After finishing things up over at the Japan Pavilion with a look inside the Mitsukoshi Department Store, we pick things up with an update covering what’s going on around the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot.
What is probably the biggest thing going on in these parts has little to do with Morocco – that’s the show building for the Ratatouille attraction going up behind the Pavilion’s bathrooms. From further back, it’s possible to see the gondola pylon installations as well. We’ll take a closer look after we get to France.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Disney does to try to mask this and the variety of other buildings and structures going up around property. A lot of them are very big and very tall.
There isn’t much going on in menu land with the Tangierine Cafe quick service offering most of the same items as it has over the last few years.
The Shawarma Platters in particular are very good and a lot of food for the money, despite the cost being a couple dollars higher than average.
The only item I’d recommend avoiding is the “Moroccan Kefta Wrap,” which is served with bone-dry beef pucks and pita bread out of a grocery store bag. The fries also border on inedible.
These Epcot updates are bogging us down a little bit and I’ll post some more updated restaurant reviews later this month, after we get a chance to visit the other Parks.
But I would call your attention to Restaurant Marrakesh’s lunch menu, which is about 25% less expensive than the dinner menu and reasonably priced compared to other options in World Showcase.
The Chef’s Lunch Special is a particularly good value – three courses for $20.
I’m not sure if the restaurant’s big book of pictures is successfully selling the uneducated tourists on heading inside, but you can get a pretty good idea about what a lot of the menu items actually look like. Marrakesh is one of the easiest last-minute reservations to snag, so it’s a good choice if you find yourself unexpectedly back at Epcot. It’s also one of my favorite choices when I’m originally planning on a quick service lunch, but paying a little more for a relaxing meal in air-conditioning sounds like a significantly better option, as it often does here during the summer.
Poor Spice Road Table sits on the lagoon side across from Tangierine Cafe.
I really enjoy visiting for shared appetizers and drinks in the middle of the day with the panoramic views of World Showcase Lagoon outside.
And while there’s no easier way to reach 100 likes on Twitter than posting a picture of the empty dining area and making fun of how nobody is ever eating there, I can’t imagine most people would stick their noses up at this Brie Fondue for $11.
Likewise, this $12 Hummus Platter with Pita is a great, shareable, light snack that two or three people can enjoy for just a couple of dollars each. Very relaxing. Very pleasant.
You can pull up my review from last year here and we’ll return for a fresh look next month.
This is probably not where I’d make my one lunch or dinner reservation at Epcot, but a variety of entrees are available.
But this is 30 bucks worth in the “Mixed Grill.” I’d share three appetizers for similar money and find something a little more substantial elsewhere.
Jasmine continues to meet here without Aladdin by her side. You’ll find her inside the building in the center of the Pavilion with the exit through the gift shop.
To see them together, you’ll need to visit Adventureland at Magic Kingdom.
This outlet on the lagoon side opened around the same time as Spice Road Table a few years ago, and was originally referred to as a “Juice Bar,” despite the fact that it’s never served any kind of juice. You can see the sun beating down on it, but they originally tried to serve ice cream with the various flavors sitting right out in front of the counter. This did not last long. There’s probably no use in trying to compete with L’Artisan des Glaces in France or Ample Hills Creamery at the BoardWalk anyway.
Surprisingly, I’ve actually had some luck getting strong pours here in recent memory and the Smoothies do advertise “real fruit,” which seems positive. Obviously, nothing is particularly authentic here.
Shopping in the open-air bazaar is a lot of fun and something that few people actually take the time to experience.
A large variety of jewelry is offered, along with other items:
If nothing else, it’s a good opportunity to try on some hats.
In a classic “Did I do that?” moment, one of the mannequins fell right as I took this picture. Maybe it was the weight of this update that caused it or the shutter on my camera is so loud compared to a Sony mirrorless that it’s causing some kind of sonic boom.
“Moroccan Style: The Art of Personal Adornment” is an exhibit that’s been around forever, but we’ll still take a peek inside:
It’s an interesting exhibit that’s worth checking out in person. And while the artifacts aren’t nearly as old as what we saw at the Gods of the Vikings exhibit in Norway, it’s still a nice mix of contemporary items along with some historical pieces. Perhaps one of these days they’ll make some updates.
While the Flower and Garden Festival is now over and the Food and Wine Festival just might start before we finally make it around World Showcase, we can still take a moment to enjoy the natural beauty of the spring event:
Morocco is one of the more-commonly overlooked Pavilions in World Showcase, which is a bit of a shame as it’s one of the most naturally and authentically beautiful.
If you never have before, consider budgeting 20 or 30 minutes to look around.
I like to take some time right at 11am when the Pavilion is virtually empty.
The bakery in France, which we’ll take a look at next, opens with the Park at 9am most days. That means you can walk into World Showcase as far as Chefs de France right before the rest of World Showcase opens at 11am. Once that happens, it’s easy to take a right into Morocco with just a couple of other like-minded people.
We’ll continue on to France.