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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss The Parmenteri's and Jola's visit Mickey! in the Vacation Planning forums; Who: Paula (me) age 40 David (DH) age 47 Reade (DS#1) age 15 Dominic (DS#2) age 10 We overlapped 5 days of our vacation with friends. Where: We stayed at ...
  1. #1
    pparm's Avatar
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    The Parmenteri's and Jola's visit Mickey!

    Who:
    Paula (me) age 40
    David (DH) age 47
    Reade (DS#1) age 15
    Dominic (DS#2) age 10
    We overlapped 5 days of our vacation with friends.

    Where:
    We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside Alligator Bayou Room 1414.

    Why:
    We last visited in June of 2003. Other friends came for 5 days of that trip, for their first visit. When the trip was over, my friend said she’d like to go again next year, to which I replied, “I don’t think we’d ever go two years in a row!”

    In the fall, another set of friends said they were going this year and we should go too! DH said that if they offered good deals this summer, maybe we’d go.

    Fast forward to Christmas and DH asked me what I wanted to which I replied “Disney Dollars, or better yet, an annual pass!” He asked if I wanted to go again this year and I said yes, if we find a good deal. So of course, I started on the boards again and looking around and told him we should get AP’s and already plan on the next year, too! Smart man that he is, he agreed!

    We then started meeting once a month with our friends to do some preliminary planning. We decided we would go in July of 2004 and June of 2005 to really get our money’s worth of those passes!! Our friends decided to go July 6-16 and we chose to go July 11-20. DH was traveling to Ecuador for a church missions trip from June 18-July 4, and we figured we’d give him 5 or 6 days at home to recuperate first, as we were driving.

    When we received our income tax return, I ordered our Annual Passes online. We also got a Disney Visa right before our trip last year and charged everything from that trip to earn points for the future. Now we really started using it for everything to be able to have reward dollars to use on this trip!

    As soon as DH’s Ecuador trip was set, we called to make reservations with Disney. I suggested that we go back to a value resort this time and go with Wilderness Lodge in 2005. DH agreed. When I called to make our ressies, I asked for a quote for both All Star Sports and POR. The difference was only $400.00 and we knew that there was a chance of AP discounts, so I asked DH to choose and he picked POR!! I booked a water view room as we really wanted to get into Building 14, like last year, and I figured that might help! (Last year, we got it without paying extra, as DS#1 was in a wheelchair.) We have AAA, so the room was booked at $1356.00 for 9 nights.
    During some of our monthly meetings, we decided where we wanted to eat. We also decided to try to get an Illuminations Cruise. In between making PS and trying to get the Cruise—which I finally did for the last possible day we could go!—we were watching for AP discounts. The day they finally came out was a fiasco! I called and was put on hold numerous times and when I finally got through to someone, she put me on hold and I had to hang up to go to work! What a bummer! I talked to our friends and they got their discount. Hours later, when I could finally get to a phone, I called and explained what happened in the morning and the CM checked and we had the discount!! Woo hoo! I was happy, but it certainly was an awful day, wondering if we had it or not, would they be gone by the time I got to call, etc.!! What have I learned from this, you may ask. Well, I’m 99.9% sure we’re using a travel agent next year!
    All we had to do now, was count the days until we leave. We (DH) decided we’d leave on July 9 at midnight and see how far we could get by Saturday afternoon. We thought we could probably get to Jacksonville and only have 3 hours to drive on Sunday morning. We decided that would be the plan, and we would just stop when we decided it was time, even if we didn’t get to Jacksonville.

    Coming up next…can we make to Jacksonville?

  2. #2
    pparm's Avatar
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    Who:
    Paula (me) age 40
    David (DH) age 47
    Reade (DS#1) age 15
    Dominic (DS#2) age 10
    We overlapped 5 days of our vacation with friends.

