Morocco Pavilion Refurbishment Moves Into Courtyard as Work Continues at EPCOT

Spencer Lloyd

Morocco Pavilion Refurbishment Moves Into Courtyard as Work Continues at EPCOT

Spencer Lloyd

Morocco Pavilion Refurbishment Moves Into Courtyard as Work Continues at EPCOT

For a few months now, the Morocco Pavilion in World Showcase at EPCOT has been going through some exterior refurbishments. Most notably, the replica of the national treasure Nejjarine Fountain has been behind planters for quite some time to accommodate a crane. So we checked in at Morocco to see the latest.

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After the scrims came down recently on the front side of the structure, we figured there would still be a bit more repainting left to do. But it seems the front area will remain with this two-tone look.

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Within the plaza, one planter with bench space has its corner blocked off for work, presumably to fix guest-induced damage.

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Considering the state of another part of the planter, this seems well overdue.

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Back at the Nejjarine Fountain, we were able to hear the water running in the fountain itself, but the planters remained up to cover the equipment being stored.

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The right-hand area of the courtyard is also currently behind planters, covering up a permanent flower bed like the one we saw earlier. Presumably this one also needs to be fixed up after years of damage.

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.

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.

What do you think of the Morocco Pavilion’s new look? Let us know in the comments.

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