World Showcase Morocco  FOURTH COUNTRY IF TRAVELING COUNTERCLOCKWISE AROUND LAGOON
A showcase of Morocco featuring hidden shops, various North African tiling, authentic rugs and carpet, architecture, and excellent Moroccan cuisine ..
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 World Showcase Morocco at Epcot

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   The Moroccan Showcase, which opened in 1984, is one of the two national pavilions not originally part of EPCOT Center.  There is no real attraction in this pavilion; as a child it was perhaps my least favorite of the showcases.  Over the years, however, I have come to really enjoy it despite its lack of any real draw, for it is large, massively detailed, and features some amazing replicas of Moroccan architecture and art.
   Unlike other featureless attractions (I'm talking to you, Italy), you can tell that money and care went into the building of the pavilion.  This is most likely due to the participation of the King of Morocco, who sought out Disney for participation in World Showcase.  He sent his own team of traditional artisans, who created the tile work and other pavilion art by hand.
   The effort shows.  Along the lagoon, ancient-looking waterworks irrigate a small garden.  Towering over the pavilion's entrance is the Koutoubia Minaret, a duplicate of a famous prayer-tower in Marrakesh.  Through a shaded courtyard featuring a fountain and a grove of citrus trees, you pass through the Bab Boujouloud (again, a replica of the real thing from the city of Fez) into the old city, or Medina.
   The streets of the pavilion wind in upon themselves, and it's easy to wander for quite a while just checking out the shops and entertainers.  In recent years, actual improvements have been made on this pavilion, including expanding a shop on the lagoon front and converting a lot of dead space into a sidewalk cafe.
Restaurant Marrakesh
   The Restaurant Marrakesh is truly one of EPCOT's hidden treasures.  Tucked away in the back of the pavilion, the restaurant might not seem as inviting or familiar as such traditional stand-bys as Italian or Mexican food.  While Moroccan cuisine might seem alien to newcomers, the food is nevertheless very good.  The tile work and decor is beautiful and detailed, and the restaurant features various forms of Moroccan entertainment.  Yes, this is the only place on Disney property to see bellydancers.  In fact it is this feature that has managed to bring in otherwise skeptical connoisseurs throughout the years.  I only go there for the food, of course.  Naturally.
Tangierene Cafe
   The newest addition to the Moroccan pavilion, this counter service cafe was converted from an old gift shop and the tourism office.  It's a great addition to the pavilion, and seemed to just pop up overnight without fanfare.  After 15 years of having nothing in the space, it was a great thing to do.  But why?  Some may chalk it up to Disney being on the ball.  I just think they had a surplus of spit-roasting machines after the Animal Kingdom opened.  But I'll save my 'Animal Kingdom Dining Situation' rant for another day.  In the meantime, enjoy a quick, counter-service meal at the Tangierene Cafe!  It features some truly good, light dishes and salads and is very veggie-friendly if that is your persuasion. 
Rotisserie Chicken and Lamb, Chicken or Veggie Wraps, Chicken and Hummus Sandwiches, Vegetarian Platter.
Berber Oasis
   This is the shop along the promenade, that has been slowly expanding over the last few years.  It features many different items, from crafts such as brasswork, baskets, and leather goods to various souvenirs and clothing items.  So you can get pieces of art, dress like Indiana Jones, and stock up on plastic snakes in one easy location!
The Brass Bazaar
   Wait for it... Brass!  You can find various brass items here, from pots and planters to various household items.
Casablanca Carpets
   In this shop you can find hand-made Islamic rugs and fabrics.  Authentic rugs and carpets, all with geometric designs, are featured, as are various wall hangings and prayer rugs.  No animal designs, because only Allah can create life, and every rug has one intentional mistake because hey... nobody's perfect.
Marketplace in The Medina
   This store features various wicker items and furniture, leather and sheepskin goods, and other woven goods.
Medina Arts
   More crafts and clothing.  The excitement never ends!
Tangier Traders
   This is the big clothing store in the Morocco pavilion, featuring all manner of traditional dress.  Leather and cloth goods, as well as woven belts and accessories are also featured.
 
