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San, Ni, Ichi!

JAPAN – A world away. A place that is on the cutting edge of technology and modernization that still has a very ancient and rich culture. A long, five hour flight from our home in Arizona. Five hours you say? Isn’t the flight to Tokyo like, 14 and a half hours?

The Japanese Pavilion, conveniently located in the heart of Epcot, takes you to life in Japan. The culture, architecture and the Cast Members make you feel like you stepped into the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Once you enter Mitsukoshi, your inner kid comes out. There are Pokémon, Hello Kitty, and every piece of Japanese candy your heart could ever want. Sure, you can’t understand what it is you’re eating, but it is an authentic taste of Japan…and it’s good. Very good!

Once you make it past all of the snacks and Hello Kitty hand bags, stop by the Pick-a-Pearl stand. The first thing you need to do is pay for your ticket. The current cost for each ticket is ¥1,736.98. Yes, that seems like a lot for one oyster but it’s only $16.00. After you have your ticket, wait your turn and be part of the most entertaining queue in Disney World. Be prepared because, although crowd participation is not required, you will find it quite enjoyable to brush up on your Japanese while you wait your turn.

Your number has been called! Make your way to the front of the crowd, pick your oyster, and see what is inside! San, Ni, Ichi! Three, two, one! Every ticket is guaranteed a pearl and if the oyster you picked does not contain a pearl, you can select a new oyster. The pearl you selected gets a quick clean and measurement before it is presented to you. You can then take your pearl over to the jewelry counter and have it set into a wide variety of necklaces, earrings, or rings. You can also choose to keep your pearl and have it set at a later date. The settings are not include in the price of your ticket so expect to pay between $20 and $100 for the piece of jewelry you selected. Some settings do cost significantly more but it’s entirely you choice.

Sean Merritt is a vacation specialist with Coasters and Castles Travel and works with his wife Maria. He grew up going to Disneyland every summer but when to Disney World for the first time in 2015 and since then can’t get enough of it. My favorite thing to do at either location is go to Fantasmic. He would love to help you with all your vacations needs…contact him at mmarquez-merritt@coastersandcastlestravel.com

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