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-   -   I'm Walkin' on Sunshine.... (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2681664)

LoveMyBeautifulGift 03-18-2011 11:26 PM

I'm Walkin' on Sunshine....
 
Let me start with a huge thank you to all Disers out there...this trip was magical and wonderful and fabulous and just amazing in large part due to the information I gleaned from the Dis, so Thank YOU!!! :worship:

Now to the trip report...

Testing my newfound skills at adding text links:
Paradise Pier Hotel and the World of Color View
Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness
Breakfast with Minnie
Magic Morning in Fantasyland, Lunch at Goofy's and Back to Toontown
Opening the Park, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Lunch at Ariel's Grotto
World of Color Picnic (Blue Disability Viewing Area)
Adventures Await
Breakfast at Storyteller's w/ Chip'n'Dale, Toy Story Midway Mania and DCA
Fantasmic Dessert
Last Day in the Park
Surf's Up Breakfast at the PCH Grill
What Didn't We Do?
Apples to Oranges-Attempting to Compare Character Meals
Photopass Photos
Speaking of Photopass...Notes for the Next Trip
Souvenirs

For those who didn't read the PTR (here), this was a girls only trip for myself :yay:, my mother :hippie:, my 2 sisters :hug:, and my 6yo princess:. I spent a lot of time on the Dis researching and prepping for the trip and was ready to burst with excitement by the time the trip finally happened :banana:.

We left on the 4th (from the East Bay) later than we expected...my mother had a last minute prescription issue w/ her insulin, which took up a large chunk of the morning...however, once we hit the road, we made great time (for us, at least ;)). We hit Santa Nella for at about 12:30 and stopped to let :hippie: and princess: eat and stretch.

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The McDonald's has an outdoor playplace, which was nice for the princess:. We stopped for about a half hour then hit the road again.

W/ Disney music playing the whole way, we drove down 5:

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The princess: was very excited about the "cat in the hat" silo, lol. Somewhere along the way, we realized my GPS had shut down and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't turn back on (since our return, I have found out that the cigarette lighter in my car is not connected, therefore the GPS was not charging, lol)...luckily, I came prepared w/ mapquest maps (in my wonderful blue binder :lovestruc) and all of our phones had GPS ability.

We reached Lost Hills at about 2:45 and filled the tank, then continued on...we stopped in Castaic at 4:30ish for a brief break before we pushed on to Temecula. The indoor playplace was pretty big, and there was a family on their way out from Disneyland, so the kids got to play while we adults chatted all things Disney :thumbsup2

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We were back on the road in about half and hour and all was well until everyone else dozed off (including my navigator :hippie:) and I merged left when I should have merged right...I realized something wasn't right pretty quickly and woke everyone up so someone could check the map/use a phone for GPS. However, by the time we got back on track we were stuck behind an ugly accident :sad2: ...so, we crawled through traffic (the accident was in the carpool lane, which only made things worse) before stopping at a place called Hungry Howies. I had a delicious salad, and ordered what I thought would be just a small amount of cinammon sticks but turned out to be this:

http://i904.photobucket.com/albums/a...d2011-2022.jpg

This thing was HUGE! The 5 of us barely put a dent in it...we finally arrived at my cousin's house at 8:45, where we spent the night catching up on family news (cough: gossip: cough) popcorn:: :eek: :rotfl2: :lovestruc and sharing a bottle of wine. We finally hit the sack somewhere around 1, when my cousin realized her 1 year old would be up for her wee hours feeding soon...

LoveMyBeautifulGift 03-18-2011 11:30 PM

The next morning, we slept in to the lovely hour of 7 am :rotfl: when my cousin's 1 year old woke up the princess: We spent the day playing/going to the park/soaking up the sun. We had a blast...I only wish I could have convinced my cousin to join us in the park for at least a day...while there, the princess: explored the native wildlife:

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My cousin couldn't understand why the princess: wanted to keep the rabbit, to her, rabbits are vermin...

We finished the day w/ some comedy central and lots of laughter, then the next day we woke up early to pack and hit the road by 10:00...

Our first stop just over an hour later was the Character Warehouse for some pre-trip souvenir shopping...I must say, I just don't get it :confused3...I know some people :love: this place, but we will not be returning...The store was organized poorly, the cashier had attitude and demanded to know how we knew about the store since we weren't locals (and curled her lip when we told her we had heard about it online) and the prices are too high for things that are old, irregular, sized wrong, or just plain ugly...not that we were able to leave w/o the princess: wanting a ridiculously overpriced cash register (the kind of junky, plastic, peicy toy you find at Big Lots, but priced at 3x the price) that her nana promptly bought her and some shirts that :hippie: insisted were great for my brother and father...I wasn't expecting great things from this store (or maybe somewhere in my mind I was, which explains the disappointment) but I was a bit let down by the lack of choice and more than once I picked somthing up and promptly put it back laughing after I read the price...

