Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Epcot's Bead Outpost

Have you made a visit to the Bead Outpost yet? Tucked back along the African Outpost walkway between China and Germany lies the Bead Outpost- a colorful kiosk offering unique jewelry made from sustainable, handcrafted beads. 

What makes these beads so interesting? They're made out of recycled Disney maps! According to the sign on the wall of the kiosk:

  • Disney guide maps and other outdated Disney paper products are collected here at Walt Disney World.
  •  Hand selected, colorful papers are then recycled by being shipped to Africa where they are hand rolled into unique beads.
  •  Each bead represents the care and craftsmanship of its artist.
  •  The extremely durable, water resistant paper beads are then returned to Walt Disney World where guests can choose their own beads and string their own works of art.

I love the idea that park maps- which would otherwise be waste- are turned into something beautiful. (On an environmental level, though, I'm not sure how green this project is. How many recycled maps does it take to offset the impact of shipping the materials to and from Africa? But I digress...) 

The signage seems to indicate the availability of individual beads for sale, and being able to string your own. I have not seen this. On each of my visits, there were plenty of already-assembled jewelry pieces, but no individual beads for sale. The prices on the jewelry are very reasonable- certainly one of the more affordable jewelry souvenirs available in the parks. Prices range from $7 to $20, depending on the style and size of the piece. 

A Hidden Mickey, spotted on the kiosk counter...

Jewelry pieces come in brights, pastels, and neutral color schemes. I go back and forth on which I prefer, but I think I might like the neutrals best. 

Have you visited the Bead Outpost? What do you think about this map recycling project? Have you purchased any jewelry? Tell us about it in the comments...


  1. These beads are definitely one of my favorite purchases every time I visit. I try to get a necklace and bracelet each time I go to Epcot. I love the idea that they are made from recycled park maps!

  2. One thing I love about these beads is that they are a very unique gift item in a "World" of Disney! The perfect souvenir for Grandma or anyone else who may not be into the characters.

    It's easy to miss this outpost - good post to spread the word!

  3. How cool! I've passed the Bead Outpost I don't know how many times, but never knew about the recycled beads. Think I'll have to make time for an extended visit soon!

  4. I'm planning on going in about a week. Can't wait to get some.