    Travel Day

    We planned on leaving Friday night, July 9 at midnight. I spent the day packing and straightening the house. DH decided to go to bed around 6:30 to get a few hours sleep. I didn’t have to worry about that, as I sleep in the car—that’s about all I do!! I told him DS’s and I would have the van packed up by around 10:00, so DH said to wake him up around 10:30 and we’d leave then! To get our van ready, we take out the middle seats put in our tv/vcr combo and the boys take their X-Box, games, and movies to keep themselves occupied. We also borrowed a friend’s car top carrier. We put all of our suitcases up there. In the van, we also use a plug in cooler for drinks and food on the trip. We can then use that in our room and not have to pay for a refrigerator! Everything was done so I got a shower around 10, and when I was done, DH was up. We watched the end of a ball game and left around 10:45. When we got about 10 minutes from home, I realized I forgot all of DH’s medicine. We discovered last year that he has gout-(2 days before we left)-and takes medicine for it everyday so he doesn’t get any flare-ups. He also takes Celebrex to help the joints. So, needless to say, we turned around and came back for the medicine. Then we left for the second time around 11:10pm. I was asleep within 20 minutes and dozed off and on most of the night! We stopped around 4:30am for gas(28:00) and I took over driving. The boys napped most of the night as well. Everyone was napping while I drove and I pulled over around 6:45 at a Cracker Barrel in NC for breakfast. (Believe it or not, I was having trouble staying awake after only 2 hours of driving!) While waiting for our breakfast, we decided that we probably wouldn’t have too much trouble driving all the way to Orlando!! We figured we would still wait until a little further down the road to decide for sure. We left there around 7:30am, bellies full and wallet $31.99 lighter. DH took over at the wheel again, and I promptly shut my eyes again! We stopped around 11:30am for gas (only $10.00 as we were told it was cheaper further south!). We drove on through the afternoon until we arrived in Georgia. We stopped at a rest stop for lunch. Well, DH and DS’s had lunch, and I got on the phone to see if we could get a room for the night. We decided that we didn’t want to drive around from hotel to hotel looking for a room off-site, so we decided we’d try to get a room onsite for the night. After waiting quite a while, we were finally offered a room at the All-Star Sports for $78.00 for the night! ( used my rewards dollars.) I didn’t opt for a preferred room, as we were only going to be there for 1 night. We arrived at Grandstand Hall to check in at 5:07pm, almost exactly 18 hours from the time we left home! We were thrilled to be there! Check-in took about 10 minutes ( actually had to tell the CM that he never gave me any room keys, though!) We were assigned to the Hoops Hotel 3, which was as far away from the main building as could be! If I were ever to stay there again, I would certainly pay the extra $10.00 per night for a preferred room! We quickly unloaded what we needed from the van. I had our bathing suits and a change of clothes packed separately, so we only needed that bag and the bag of toiletries. We changed into our suits and hit the pool. We also ate in the End Zone Food Court. We had a cheeseburger, chicken Caesar salad, turkey dinner, tossed salad, cheesecake, Powerade, 2 waters, a soda and a chocolate milk, for a total of $41.15. (I used my rewards dollars.) We called DH’s cousin who lives in Kissimmee and works at the Wyndham Palace at Downtown Disney. We were meeting him Sunday morning. We decided on meeting at 10:00 outside the Earl of Sandwich. DH asked if we wanted to go to a park since we had AP’s, but we figured a good night’s sleep was in order. At sometime during the evening, we decided that driving straight through worked wonderfully and we’d do it again in a minute. I think the fact that we left at night and spent so much of the night sleeping made it much more bearable! We were in bed by 9:30 with plans to get up and check-out early. We figured we’d get to POR early to check-in, and then go meet our cousin. I thought that the earlier we checked in, the better chance we might have at getting Building 14, which we really wanted! I did send a fax on Wednesday afternoon to the room assigner.

    Up next...Do we get the coveted Building 14?

    Total spent for the trip down : $189.14

  3. #3
    pparm's Avatar
    pparm is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Who:
    Paula (me) age 40
    David (DH) age 47
    Reade (DS#1) age 15
    Dominic (DS#2) age 10
    We overlapped 5 days of our vacation with friends.

    Where:
    We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside Alligator Bayou Room 1414.