While the real Morocco is located on the westernmost tip of north Africa, bordering Algeria to the east and the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara to the southeast, Epcot's Morocco pavilion is located between France and Japan, easy to spot from across the World Showcase Lagoon, by its unusual Koutoubia Minaret (prayer tower).
Added to World Showcase in 1984, the Epcot pavilion re-creates the architecture and atmosphere of this famed northern African kingdom. Three cities are represented: Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakesh. The landscape is dominated by plants of economic importance, a reflection of the integral role agriculture plays in this country.
Have you ever walked into Epcot's Morocco, decided there isn't much to see and kept going? Well, it might surprise you to learn there are some rather fascinating areas of the pavilion. Discover them by taking a free, 45-minute tour called the Treasures of Morocco, available periodically throughout the day. You will learn about the culture, history, and people of Morocco, as well as the basis for the Morocco Pavilion, enhanced with visits to the food market and Fez House.
The Gallery of Arts and History, a wonderful display of the science, music and technology of Morocco, is often overlooked. From the outside, a casual glance reveals only an ordinary heavy wooden door, but once inside, looking back through the door to the outside, you will see beautiful stained glass.
To the right of the Gallery is the Fez House, which represents a typical Moroccan home. There are beautiful mosaic tiles, carvings, and artifacts from daily life. If you are quiet when you approach the fountain, you just might hear children playing in the distance.

RESTAURANTS

Restaurant Marrakesh, located at the end of the pavilion's winding pathway, offers traditional Moroccan cuisine and live entertainment, including a belly dancer. The lunch and dinner menus are almost identical, although lunch is less expensive.
If you're unsure about Moroccan food, consider trying it at a late lunch. Especially tasty are savory baked layers of thin pastry stuffed with minced chicken and almonds, sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar known as bastillas. Also worth a try is the Lemon Chicken, a braised half-chicken seasoned with garlic, green olives and preserved lemon that is so tender it falls away from the bone.
Tangierine Cafe is a small open air cafe offering sandwiches, humus, vegetarian platters and desserts. It's a wonderful place for lunch that won't make you feel like you just ate a brick!! The vegetarian platter has fresh hummus and cold salads (substitutions can be made). Dine here for healthy, not heavy, but be sure to save room for dessert!

TOURING TIPS

Morocco and the United States have a very long relationship dating back to the 1700s. Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States as a separate nation. In the lobby of Restaurant Marrakesh there are letters from George Washington and the Moroccan king.
If you have the time, take the Treasures of Morocco tour!! (It's FREE!)
Spend some time examining the intricate tile work throughout the pavilion.
Go into the back section of the Morocco pavilion. You will forget you are standing in Epcot.
The characters of Genie, Jasmine and Aladdin appear daily in Morocco.

