We are finally starting to see some of the work that has been undercover at the Morocco Pavilion in World Showcase at EPCOT.
Morocco Pavilion Construction
We stopped into EPCOT today and saw that part of the scrim from the ongoing construction at the Morocco Pavilion in World Showcase has been removed.
We also noticed that they have shaped part of the roof of Gallery of the Arts and History building. 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.
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.
Scrim was removed from the top part of this building most likely due to the plaster needing to dry in the sun before covering it with paint.
As you can see here, the newer part that was added on is a light brown color, while the rest of the building is a reddish-brown color.
The scrim on Tangierine Café and the side of the other building still remains. 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.
Pictured above, is the state of the buildings just last week. As you can see, the beige tarp was covering the newly sculpted parts of the roofing structure. The Tangierine Café still looks the same, as the beige tarp on the rooftop has not yet been removed.
Tangierine Café Refurbishment
Beige tarps cover some sections of the Tangierine Café roof. The tarps were placed a week ago, and we haven’t noticed construction since then.
However, there are white spots peeking out from under the tarp where the plaster has crumbled or been removed.
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, but the lift implies more roof refurbishment.
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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