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.
To celebrate Miyuki on the web, visit her YouTube page or join the (unofficial, but still fun!) Miyuki Facebook Group.
Have you or your kids received a candy sculpture from Miyuki? Share your stories by leaving a comment below!