Saturday, January 10, 2015

#49 - Morocco (Epcot)

Category: Park Ambience
Category Rank: 7

Park: Epcot
Park Rank: 7

We discussed the concept of Park Ambience with our UK entry in our list, and we revisit it here.  We have our second country from the World Showcase, featuring its architecture, music, shopping and sights/sounds for the total immersive experience.

I am guessing that Morocco would not be one of the top countries on most people's lists, unless they were Aladdin fans for some reason.  It doesn't have that worldwide cultural base that UK, France, or Italy have.  To talk about why it is on my list, let me start with a birdwalk.

It doesn't take too many trips to Epcot's World Showcase before you think to yourself, "I could have done this better."  Or, at least invited better countries.  A parlor game question would be to ask, if you could remove some current countries and replace them with others to improve the World Showcase, which would they be?  Or, if the rumors are to be believed, if you could fill in the empty 8 lots, what would you add?

It is important to have countries that have its own distinct culture, food architecture, music, and stories.  Even better if there are connections to Disney characters, so they can stand out there and sign autographs.  But, there is something to be said with adding some diversity to the World showcase, to truly build the worldwide experience.  So my answer to the first hypothetical would be:

• Remove USA, Canada, and Norway and replace them with Brazil, India, and *a sub-Saharan African country (I'm going to admit I would need to do some field testing to choose a country that isn't going to create problems... I wouldn't want to select Kenya, only to find out a year later, they are having a genocide)

My answer to the second hypothetical:

• Add Brazil, India, sub-Saharan African country, Australia, Russia, Indonesia or Philippines, Greece, and Jamaica or Cuba.  Or something like that.  Could add Chile instead... I've always like Chile.

Regardless, you can see that there are many countries with one skin pigmentation already represented, and many countries with many different skin pigmentations not represented.  Now you can see why Morocco is so important.

Morocco truly represents something unique to the experience.  Go in any other shops and you see soccer jerseys and chocolates from that country... it is a very similar experience.  Morocco gives you incense, henna, and traditional scarves.  Likewise, the food is unique.  Going out for Italian, Chinese or Mexican food, but Moroccan?

The thing I like best about it is the music.  For years, the sounds of the band Mo' Rockin was the enticing sounds from the pavilion (coupled with their gratuitous belly dancing).  They have replaced them with a new band called B'net Al Houwariyate, which features a similar sound, but loses the land a bit of the luster (I liked Mo' Rockin that much... join the Facebook group to "save" them).  Regardless, the sounds of Middle Eastern music forever makes me think of the Morocco pavilion.  Which, deserves them a place on the list.

Our next entry is our first show on our list, and features the first of the "4D" shows.

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