No matter how old we are, there’s something about receiving a little sticker from a Cast Member that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Who doesn’t love a free souvenir? But these days, there’s a whole lot more than just the classic old Mickey sticker in Disney World. Prepare to have your mind blown — we’re sharing a secret tip on how to get one of Disney’s most popular souvenirs!
We were treated to an unexpected free treat in Magic Kingdom this weekend!
Disney World often rolls out special holiday offerings for guests. And since today is Easter, we’ve seen plenty of seasonal snacks, merchandise, and even characters around the parks. But this weekend, received a freebie that celebrates a holiday that’s much farther away!
It’s no secret that a Disney World vacation costs A LOT of money! There’s the cost of the hotel room, theme park tickets, food, and all the other little things that add up. And of course the kiddos (and grownups) will want souvenirs, leaving you to wonder: How can I make everyone happy and not break the bank on souvenirs?
Believe it or not there are FREE — yes, FREE — goodies all around Disney World that not only make great souvenirs, but will make kids of all ages happy! And today, our good friends at Small World Vacations are sharing their tips and tricks on how to score some FREE (and almost free or at least inexpensive) souvenirs at Walt Disney World.
This is the season for trick-or-treating, which means candy! And when I think of candy in Disney World, I think of Miyuki Sugimori.
About Miyuki and the Japanese Art of Candy Sculpture
Disney only works with the highest-quality artists and entertainers, and that standard remains in tact with this incredible candy artist from from Tokyo. Miyuki learned the craft of candy sculpture from her grandfather — a renowned Japanese candy artist — and is the first and only woman to receive training in Amezaiku in Japan. To date, she is one of only 15 people officially trained in the art.
To see Miyuki perform, simply head over to the Japan pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase to catch one of her shows. Her “stage,” equipped with heating elements to keep the candy pliable and with fans to cool down finished pieces, is located just outside the front entrance of Mitsukoshi department store.
Her candy sculptures begin as a ball of hot, malleable rice starch candy — this looks a lot like pulled taffy. Miyuki takes requests from the audience to determine what her sculptures will look like, adds food coloring to the candy ball, and begins stretching, sculpting, and painting the candy to create delicate, detailed works of art. Miyuki then hangs the piece in front of a fan to cool down the hot candy and set the design.
Most of Miyuki’s sculptures for Epcot visitors are of animals — frogs, swans, snakes, alligators, tigers, elephants, etc. She seems to specialize (or maybe the guests do!) in fantastical creatures — dragons and unicorns are her most requested items. By the way, general protocol is that the person who makes the request for a certain sculpture gets to take that sculpture home as a free souvenir, so be sure to arrive early for Miyuki’s shows so you can be in the front of the “line.”
Miyuki has a wonderful “melodic” way of working that’s hard to portray in pictures, so I wanted to add a couple of videos to this post so that you can get a better idea of what it’s really like to watch her.
Where and When To Find Miyuki at Epcot
You can see Miyuki’s show Sunday-Thursday at 12:55, 2:15, 4:00, 5:05, 6:05 & 6:55pm. To double check times before you go to Disney World, check Steve Soares’ Walt Disney World Entertainment Site. Once you’re in Disney World, grab an Epcot Times Guide for the most up-to-date show times.
Have you or your kids received a candy sculpture from Miyuki? Share your stories by leaving a comment below!