March 13, 2012

Moroccan My Vote

Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Black. Enjoy the ride as we take you on a virtual tour of our favorite World Showcase Pavilions.

I did an interview a few months ago on Sorcerer Radio where I was asked to name my favorite World Showcase Pavilion, and my answer was “China for the shopping, Mexico for the food.” And while both of those sentiments are still true (though I would add “Canada for the grounds-keeping”), upon further reflection I realized that my favorite World Showcase pavilion is actually one I’ve never eaten at, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never made a purchase there either:


Image via
While all of the pavilions are charming and special in their own ways, Morocco is the one that feels the most transformative to me. Sure, Mexico invites you to experience a street scene at night, but you’re always aware that you’ve walked into a pavilion box, and once you exit you’ll be right back into the Florida sun. And it’s probably a testament to its layout (a series of winding alleyways versus the usual “walk-in, walk-out" approach), but it’s very easy to get lost in Morocco – literally. And that’s a good thing. Beautiful, detailed architecture hugs you on both sides as you explore a series of shops filled with craftwork that exceeds my budget or is difficult to take on the plane (hence my “never making a purchase”), but I do make mental notes of how I would like to decorate a room in my house with these things.

The Morocco pavilion was the first “expansion” pavilion to be added to the World Showcase, making its debut in 1984, and many of the beautiful mosaics were created by Moroccan artists sent by King Hassan II. Native North African plants like citrus trees, olive trees, and date palms add extra authenticity, and the pavilion has two restaurants, Tangerine CafĂ© and Restaurant Marrakesh. And fun fact – depending on your vantage point, you can see the Tower of Terror peeking out behind the Morocco pavilion – something the Imagineers realized when they began planning the Tower of Terror’s construction. So, in true Imagineering fashion, they sculpted the top of the Tower of Terror to blend in with the Moroccan architecture.

Image via

During the day, the Morocco pavilion is usually bustling with activity (cries of “how do you get out?” are commonplace), but at night it’s quiet, peaceful, and you really do feel like you’ve been dropped into another world. I’ve written about the amazing ambience of the pavilion at night before, but it bears repeating – for me, it’s the best spot in the World Showcase to enjoy a nighttime stroll before Illuminations. The Morocco pavilion is Imagineering at its best, Epcot at its finest, and that's why it's my favorite.

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Manda's Disney Blog.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ The Disney Chick
2nd Stop ~ Manda’s Disney Blog
3rd Stop ~ Mommy Mouseketeer
4th Stop ~ The Magical Mouse Pad
Final Stop ~ The Disney Point

Related Links:
* The Coolest Queue
* A Salute to All Nations but Mostly EPCOT
* Finding Zen in WDW


Rosanne said...

Love this post. I had no idea about the Tower of Terror fact... thanks so much for sharing that tidbit. I love hearing stories like that! Morocco was never a destination for me, until one day I decided to explore the pavilion by myself, have a solo meal at Marakesh, and do some shopping. Ever since then I have loved this pavilion!

Rosanne @ The Disney Point

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

I had no idea about the Tower of Terror design! Typical Disney's attention to detail. I will admit, I have not taken the time to appreciate the Morocco Pavilion as I should, but I think I will need to change that on our next trip!

Disney on Wheels said...

Great post! I think Morocco is my favorite as well, followed closely by Norway. I love exploring the streets. Make sure to grab something to eat there next time, Tangierine Cafe is one of my favorites too. :)

Jennifer Lissak said...

It is beautiful - and the food is pretty good! The counter service isn't amazing, but the table service we really enjoyed - and walked into with no thought of adrs!

Manda said...

I didn't know about the Tower of Terror! That's pretty darn cool! :D x