The Morocco Pavilion refurbishment is looking a little bit different today and seems to be making lots of progress lately.
Morocco Pavilion Refurbishment
We stopped by the Morocco Pavilion in World Showcase at EPCOT yesterday, and noticed that the scrim was down on most of the buildings, including the Gallery of Arts and History and Tangierine Café
The beige tarp was covering the areas that now show the newly reshaped roof. As you can see in the above picture, the Gallery of Arts and History building is two different colors. The reddish-brown color is the original color, and the sandy brown color from the ongoing refurbishment.
The Gallery of Arts and History building houses “Race Against the Sun: Ancient Technique to Modern Competition” — which is an exhibit that offers unique perspectives on life in the Sahara. It also explores the fascinating story of Morocco’s indigenous people and showcases two modern-day extreme race events.
Tangierine Café is also moving right along. Judging by the two-tone color, we are assuming that is still needing to be painted. Generally, the buildings in the Morocco Pavilion have had a matching color scheme.
There is still scrim that remains on a small portion on the roof of the Tangierine Café.
We are guessing that based on the removal of the other scrim, that the ones atop the Tangierine Café will also be removed shortly. Once the scrim is removed, that may be when they decide to repaint it.
The Tangierine Café is currently serving as a Marketplace Food Booth for EPCOT’s seasonal festivals. It is still fully operational despite the roof construction.
Construction is likely happening at night when the park is closed.
Nejjarine Fountain Construction
At the back of the Morocco Pavilion, the Nejjarine fountain replica has been blocked by rolling planters for over a month. A black tarp is draped over an orange bloom lift.
Something else is covered in a beige tarp.
It’s not clear what work is happening here, or if it’s merely for lift storage, but there seems to be more work ahead.
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.