Planters remain up around the Nejjarine fountain replica in the Morocco Pavilion of EPCOT for unknown construction.
We first spotted these rolling planters around the fountain in mid March.
A lift is parked behind the planters, suggesting construction work is being done on the walls or roof after EPCOT is closed. We haven’t noticed any obvious differences to the area since the planters moved in.
A black tarp is draped over some of the lift, but it isn’t exactly hiding the vehicle from view.
Behind these planters is an exquisitely-detailed replica of the Nejjarine Fountain featuring hand-laid tiles, carefully replicating the original in Morocco.
From what we could see, the fountain hasn’t been changed or damaged at all.
The original Nejjarine Fountain is located in Fez, a city in Morocco, as part of the Funduq al-Najjarin, a traditional rest house built in the 18th century as part of the city’s Medina old town. Having been in constant use since its construction, it’s designated as a landmark in Morocco. The Funduq al-Najjarin has since been transformed into the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Crafts, welcoming visitors to Fez and introducing the history of traditional carpentry in Morocco.
This is typically how the fountain appears.
Morocco Pavilion Takeover
Back in 2020, Disney took over ownership of the Morocco Pavilion following a legal dispute with the pavilion’s operators, who ran the food and merchandise outlets within, including Restaurant Marrakesh. In April 2020, Marrakesh Moroccan Restaurant, LLC. filed for a PPP loan of $1-2 million in order to retain 260 jobs through the funds acquired. In September, Walt Disney World filed a UCC Financing Statement, or a type of lien with the state, claiming collateral against “All goods, inventory, the Furnishings, and all other items of personal property belonging to Debtor which are or may be put into the Facilities and all proceeds of the foregoing.” With Walt Disney World poised to take over the pavilion in case of a default or bankruptcy, things seem to be going downhill internally.
Finally, the company took operation of the pavilion entirely, which until then was one of the few independently operated World Showcase pavilions. The Moroccan Embassy and Morocco Tourism Board have continued their involvement with the pavilion as cultural consultants.
Since then, there have been various construction projects throughout the Morocco Pavilion. A certain suggestive photo spot was removed. The central courtyard and fountain were refurbished with new pavement in 2021.
Spice Road Table received new decorations and a revamped menu. Last summer, a permit was filed for Restaurant Marrakesh, which is next to the Nejjarine fountain replica. It was most recently open as a seating area back in July of 2021. Restaurant operations have been closed since March 2020.
Souk-Al-Magreb went through a series of strange closures, finally reopening in May 2022. It originally reopened with “Aladdin” merchandise in December 2020, then closed for another refurbishment in October 2021. It was slated to reopen in February 2022 but was ultimately delayed to May 2022.