This news may come as a shock to some, but Disney doesn’t actually own everything within their parks. Specifically, many of the restaurants and shops in EPCOT are run by third-party groups who operate within Disney. The Morocco Pavilion in EPCOT’s world showcase was run entirely independently…until now.
The Moroccan Embassy and Morocco Tourism Board, the pavilion’s original sponsors, are now continuing to play a role with the pavilion as cultural consultants.
Inside The Magic has spoken with a Disney spokesperson to confirm that Disney will be taking full ownership of the pavilion. In a joint statement from Jacquee Wahler, VP Communications Walt Disney World Resort, Rashid Choufani and Rachid Lyazidi, Operating Participants Morocco Pavilion — it was said that:
“After many years of working together, we have a mutually agreed arrangement to begin the process of transitioning operations of the Morocco pavilion to Disney. By the end of the year, Disney will assume operations of this important part of EPCOT and under Disney’s operation, the pavilion will continue to honor the rich traditions and legacy it has since it opened.”
This news comes after Disney filed debt against the Morocco pavilion earlier in September. We reported, “According to National Information Services, Inc., Disney filed an “initial financing statement.” An official form that contains the names and addresses of the debtor and secured party and a description of the collateral. A creditor files a Financing Statement to provide public notice of a security interest for the purpose of perfecting the interest.”
So Disney had loaned Marrakesh Moroccan Restaurant, LLC money, but it seems that they have been unable to recoup that money to pay Disney back. Disney then took possession of the assets which accounted for essentially the entire pavilion. It was not known how much was the lent amount nor the details of the repayment timeline, but considering the news we have now heard, it seems that Marrakesh Moroccan Restaurant, LLC had around a month to make this turnaround.
At the moment, only Spice Road Table remains open in EPCOT, alongside a few shops, leaving the beautiful pavilion feeling a little more empty than usual. Hopefully, once the transition is complete, Disney will be able to have the Morocco pavilion reopened to its former glory so we can visit the delicious eateries we have been missing!
Morocco also currently has a special kiosk in-place for the Taste of EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival, which has been a great way to continue nibbling on some delicious Moroccan eats throughout the pavilions ‘closure’.
It seems that Disney is going to continue to honor Morocco in traditions and legacy, so a complete overhaul would come as a shock.
Stay tuned to ITM as we continue to report about the reopening of the Morocco pavilion in EPCOT.
What’s your favorite EPCOT pavilion? Let us know!