    Sunday, July 11, 2004

    Mickey woke me up around 7:00 and I got everyone else up shortly after that. We dressed, got our few things loaded into the van and drove over to check –out. It only took a few minutes considering we didn’t charge anything to the room and we were off to POR a little after 8:00.

    We parked and went into the lobby. There was only one other person in line. I was called to the window and in short order, the very nice CM was taking care of me. She said that unfortunately, our room wasn’t ready then. I asked what building we were in and she said 14!! WooHoo!! Just what we wanted! I told her we did not mind waiting until later for the room to be ready. That was our plan anyway!
    With check-in all squared away, we went to the food court to get some breakfast. We had cereal, chocolate milk, white milk, western omelet, banana and 3 mugs (I was bad and brought one back from last year!) for a total of 63.01 (using reward dollars). We went back out to the van and headed to Downtown Disney. We met DH’s cousin at 10:00 and then went to Guest Services to activate our passes. I also had to upgrade a leftover PHP with 4 plusses left on it for DS#2.

    We then did some shopping at World of Disney, Summer Sands, Pin Traders, and Basin. We dropped $70.82 in a short amount of time! Gotta love the AP discount! (It was during this shopping trip that I used the remainder of my reward dollars—I had $212.00)

    Time for lunch! We had decided earlier to try the Earl of Sandwich, and we all loved it! DH’s cousin works at the Wyndham across the street, but hadn’t tried it yet. We got there a few minutes after 11, so it wasn’t crowded, yet. We had 2 sandwiches, 2 wraps, 1 bag of chips a smoothie, and 2 sodas for a total of $30.31.
    When we left there, we decided to walk across the street for to get a tour of cousin’s workplace. The Wyndham is a beautiful hotel! I was surprised when he told us that we could’ve stayed there for what we paid at All Stars!! He took us to Arthur’s 27, a beautiful restaurant on the 27th floor. It has walls of windows and we could see for miles! I was sorry I hadn’t thought to bring the camera. They also have a wonderful spa, where I could’ve had any of their treatments for half-price, with a friends and family promotion available through employees. Unfortunately I never did take advantage of it! After an extensive tour, we headed back to DD and the Lego store. It was approaching 1:30, so we decided to say our goodbye’s and head back to POR.

    I called on the way to see if our room was ready yet, but it wasn’t. No problem, as we never expected to get in any before 3:00 anyway. We pulled out the swimsuits and changed in the changing room over by the pool. I swam until about 3:00, when DS#1 and I went to Guest Services, got our room number, 1414, and went to the room. I then sent DS#1 to the pool to tell DH our room number, as it was getting ready to rain!!! I called Bell services and they met DS #1 and me at the van to get our luggage. We got it all delivered just as the rain started and DH and DS#2 came back to the room. I got us all unpacked.

    Earlier in the day, we called our friends who were already there. Their plans were to head to MK for the 3:00 parade, which we declined as we didn’t want to rush our visit with cousin. The plans were for them to call us when they came back to POR. They called and came over for a visit, and to discuss plans for the evening. They were in building 15. Now, he had faxed a request for Building 14 before they left, and they had our ressies linked together, so we were a little surprised that we go 14 and they didn’t! Not that it really mattered. They had 2 connecting rooms, though, and we wondered if that made a difference! Also, I was really excited when I got to our room and realized it had a trundle bed!!! Our kids don’t like to share the bed! (And I was too cheap to pay the extra $15/night, when I knew we might get it anyway!)

    By now it was pouring and thundering and lightning(ing??) Our friends decided that they were going to stay in for the night, as they had already been there for 5 full days. We went over to the food court for supper around 6:30. Pizza, cheeseburger, fries, spaghetti, and tuna sub; total of $24.89
    (I also visited Guest Services at this time to purchase E-Ride tickets for Monday night.)

    We went back to the room to contemplate what we were going to do. We decided to brave the rain (since we could have it everyday, anyway) and go to Magic Kingdom. It was raining when we walked to the bus stop. By the time we got off the bus at MK, the rain stopped!! It didn’t rain the rest of the night! We arrived right around 8:00 and left when the park closed at 10:00. In that time, we rode Buzz, Carousel of Progress (a must-see for us), Mickey’s Philharmagic (wonderful), Haunted Mansion, BTMRR, and SplashM. What a great time!

