updated for 2016!
So you’ve done the Disney t-shirt and brought home the Mickey Mouse ears? Are you looking for something a little more special to bring back from Walt Disney World? Look no further than the WDW Pick-A-Pearl experience.
We have all the details for you, including price, locations, all sorts of thoughts and ideas from the Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans. Are you ready for some fun on your next vacation?!
How much does the Pick-A-Pearl cost?
The cost is $15.95 or around $17.00 with tax. This definitely won’t break the vacation bank.
Where can you purchase a pearl?
You can Pick-A-Pearl at Epcot’s Japan Pavilion, Disney Springs over by the Once Upon a Toy store, the Beach Club Resort, and Blizzard Beach water park.
How large are the pearls?
While no specific size is guaranteed, the pearls are generally 6 to 6.5 mm and up.
Amanda, “My daughter did this in October of 2013. She made a necklace. She was upset that her pearl was too big to fit into the Cinderella carriage setting, so she settled for the dolphin. Maybe next time we will try for a smaller pearl.”
Kimberly, “We did this with my then 3-year-old daughter. She picked a tremendous pearl which we put into a pearl cage. It is our intention to add it to her pearl necklace for her wedding day (my mom has been buying her pearls for every birthday and significant occasions since she was born). This was very sentimental, especially since my daughter kept calling the diver ‘her mermaid'”
What sort of color are the pearls?
While no specific color is guaranteed, the colors are typically white, blue, gray, pink, or cream.
Nicole, “I did it at Downtown Disney twice myself, once with my mom, and once with my sister-in-law. Both times I got HUGE grayish/blue pearls. They both got white. Always pick the ugliest shell!”
Emily, “We did this in November. My youngest picked a white one, my oldest picked a yellow one, and my husband let me pick two because I wanted earrings. I got pink and yellow pearls. My oldest traded her yellow for my pink, and we all got necklace settings since the sizes were noticeably different on the yellow ones. I would do it again on our next trip.”
For you pirate fans, several of our Cheapskate Princess fans remarked they found black pearls.
Sarah, “I also got a black pearl once and made a ring.”
Can I purchase a setting for my pearl?
There are lots of jewelry settings for sale, with prices reportedly starting at about $10 for earrings and about $25 for other larger items. Settings for earrings, necklaces, rings, and pendants come in sterling silver, yellow gold, and white gold.
Emily sent this photo of her families’ treasures, “The two on the left are my daughters’ with their birthstones, and the setting on the right is mine. My husband is so sweet!”
What sort of pearl shell should I choose?
Karen, “Definitely pick the dirtiest ugliest mossiest shell. You will get the best pearls! We did this, me, my husband and son and loved it. I still have the video of them opening our oysters!”
Melissa, “Find the UGLIEST shell to possibly find twins… We did!! I have one in a beautiful Cinderella’s Carriage pearl cage!”
Will children enjoy this?
Stephanie, “I got twin pearls and made them into lovely earrings. When my kids are a little older, we will let them do it.”
Dixie, “We let my 8-year-old daughter do this. She loved it! It’s a very fun experience for kids!!” Dixie sent this photos of her daughter with her pearl souvenir. She said she was “So happy to have her souvenir pearl!”
What a cutie!
Would our fans recommend this experience to their friends?
Brandi, “We do it every trip. I love it. It is such a fun experience and the Cast Member’s in Japan are great. The first time, I had it set in a charm for a necklace. Now I am just saving the pearls. We have a few different colors, and one time we got two pearls in one oyster.”
Jimmy, “I’ve done it a bunch of times with my daughter and nieces. In my honest opinion, it’s one of the best values in Disney!”
Samantha, “My sister got two pearls, and one was gray. We got some pretty amazing pearls and memories.” Samantha sent us some great photos of her pearl experience.
While our Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans have purchased pearls at all four Disney Pick-A-Pearl locations, for the most fun-filled experience, they almost unanimously suggest you head over to Epcot for a show.
In the Japan Pavillion at Epcot, the Pick-a-Pearl Station is located at the Mitsukoshi store just below Teppan Edo. Purchase an oyster, receive a number, and wait your turn. You can browse the jewelry settings or watch other customers as they pick their pearls. The atmosphere is festive with lots of cheering and drum banging. Once your number is called, the Cast Member opening your oyster teaches you to count down from three to one in Japanese, and then she cracks open your oyster shell.
If you want to have your pearls set in jewelry you purchase at Epcot, it usually can take a minimum of 30 minutes. The other three pearl locations are probably similar in their timeframes.
Disney will not deliver the Pick-A-Pearls to your resort rooms, so you will have to personally pick up your piece of jewelry.
How can I save money on a setting?
Your Cheapskate Princess money-saving tip? Head over to eBay for deals on a silver Disney Cinderella Pearl Carriage.
Emi shared her experience and a tip, “This is one of my favorite WDW experiences, ever. My mom and I did it as a celebration last year; I followed the ‘ugly oyster’ way of choosing and found twins! We had one set and put the other in a Cinderella’s Carriage that we’d bought online prior to coming. I’d love to do it again on my next trip…such a special thing to do!
Tip: be careful about where you buy your pearl cages from online. The seller that we bought Cinderella’s Carriage from promised that it was tarnish-free, but we soon discovered that was not the truth.”
Another money-saving tip?
There you have it, all the info. we could locate on Disney’s Pick-A-Pearl experience. All our Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans agreed that four locations + beautiful pearls adds up to fun for the young and the young at heart alike.
Leave us a comment and let us know what you thought about your pearl picking experience. We love to know what our fans think about their Disney vacations.
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Amanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.
Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast.
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