New look for popular Morocco Pavilion social media photo spot

Apr 27, 2021 in "Morocco (Pavilion)"

Morocco Pavilion reworked chimney
Posted: Tuesday April 27, 2021 8:50am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Construction walls were removed last week at EPCOT'S Morocco pavilion as Disney completes the small project to modify a social media photo spot.

Scaffolding and a work scrim have been removed around the construction area which contained a structure with a suggestive appearance when viewed from certain angles and poses.

The wall has now been modified to include a doorway and reshaped concrete.

Since taking over the pavilion from the former third party operating participant, Disney has been making small modifications, including a new menu at Spice Road Table, some cosmetic changes to the Gifts of Morocco store, and currently refurbishing the bathrooms.

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Nunu8 days ago

It is. My pleasure. :)

LittleBuford8 days ago

And yet the offending wall inscription is still there! This feel temporary to me; I’m curious to see how the area ends up looking in the long term. Thanks again! Enjoy yourself, and stay safe.

Nunu8 days ago

No spice cart. :(

LittleBuford8 days ago

Thank you! Glad it’s still there! If it’s not a hassle, could you please take a photo of the area where the spice cart was? (I believe it was removed the other day.)

Nunu8 days ago

For you @LittleBuford : Photo from today. I'm here right now, if there's something else you want me to check for you here, at the Morocco Pavilion, let me know. :)

LittleBuford8 days ago

I largely agree with you, actually. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, the tiled courtyard is so close to the real thing that one might actually imagine oneself in Morocco for a moment. But though the pavilion abounds in authentic details in a way that the European pavilions don’t, the signs have never been particularly true to life, which is why I don’t see the new pseudo-ceramic ones as detrimental to, or out of keeping with, the pavilion’s overall effect. I’m happy to agree to disagree on this point.

hpyhnt 10008 days ago

Combining these two quotes because I think they are related. For me, the Morocco pavilion has always been the most unique of the World Showcase pavilions because it seemed the most "real" of any of them. The other 10, though especially the European pavilions, are all very clearly idealized representations of their countries with a lot of the edges smoothed out and different styles/architectures/regions/time periods melded together in a small space. As you say, the artificiality is part of the charm, and that's why things like stamped brick don't feel as jarring (though they should still try to make it look as real as possible). That's not to say the Morocco pavilion isn't heavily idealized either, but I feel it's not quite to the same degree as the others. Some of that is probably because there is no such thing as a perfectly clean and orderly souk - the chaos and decay is part of the charm so you don't want to strip it all away. But there is a look, a "feel" to the area that's different from the other pavilions somehow. It's a subliminal thing you can't quite put your finger on. And a lot of that, I think, is because Moroccan craftsmen had such a hand in it's construction. Now, if the King wants to send his artisans to Orlando to help build the thing, who is Disney to refuse (I certainly wouldn't!). But with that came an added dose of authenticity that I think should be celebrated and enhanced, and I think it's a shame to move away from that, even if in a very small way by faking tiles for a restaurant sign. I mean, Zach even made it a point that they added an "authentic mosaic fountain," so why go for the same authenticity for the sign? Anyway, I'm willing to agree to disagree on this going forward if you are, though it's been fun having the back and forth.

UNCgolf8 days ago

The ones on the building facades? That's never bothered me either. I think I agree with what you're saying for the most part -- the World Showcase generally gives you a sense of the real place; I don't think it's supposed to be (or needs to be) an actual replica of it. I think Animal Kingdom actually goes harder for realism than the World Showcase does. That's part of the problem with Frozen in Norway for me -- it's just not Norwegian. It's giving you a sense of Arendelle; not a sense of Norway. Even if it was actually set in Norway and was specifically Norwegian in various ways I wouldn't really be a fan (not a big fan of Ratatouille in France either), but that would definitely be better.

LittleBuford8 days ago

What about the fake (and very fake-looking) bricks in the UK pavilion? One could certainly argue that Disney should have used the real material, especially considering how cheap and readily available brick is. For me, however, the artificiality is part of the charm—that quirky twist on reality that distinguishes a theme park from the real world.

LittleBuford8 days ago

I don’t think the pavilion is striving for the level of authenticity you’re ascribing to it. It’s a theme-park evocation rather than a like-for-like recreation, and if the metal signs successfully mimic tilework, then they’ve not only done their job as a place-making effect but also continued a venerable tradition of Disney illusionism.

UNCgolf8 days ago

Exactly the kind of thing I was talking about -- there was really no reason for Disney to put an actual copper roof on that building. That would just be an expense without any corresponding benefit; the vast majority of people will never notice, and it's such a minor thing that it shouldn't make a difference to people who can tell. Compare it to something like the France expansion, which does have some noticeable problems that actually do detract from the area. Of course, it's all relative/subjective anyways. The France expansion is also 100% fine for plenty of people, and I'm sure they're not going to lose any revenue over the problems I personally see.

hpyhnt 10008 days ago

It certainly wasn't always the case, but I do feel it used to be different, even just 10-15 years ago. Case in point, we had a whole pandemic web series from Joe Rohde on all the authentic features that can be found throughout Animal Kingdom: Some quotes from the video: - "So, when it was time for us to do Anandapur at DAK, rather than us doing a whole bunch of designs based on us studying these windows, we went directly to these wood carvers in Nepal and commissioned all the wood from them." - And in talking about the larger Asia section of DAK: "But they represent real places because we want to talk about real things, and the level of realism partially comes from the fact that these objects are real, made by real people in real places." Now, I'm in no way saying 100% of DAK or the Morocco pavilion is 100% authentic - obviously not the case. But there is something to be said about using authentic processes or artistry or materials in a section of the park that is based on real people and cultures. And, in my opinion, it's worth it because (most of) DAK and the Morocco pavilion are some of the most immersive and transportive areas of any Disney park. Details matter. I've made no comment on the artwork or typeface or information displayed on the signs; at least we don't have any backward Arabic script like we did on the infamous spice cart. Rather, my critique was and continues to be that a supposed ceramic tile sign could and should have been made of ceramic tiles, especially because it's placed in a building/pavilion that is filled with real examples of said tile. If using real tiles proved impractical or too expensive, then the sign's artwork could have been painted onto the building as I feel that would have been more in keeping with a level of authenticity the pavilion is trying to espouse.

Disney Analyst8 days ago

That's always the beauty of what Disney does. Looks like wood? Likely made out of cement. Thatch Roof? Made out of metal.

LittleBuford8 days ago

Rosy retrospection.