    When we returned, I went to buy a bottle of water and milk for cereal in the morning ($4.37) and DH got ice cream at the Food court ($2.87).

    Spending for the day:
    Food: $125.45
    Shopping: $70.82
    E-Ride: $51.12
    TOTAL: $247.39

  4. #4
    pparm's Avatar
    pparm is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Monday July 12 Day 2

    Who:
    Paula (me)
    David (DH)
    Reade (DS#1)
    Dominic (DS#2)
    We overlapped 5 days of our vacation with friends:
    John (DFH, Dear Friends husband)
    Elena (DF)
    John (DFDS#1)
    Jacob (DFDS#2)


    Where:
    We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside Alligator Bayou Room 1414.

    Today was early entry at Animal Kingdom. We ate cereal and Poptarts in the room while getting ready for the day. We arrived at AK, went through security and got in line to wait for the gates to open. Once they opened, we made our way to the Oasis and waited for rope drop. We planned to head to Dinosaur as everyone else would be heading to Kilimanjaro Safari. That would’ve been a good idea, except for the fact the Dinosaur isn’t open for early entry!
    So we walked right into ITTBAB. When we came out of there, we got FP for KS and walked along the Pangani Forest Trail. When we were done looking for the Gorillas (we saw 2), it was time for our safari. We saw TONS of animals! I took lots of great pics! (Too bad I still haven’t figured out how to post them!)
    By now, it must have been about 9:45. We stopped at Dino Bite snacks for some coffee cake, Doritos, Yogurt, Root Beer float and a Coke, for a total of $13.26. Have you seen the size of the coffee cake?!?! It’s huge! My friend and I shared it. It was very good, but wow, so big!
    While my friend and I got our snacks, DH and DFH went to get FP for Dinosaur. While resting, we decided we’d try Tarzan Rocks! at 10:45. We had never seen this before, so I was looking forward to something new. Well, we weren’t impressed and won’t be doing it again anytime soon. I can’t really put my finger on any specific problems, we just didn’t care for it. When we came out of there, our FP window was open so we all enjoyed a trip back in time! This was DS#2’s first time, and he enjoyed it as we all did.
    The one thing we ALL wanted to do at AK was to see FOTLK. We decided to get some lunch at Pizzafari and catch the 1:00 show. At Pizzafari, we had 2 cheese pizzas, a chicken salad, a side salad, 2 iced tea and 2 cokes, for a total of $28.78. When we ordered, the 4 adults stood in line and sent the 4 boys to get us a table. After we each ordered, we stood there talking and I never even looked at the receipt until I noticed my breadsticks weren’t on the tray. But, when I looked at the receipt, I noticed, she never even ordered them, so it was my fault. The CM who was giving me the food asked if she forgot something, and I said no, I guess she never heard me order breadsticks. She told me to wait, and proceeded to give me an order! I told her she didn’t have to, it was my fault and she said she didn’t want any one at Disney World to be disappointed! How nice of her!

    When we were finished with lunch, we headed over to Camp Minnie Mickey to see FOTLK. We stood in line for about 15-20 minutes and they opened the doors. We were in the lion section. As usual, it was a wonderful show. We always love this one!

    By now, we were all ready to head back to POR. Our plans were to swim, and rest and meet up at the bus stop around 5:45 to head over to Chef Mickey’s for dinner. (Sometime around 5:00, DS#1 decided he was starving and headed over to the food court for an order of cheese fries and a bag of chips for DS#2; $3.82-I think he just really wanted to use his card to charge something!!)
    Our PS wasn’t until 6:40 and I think I checked us in around 6:15. They were really busy and she said it would be at least 6:40 and maybe later until they seated us. We had 10 people in our party, (DF’s parents joined us) so I think that’s what took so long? I guess we were actually sitting in the chairs for the lounge in the Contemporary so we just relaxed until they called us. I think we were seated around 7:00. We all enjoyed this meal and did get some nice pictures with the characters, even though the 2 older boys thought they were too old! We were ready to leave a little after 8:00. The bill for the 4 of us, with tip was $108.09! It was good, but we’ve been there twice now, and will probably skip it the next trip!

