Exploring Morocco in Florida: The Morocco Pavilion at Epcot
|by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist|
Last modified 08-18-2010
PassPorter.com > Articles > Walt Disney World > Touring
As you explore the World Showcase at Epcot, I'm sure you'll find, just like me, that you have pavilions that are your favourites and others that don't interest you as much. However, with a bit of careful exploration, those perceptions can change.
When I was a kid, Norway was by far my favourite pavilion, something to do with Maelstrom, I’m sure. I used to wonder, at that age, what on earth the attraction of any country without a ride could be, but then I got older and could immediately appreciate the attraction. I slowly fell in love with Japan, something to do with the fact that I always wanted to visit the real thing. Even now that I have [Ed: See Cheryl's many Japan-related articles], I still marvel at that pavilion. It's a beautifully tranquil place and somewhere to lose yourself in, away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds around Epcot.
It was during our last trip that we discovered that the same thing is true of the neighbouring pavilion, Morocco. The only pavilion sponsored by its government, Morocco has always been a place that we tend to pass through rather quickly, partially due to the fact that a lot of it is hidden away, and perhaps hidden better than any other country around World Showcase. You really have to go looking to find the essence of this place, but once you do, you’re rewarded immediately.
One thing that I already knew was that Morocco is a superb place for shopping. Much as I love the fashions in Japan and China, I always knew that I loved that style. I never had a clue that I would find tops that I liked so much in Morocco. I never cease to be amazed by the amount of times that people comment on the top I bought here a number of years ago. That’s not all that you can buy here. There’s an amazing array of lamps to be found in the shops here. I look at them every time with great envy and wish that we didn’t have a Transatlantic flight home or that shipping rates were cheaper. Maybe then we’d be able to get one... Rugs, bags and, of course the traditional Moroccan emblem, the Fez, are amongst the other items on offer here.
One of the other hidden treasures of this pavilion is the eating options. Restaurant Marrakesh is one place that it’s usually fairly easy to get into, however busy the parks are. It’s often one of the last table service restaurants to fill up. That may partially be due to the fact that the menu is a little unfamiliar to many (and in part because the entrance is tucked away in the back), but my goodness, the food quality is excellent here. We tend to stick with table service restaurants, so we’ve yet to sample the Tangierine Cafe, but I’ve heard similar excellent reports about the food you can get there.
Epcot - Morocco
The exterior of one of the shops by World Showcase Lagoon. - photo by chezp
Morocco is sometimes visited by characters from Aladdin, such as the main man himself, Jasmine, and the Genie. They can be found down by World Showcase Lagoon, but in colder weather, you’ll see them instead hidden in one of the back areas of this pavilion. Those back areas are also where you can explore and find a huge amount waiting for you.
In total, Morocco represents three cities: Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakesh. The dominant feature of this pavilion, the prayer tower, or Koutoubia Minaret, to give it its correct name, is a detailed replica of a minaret that stands in Marrakesh.
Head through the Bab Boujouloud, the gateway between and old and the new city and have a look at the sign, which tells you that this is indeed the entrance to the ancient city of Fez. If you’re wondering what sign I’m talking about, then next time you’re in Epcot, look for the sign, just by the archway into the back area of the pavilion. It tells a fascinating back story about the country you’re visiting.