Epcot is a perfect example of Disney Imagineering at its finest. Not only did Disney Imagineers visit the countries you experience in the World Showcase, but they have also brought cast members from those countries to work in the shops, restaurants and experiences throughout the area. This adds to the authenticity of the Epcot experience. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Morocco Pavilion and the Restaurant Marrakesh.
As with all of the restaurants around the World Showcase, authenticity is key here. Grab yourself a drink to start. Try a Casablanca Sunset or, for a non-alcoholic option, go for the Berber Passion. Both are delicious options to cool you down on a hot summer day in Florida. If you are not on a dining plan and want to grab an appetizer, the Appetizer Combination for Two offers a little of everything so you can spread out your choices. Sometimes restaurants like this turn people off because they really aren’t sure what they should try. So if this is how you feel, make it easier on yourself and grab one of the restaurant’s feasts. This allows you and your party to enjoy a little of everything. One offers a Jasmina Salad, Seafood Bastilla, Lemon Chicken, Roast Lamb, Couscous with Vegetables and closes the meal with Assorted Moroccan Pastries; the other offers Harira Soup, Beef Brewat Roll, an entrée of mixed grilled meats and once again, pastries to finish off. These are both great options if you just can’t decide what to order, and they allow you to try a little bit of everything. If you haven’t chosen a meal including dessert, then make sure you order the Marrakesh Delight. The combination of flavours is incredibly unique, and you won’t be disappointed. Make sure to take the staff up on the offer of mint tea to accompany your meal or finish it off; definitely worth it.
From the moment you reach the front doors of the restaurant, it is clear you’re in for a feast for the eyes. The oversized wooden doors are not only beautifully shaped, but also intricately carved. Once through the doors, the stunning archways and vaulted ceilings set the tone, creating an open feel that really helps the music travel throughout the restaurant. The gorgeous mosaic tile work throughout the space makes you feel like you’ve truly been transported to Morocco, and it’s the small details that make this one of the most beautifully designed spaces on property: hanging above each table is a stained glass chandelier, and even the chair you’re sitting on is a work of art. Take some time while you are there and really take in each and every corner of this establishment.
Music is a universal language. Though you may not know what to call the instruments you see (Moroccan versions of a mandolin, harp and a hand drum), you won’t soon forget the incredible blend of sound. Just listening to the musicians as they warm up and play before the main entertainment starts is incredible. These musicians are obviously masters, and their music creates a delightful, exotic mood and takes the ambience of the restaurant to another level. Then, if you time your meal right, the musicians will be joined by a belly dancer, who will later invite diners to join her in learning a dance. What a way to complete the Restaurant Marrakesh experience! It truly makes a meal here unlike anywhere else on property.
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2. A Private Escape
Sometimes when you finally stop to eat during a long day at Walt Disney World, all you really want is an hour or two of peaceful relaxation and an escape from the crowds. Nestled into the back side of the Morocco Pavilion, if you aren’t looking for it you could definitely miss this restaurant. When you enter, it will seem like you have entered another country and left the walls of Epcot behind, as you discover the hidden gem that is Restaurant Marrakesh. No fighting crowds here, as not many people book this restaurant. Maybe people stay away because they’re afraid to try new things, or maybe it’s the out of the way location. Whatever the reason, it will definitely the most private, relaxing meal you will have on Disney property.
If you are like us, Epcot is an opportunity to explore the world while enjoying Walt Disney World standards. You feel safe to explore other global locations without having to deal with travel vaccinations, jetlag or even culture shock, and you can visit numerous countries, cultures and continents all in one day. Maybe you have been to some of these countries before; if you have, we know you’ll agree Disney has painstakingly and authentically recreated the look, feel, sounds, smells and tastes of each one. If you aren’t a globetrotter, this is a great opportunity to discover a country that you’ve always wanted to visit. It’ll give you insight into the culture and maybe even inspire you to make future travel plans. Before and after your meal at Restaurant Marrakesh, be sure to explore the always impressive surrounding market area, where you’ll swear you are walking through the winding alleys of Morocco. Check out the bathrooms, pick up a few souvenirs from the shops in the market, and enjoy the lingering smell of incense. And don’t miss the unique, intricately carved wooden stools on display throughout the shops; one of these days, we’ll actually have enough room in our luggage to bring one home with us.