    We all boarded the monorail and headed to the Polynesian, as our family had never been there before. We LOVED what we saw. We walked around outside and headed out to the boat dock to watch the Electric Water Pageant. It was great. I’m so glad we took the time to do it.

    Then it was over to MK for E-Ride night! We were really looking forward to this as it was a new experience for all of us. When we got into the MK, we headed to City Hall for our wristbands. We then headed up MainStreet, USA, and headed over to Adventureland to ride POC and Jungle Cruise. Then it was over to Frontierland for Splash Mountain and 2 trips on BTMRR. We then headed to HM, where we saw a girl from our hometown who works there. On to Fantasyland where we road Peter Pan’s Flight and Winnie The Pooh, and saw Mickey’s Philharmagic for the first time! Then it was on over to Tomorrowland where our friends all rode Space Mountain, and we went on to Buzz. The four of us rode it twice and then the boys another 2 times. When our friends finish SM, the kids went on Buzz another 2 times. We headed out of MK around 1:15, I think. We all decided that this is the way to go and we will do E-Ride on future trips, if it’s available! We all headed back to POR, (we only waited about 2 minutes for a bus) and collapsed into bed! We can sleep in, as the first thing we have planned for tomorrow is lunch at Whispering Canyon Café.

    Total Spending for the day:
    Food: $153.95
    Shopping: $0.00-(I can’t believe that)
    TOTAL: $153.95

  5. #5
    Jiminy Cricket's Avatar
    Jiminy Cricket is offline Ultimate Park "Hopper"
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    Quote Originally Posted by pparm
    Monday July 12 Day 2

    Who:
    Paula (me)
    David (DH)
    Reade (DS#1)
    Dominic (DS#2)
    We overlapped 5 days of our vacation with friends:
    John (DFH, Dear Friends husband)
    Elena (DF)
    John (DFDS#1)
    Jacob (DFDS#2)


    Where:
    We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside Alligator Bayou Room 1414.

    Today was early entry at Animal Kingdom. We ate cereal and Poptarts in the room while getting ready for the day. We arrived at AK, went through security and got in line to wait for the gates to open. Once they opened, we made our way to the Oasis and waited for rope drop. We planned to head to Dinosaur as everyone else would be heading to Kilimanjaro Safari. That would’ve been a good idea, except for the fact the Dinosaur isn’t open for early entry!
    So we walked right into ITTBAB. When we came out of there, we got FP for KS and walked along the Pangani Forest Trail. When we were done looking for the Gorillas (we saw 2), it was time for our safari. We saw TONS of animals! I took lots of great pics! (Too bad I still haven’t figured out how to post them!)
    By now, it must have been about 9:45. We stopped at Dino Bite snacks for some coffee cake, Doritos, Yogurt, Root Beer float and a Coke, for a total of $13.26. Have you seen the size of the coffee cake?!?! It’s huge! My friend and I shared it. It was very good, but wow, so big!
    While my friend and I got our snacks, DH and DFH went to get FP for Dinosaur. While resting, we decided we’d try Tarzan Rocks! at 10:45. We had never seen this before, so I was looking forward to something new. Well, we weren’t impressed and won’t be doing it again anytime soon. I can’t really put my finger on any specific problems, we just didn’t care for it. When we came out of there, our FP window was open so we all enjoyed a trip back in time! This was DS#2’s first time, and he enjoyed it as we all did.
    The one thing we ALL wanted to do at AK was to see FOTLK. We decided to get some lunch at Pizzafari and catch the 1:00 show. At Pizzafari, we had 2 cheese pizzas, a chicken salad, a side salad, 2 iced tea and 2 cokes, for a total of $28.78. When we ordered, the 4 adults stood in line and sent the 4 boys to get us a table. After we each ordered, we stood there talking and I never even looked at the receipt until I noticed my breadsticks weren’t on the tray. But, when I looked at the receipt, I noticed, she never even ordered them, so it was my fault. The CM who was giving me the food asked if she forgot something, and I said no, I guess she never heard me order breadsticks. She told me to wait, and proceeded to give me an order! I told her she didn’t have to, it was my fault and she said she didn’t want any one at Disney World to be disappointed! How nice of her!

