In 1777, the Kingdom of Morocco was the first country to officially recognize the United States of America as an independent nation. It is only befitting, then, that Walt Disney World’s Epcot honor the United States’ oldest friend with a Pavilion fit for a king. A framed replica of His Majesty Mohamed III’s correspondence with President George Washington adorns the wall of Restaurant Marrakesh, a tribute to the longest unbroken treaty relationship in U.S. history.
The Morocco Pavilion is not only fit for a king, it was also designed by a king. King Hassan II of Morocco was personally involved with the Pavilion’s construction, sending to the work site some of his finest craftsmen, or maalems, to hand cut and lay nine tons of tile in intricate mosaics.
The cities of Casablanca, Marrakesh, Rabbat and Fez are represented in the building structures, with the “city” being divided into two distinct sections. In a traditional Moroccan establishment such as Casablanca, an older portion, or Medina, surrounds a palace and houses a marketplace, while a progressively modernized suburbia, or ville nouvelle, extends outward. In the Medina area of this Pavilion, Guests can find on display at the Gallery of Arts and History, located next to the Fez house, beautifully crafted ceramic pottery, artisan jewelry and musical instruments.
Three times a day, Guests can take advantage of a very special opportunity. Cultural ambassadors offer 20- to 45-minute guided tours of the Pavilion. Stop by the Moroccan National Tourist Office onsite for more information.
An ancient water wheel transports water from World Showcase Lagoon to the Berber Oasis, a shady and colorful Moroccan desert garden.
The water wheel is one of the world’s oldest inventions, tracing its origin to Mesopotamia. It has been used (as is seen in the Morocco Pavilion) to lift and deliver water. It has been used as an energy source, to turn gears in mills that grind wheat into flour. In modern times, a variation continues to utilize the power of water to generate electricity.
Follow these instructions from e-How to build a water wheel using a 2-liter soda bottle, cork and a few other household items:
1) Cut the plastic bottle into three pieces. You need the center and base pieces and each piece should be 31/4 inches deep.
2) Cut the center piece so you have four slightly curved strips that measure 3/4 inches wide by 3-1/4 inches long. Now cut each strip in half so they remain 3/4 inches wide but are now 1-1/2 inches long. These eight pieces will form the water wheel’s blades.
3) Carve eight grooves around one cork with a knife or box cutter. The grooves should be evenly spaced throughout the entire cork.
4) Click here to access remaining instructions.
*Requires adult supervision and assistance.*
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Engineering / Hydrodynamics
SKILL LEVEL: Middle Grades
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