Authenticity Lost: Morocco Pavilion Fountain & Courtyard Receives Pedestrian Tilework Following Refresh

    Construction walls are starting to recede around the central courtyard at the Morocco Pavilion in EPCOT, and we’re getting our first look at the refreshed space. What used to be a fountain featuring the handiwork and art of actual Moroccan craftsman, now features a rather pedestrian tile pattern as part of a refresh of the plaza.

    We’ll start with a look back at the fountain, and the handcrafted tile pattern that was part of a construction effort that included nearly two dozen Moroccan craftsmen, enlisted from cities around Morocco when the Morocco Pavilion was being built for EPCOT.

    While the fountain itself was still under construction when we visited, the perimeter planters feature the same pattern that the fountain will receive, giving us a glimpse at what’s to come.

    Not only was the original tilework and artistry lost, but so were the trees that provided some shade for guests who sat on the ledge or at tables nearby.

    Here’s a look back at one of our earlier photos of the construction, showing the fountain stripped of the hand-laid tiles, and perhaps one of the last photos of a planter with the old tilework ready to be taken off.

    While there is no doubt that the tilework at the pavilion is aging and in need of repair in many places, it is disheartening to see Disney World choose such a low-effort, low-budget solution for something that was so authentic. The tilework was actual art – made and placed by Moroccan artisans. Theme parks, by their nature, are filled with facades and fake environments meant to look real. When you actually encounter something real and authentic in themed environments, it’s a rare treat.

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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    7 COMMENTS

    1. I was a huge Disney fan, annual passes to Disneyland, later vacations on property in Florida. It was a pricy vacation, yes, it was a business, sure. But it was great to see creatives getting so much free rein. Now, they’re not even hiding that it’s all about the big bosses’ bonuses, about cutting corners and generic attraction templates to save the profits, and the rest. Guests are snickeringly regarded as moronic cash cows, and cast members as brainwashed peons. So my response? Haven’t been in years. Started doing vacations differently. Not coming back. I may not be typical, but I’m certainly not alone.

    2. Are we sure this hasn’t been done by a Moroccan artist? Did Morocco pay for the tiles to be redone? Or did Disney have to pay for the entire refurb because Morocco washed their hands of it. That kind of tile work ain’t cheap.

      What did Disney say when you contacted them? I love your site but PLEASE don’t go the way of ITM with their incomplete/ deceptive “journalistic standards”.

      • If it quacks like a duck, it’s Donald. You don’t have to do in-depth analysis and get Bruce Vaughn, Jeff Vahle, Kartika Rodriguez, and Josh D’Amaro on the phone to figure out this is BS.

    3. I second what Vegerto said. Was there any actual investigation into this report? Did you confirm if this is authentic or not? I am sure Morocco paid for all that work originally, and if its not authentic, then its because they didn’t want to pay for it now. That’s the issue with World Showcase… Countries don’t want to pay for a theme park attraction, and Disney doesn’t want to foot the cost.

      As for the trees being removed, is it possible that they had to be? If they’ve been there since the beginning the roots may have started to become a problem.

    4. Have u studied morrocan fountains. How do u know this isn’t authentic. How many trips have u done to morroco. I don’t remember u saying u go there. I prefer the new simpler look.

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