    When we were finished with lunch, we headed over to Camp Minnie Mickey to see FOTLK. We stood in line for about 15-20 minutes and they opened the doors. We were in the lion section. As usual, it was a wonderful show. We always love this one!

    By now, we were all ready to head back to POR. Our plans were to swim, and rest and meet up at the bus stop around 5:45 to head over to Chef Mickey’s for dinner. (Sometime around 5:00, DS#1 decided he was starving and headed over to the food court for an order of cheese fries and a bag of chips for DS#2; $3.82-I think he just really wanted to use his card to charge something!!)
    Our PS wasn’t until 6:40 and I think I checked us in around 6:15. They were really busy and she said it would be at least 6:40 and maybe later until they seated us. We had 10 people in our party, (DF’s parents joined us) so I think that’s what took so long? I guess we were actually sitting in the chairs for the lounge in the Contemporary so we just relaxed until they called us. I think we were seated around 7:00. We all enjoyed this meal and did get some nice pictures with the characters, even though the 2 older boys thought they were too old! We were ready to leave a little after 8:00. The bill for the 4 of us, with tip was $108.09! It was good, but we’ve been there twice now, and will probably skip it the next trip!

    We all boarded the monorail and headed to the Polynesian, as our family had never been there before. We LOVED what we saw. We walked around outside and headed out to the boat dock to watch the Electric Water Pageant. It was great. I’m so glad we took the time to do it.

    Then it was over to MK for E-Ride night! We were really looking forward to this as it was a new experience for all of us. When we got into the MK, we headed to City Hall for our wristbands. We then headed up MainStreet, USA, and headed over to Adventureland to ride POC and Jungle Cruise. Then it was over to Frontierland for Splash Mountain and 2 trips on BTMRR. We then headed to HM, where we saw a girl from our hometown who works there. On to Fantasyland where we road Peter Pan’s Flight and Winnie The Pooh, and saw Mickey’s Philharmagic for the first time! Then it was on over to Tomorrowland where our friends all rode Space Mountain, and we went on to Buzz. The four of us rode it twice and then the boys another 2 times. When our friends finish SM, the kids went on Buzz another 2 times. We headed out of MK around 1:15, I think. We all decided that this is the way to go and we will do E-Ride on future trips, if it’s available! We all headed back to POR, (we only waited about 2 minutes for a bus) and collapsed into bed! We can sleep in, as the first thing we have planned for tomorrow is lunch at Whispering Canyon Café.

    Total Spending for the day:
    Food: $153.95
    Shopping: $0.00-(I can’t believe that)
    TOTAL: $153.95
    Nice report. Whenever I read these reports it makes me want to be at WDW so badly. Only 47 more days to wait!!!
    Lord High Keeper of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong, Counselor in Moments of Temptation, and Guide along the Straight and Narrow Path and Oldest Active DWT/WDW Radio Member

    DL: 1955* (1); WDW: 1977* (2), 1980* (2), 1985* (3), 1989* (3), 1996 (ASMu-3), 1999 (ASMo-3), 2000 (ASMu-2/PO-2), 2001 (ASMu-5), 2002 (ASMu-5), 2003 (ASMo-5), 2004* (8), 2004 (ASMo-8), 2005 (PC-10), 2006* (15), 2007* (20), 2008* (22), 2009* (26), 2010* (27), 2011* (32), 2012* (39), 2013* (36), 2013* (15), 2013* (9), 2013* (13), 2014* (40) Total Trips/Days = 26/353

    *Off Property

  6. #6
    Lou Mongello's Avatar
    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    Wow!! Very impressive report, Paula!!!! Thank you SO much for taking the time to share all that great info!!!

    Lou Mongello
    Host, Author & Site Owner
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  7. #7
    TrendyMagic's Avatar
    TrendyMagic is offline On Mars
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    Great report there. Thanks for sharing all that.

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