INTERESTING FACTS
Morocco is the only country in World Showcase sponsored by the government and not a corporation.
The Islamic religion prohibits artistic depiction of live objects, therefore, their artists have developed a unique style of abstract design. Rather than plants, animals and people often found in Western art, Islamic decoration consists of detailed geometric patterns represented in the tile walls and carved plaster of the buildings.
The prayer tower, at the entrance of the pavilion, is a detailed replica of the Koutoubia Minaret that stands in Marrakesh.
The buildings have great religious significance and so the nightly IllumiNations celebration does not spotlight the Moroccan pavilion buildings.
The king of Morocco sent his royal craftsmen to lay all the tile work, carvings and paintings in the pavilion.
There is an ancient working waterwheel that irrigates the gardens of the pavilion.
The landscaping theme in the Morocco pavilion represents agriculture, one of the country’s major industries. Sour orange trees, mint and ornamental cabbages found here are typical of the agrarian aspect of Morocco. Another of Morocco’s most vital resources, water, is found in this area of the pavilion. Other agricultural landscaping includes olive trees within the pavilion and date palms, which guests pass as they leave the area, heading for France.
Tangierine Café, located on the right side at the entrance of the village-like showcase, specializes in quick-service specialties such as shawarma, sandwiches made from shaved chicken, beef or lamb that is slow-roasted on a rotisserie, served with hummus and taziki.
Also in Morocco, the Restaurant Marrakesh serves flavorful specialties, using a long list of herbs and spices including saffron, a key ingredient in many Moroccan dishes. The menu features couscous with chicken, lamb or a variety of garden vegetables. A favorite appetizer is bastilla, or fried pastry, that combines layers of the pastry with chicken strips seasoned with almonds, powdered sugar and cinnamon. The dessert menu includes bastilla au lait etamandes, with cream and toasted almonds.
Featured in this unique pavilion, you will find unique shops and an outstanding restaurant "Marrakesh" which features the best of Moroccan cuisine including lamb, chicken and of course, couscous.  Enjoy the music and delight to the entertainment of Belly Dancers.  You'll also find the Gallery of Arts and History and Moroccan National Tourist Office.  Tours about the culture and history of Morocco are also offered free.
This article appeared in the July 17, 2001 issue of ALL EARS.
While the real Morocco is located on the westernmost tip of north Africa, bordering Algeria to the east and the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara to the southeast, Epcot's Morocco pavilion is located between France and Japan, easy to spot from across the World Showcase Lagoon, by its unusual Koutoubia Minaret (prayer tower).
Added to World Showcase in 1984, the Epcot pavilion re-creates the architecture and atmosphere of this famed northern African kingdom. Three cities are represented: Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakesh. The landscape is dominated by plants of economic importance, a reflection of the integral role agriculture plays in this country.
Have you ever walked into Epcot's Morocco, decided there isn't much to see and kept going? Well, it might surprise you to learn there are some rather fascinating areas of the pavilion. Discover them by taking a free, 45-minute tour called the Treasures of Morocco, available periodically throughout the day. You will learn about the culture, history, and people of Morocco, as well as the basis for the Morocco Pavilion, enhanced with visits to the food market and Fez House.
The Gallery of Arts and History, a wonderful display of the science, music and technology of Morocco, is often overlooked. From the outside, a casual glance reveals only an ordinary heavy wooden door, but once inside, looking back through the door to the outside, you will see beautiful stained glass.
To the right of the Gallery is the Fez House, which represents a typical Moroccan home. There are beautiful mosaic tiles, carvings, and artifacts from daily life. If you are quiet when you approach the fountain, you just might hear children playing in the distance.

RESTAURANTS
Restaurant Marrakesh, located at the end of the pavilion's winding pathway, offers traditional Moroccan cuisine and live entertainment, including a belly dancer. The lunch and dinner menus are almost identical, although lunch is less expensive.
If you're unsure about Moroccan food, consider trying it at a late lunch. Especially tasty are savory baked layers of thin pastry stuffed with minced chicken and almonds, sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar known as bastillas. Also worth a try is the Lemon Chicken, a braised half-chicken seasoned with garlic, green olives and preserved lemon that is so tender it falls away from the bone.
Tangierine Cafe is a small open air cafe offering sandwiches, humus, vegetarian platters and desserts. It's a wonderful place for lunch that won't make you feel like you just ate a brick!! The vegetarian platter has fresh hummus and cold salads (substitutions can be made). Dine here for healthy, not heavy, but be sure to save room for dessert!

TOURING TIPS
Morocco and the United States have a very long relationship dating back to the 1700s. Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States as a separate nation. In the lobby of Restaurant Marrakesh there are letters from George Washington and the Moroccan king.
If you have the time, take the Treasures of Morocco tour!! (It's FREE!)
Spend some time examining the intricate tile work throughout the pavilion.
Go into the back section of the Morocco pavilion. You will forget you are standing in Epcot.
The characters of Genie, Jasmine and Aladdin appear daily in Morocco.

INTERESTING FACTS
Morocco is the only country in World Showcase sponsored by the government and not a corporation.
The Islamic religion prohibits artistic depiction of live objects, therefore, their artists have developed a unique style of abstract design. Rather than plants, animals and people often found in Western art, Islamic decoration consists of detailed geometric patterns represented in the tile walls and carved plaster of the buildings.
The prayer tower, at the entrance of the pavilion, is a detailed replica of the Koutoubia Minaret that stands in Marrakesh.
The buildings have great religious significance and so the nightly IllumiNations celebration does not spotlight the Moroccan pavilion buildings.
The king of Morocco sent his royal craftsmen to lay all the tile work, carvings and paintings in the pavilion.
There is an ancient working waterwheel that irrigates the gardens of the pavilion.
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