Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pick A Pearl

Recently my family traveled to Walt Disney World for one week.  I really wanted to limit the souvenirs that my kids would purchase.  I am not a big fan of souvenirs as we have recently tried to clean out both of my kids’ rooms and our playroom.  Many of the items that needed to be cleaned were treasures that had been purchased on past trips to Disney and other destinations.  I enjoy the memories created on a trip and find our shared experiences to be more important than another thing.  I know that there are a lot of different philosophies on this topic and thought it would be helpful to provide the background.

When we arrived in Disney we told the kids that they could each pick one souvenir and they had to be thoughtful.  Before we went to Disney, I had looked up information on the pick a pearl option in Japan and at several other locations around Walt Disney World.  My daughter is seven and I thought that this might make a nice memory for her to keep.  I casually presented the option, reminding her of the room clean out earlier in the summer.  She wasn’t too interested but I figured I would table the idea until we were walking around the world showcase in Epcot. 

When we made it to Japan, I figured we would walk around the shops to check out the option for the pearls.  We stood and watched the “show” that happened with each pearl purchase.  A guest would purchase the option to pick a pearl from one of the oysters in the two display cases for about $17.  The oyster shells were all of a similar size.   The guest would pick one of the oysters, the cast member pulls the oyster out of the case and open it up.  There was a lot of celebratory noise including the banging of a large drum.  The pearl would then be cleaned in water, dropped in salt and then cleaned again.  The pearl was then measured and placed in a small bag with paperwork.

My daughter did pick a pearl cage and silver necklace out from the display case.  The pearl cage had two dolphins on it and the necklace was simple.  The pearl cage was about $30 and the chain was about $20.  There are online vendors that offer similar cages.  If I knew that she had committed to the pick a pearl option, I may have explored buying something ahead of time so that she could wear  the pearl immediately.  The cast member who set the pearl reviewed with my daughter the care required for the pearl including no water and no sunblock.  The pearl could be reset in a different cage if she kept all of the original paperwork. Have you ever participated in this experience? What did you think?

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