We’ve slowly but surely seen more experiences return to Disney World following the park closures.
Character meet and greets have bounded back, and most restaurants have reopened their doors. One EPCOT experience recently started welcoming guests once again and we went to check it out for ourselves — come with us!
Things may have seemed a bit barren in the Japan Pavilion of the World Showcase in EPCOT over the last few years and for good reason. Akoya Pearls has been a popular merchandise experience within the Mitsukoshi store just underneath Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining.
Since March 2020, the Akoya Pearl stand has eerily quiet compared to the usual daily drumming, clapping, and laughter that surrounds it, and now it is finally back. This area was closed and got a bit of a facelift!
Guests gathered around the stand to witness the excitement once again of seeing these gorgeous pearls cracked open from their oyster shells. We spoke with the Cast Member working at Akoya Pearls and she confirmed that some of the employees working there just came back to Orlando from their home country.
Over in EPCOT, Akoya Pearls has reopened for the first time since closing for the pandemic. For $18.78, you pick an oyster shell and get the pearls inside! Jewelry settings are available too! pic.twitter.com/4DKxasKD8i
— Disney Food Blog (@DisneyFoodBlog) February 17, 2023
Curious how this experience works? For $18.78 guests are invited to pick an oyster shell of their choice, while the cast member cracks open the shell to reveal the pearl within. Every shell is guaranteed to have at least one pearl (we’ve witnessed some with two.) The cast member will then invite the guest to count to three in Japanese and will open the shell to reveal your pearl. These pearls can vary in shape, color, and size, and we’ve even been told some come in pink and green variations occasionally.
After they’ve had time to rinse the pearl they set it into a cup filled with salt to show it to you, measure its size, and then celebrate with a short drumming ceremony. Afterwards, guests can choose different settings to display the pearls. Guests have options to choose from a necklace with varying prices, or get a glass bottle with colored sand for an additional $4.95.
Just as a heads up, though, if you’re looking to set the pearl in jewelry, this option will not be available until 1PM.
We’re so excited to have this experience back in EPCOT for guests of all ages to enjoy! As always, stay tuned with us at DFB for the latest in Disney news.
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Have you missed Akoya Pearls in EPCOT? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
I was just there last week (and came home with COVID, but that’s another story). I was so happy to see Mitsukoshi open and restocked, and all the folks back in. While we didn’t stop at Akoya Pearls this trip, again, seeing them open and all the happy people was a great thing!
We have always gone to the pearl place in Disney Springs. They open the oyster in front of you and actually show you the pearl in the oyster, not close it and quick clean it. I would definitely question seeing the oyster then.
I enjoy this as well, but do get a slight of hand vibe from the presentation.