I will say that I am glad we stopped at the store if for no other reason than I was able to remind my mother and the princess that we would not be purchasing everything the princess laid eyes on and that we had a whole week to get through and a finite amount of space to bring all of our things back home in...

Then it was on to the hotel! :banana::banana::banana: Finally, we were really going to Disneyland!!!! :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2: :yay: :yay: :yay: :banana: :banana: :banana:

LoveMyBeautifulGift 03-19-2011 12:13 AM

I Can't Believe We're at Disneyland!
 
When we arrived at the Paradise Pier Hotel, everyone was over the moon. We passed the line at the front desk and rode the glass elevator up to the concierge lounge...Mom and sisters were suprised and glad we got to bypass the line, and everyone was grateful for the snacks and cold drinks in the lounge while I checked in...then it was back downstairs to have our bags brought in and to get mom's ECV (which we got from Deckert Surgical for 8 days for 175.00 total; and which worked like a dream the whole week)...while doing that, we took a minute to pose with Goofy:

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...and then took long enough to sort out who was going to be sleeping where and stash the luggage accordingly and check out the view...

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...and to find the first of the suprises for the princess in the bathroom (where I had pulled it out quickly while she was admiring the view from the window) and then it was off to DTD!

We had ressies at Rainforest for 3:00, but first I needed to stop at WDTC to sort out a character meal voucher mix up. The lady there was fabulous and fast, and I left not only with the right vouchers but $15.00 in snack vouchers as an apology for the mixup :cool1:. Then it was on to Buid-A-Bear to use the gift card that the princess: found in the goody bag...it was ridiculously crowded downstairs, but we quickly found our way upstairs to get our bear stuffed and fluffed...then it was back downstairs to find all the cool Disney apparel that can only be found at this particular location...we may have exceeded the amount of the giftcard, but we decided to take it as a lesson for next time rather than put anything back (really, we couldn't put back any of the cool outfits that we wouldn't be able to find at our own BAB, could we? :rolleyes1).

We had appetizers and dessert at Rainforest, since the princess had to have a volcano and the :hug: always split an appetizer platter wherever we go and call it a meal...the princess got the souvenir cup w/ the slurpees all mixed up in the cup, and my sister had an amazing strawberry banana drink that was very refreshing until you got to the end and it was all alcohol ;) Made me almost wish I had ordered it, but there was enough for the two of us to share...

We wandered DTD, stopping here and there for small purchases. "I Can't Believe We're at Disneyland!" was like our mantra for the day, we all said it at least once while checking into the hotel and meandering DTD...we made our way all the way to World of Disney, at which point everyone decided we should go ahead and head back to the hotel.

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Please excuse the mess...it was mid-week before I finally took pics of the room and we were quickly gathering a mass of stuff and making a mess of the room, lol...

We all unpacked and showered and before we knew it, World of Color was showing and we were glued to the window w/ the music playing on our t.v.

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We loved our view of the show...we could just make out some of the characters (Nemo, Buzz...) and watching all the colors and the wheel was just fascinating and amazing...my sister (who was sitting near the desk) was able to just see some fireworks, too, btw. We could hear the music through the windows, we didn't really need the music from the tv, but we having it play behind us while we watched just added to our absorbption in the show...we were all giddy w/ happiness and excitment as we watched...

After the show, my sister and mother made the dubious choice of eating the cheescake they had brought back to the room from Rainforest :sad2: and we soon all fell asleep to dreams of Disney!

kaoden39 03-19-2011 12:35 AM

It all sounds like it was wonderful!!! The view from your room was amazing!! I can hardly wait to read all about it!!

Welcome home to all of our liquid sunshine!

davidsprincess 03-19-2011 12:45 AM

Loving it so far!! Sounds like the perfect start to your first day.:thumbsup2

Lorelai 03-20-2011 03:18 PM

Wonderful TR so far...can't wait to read more! By the way...it sounds like your group grew by two. :goodvibes Where along the way did your cousin & cousin's baby join you?

LoveMyBeautifulGift 03-20-2011 10:49 PM

It was wonderful! Even w/ the construction, the view couldn't be beat...we were able to watch WoC every night from the comfort of our room...

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaoden39 (Post 40379773)
It all sounds like it was wonderful!!! The view from your room was amazing!! I can hardly wait to read all about it!!

Welcome home to all of our liquid sunshine!

It was a great start! At first it was sort of surreal...like...am I really here? Is it really time? And then we were walking down DTD and taking it all in and :banana: inside, lol...

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidsprincess (Post 40379804)
Loving it so far!! Sounds like the perfect start to your first day.:thumbsup2

Unfortunately, we didn't grow by two...we stayed at my cousin's house in Temecula Friday night-Sunday morning...we had invited her to join us when we made the plans and invited her again before we left (even if it was just to meet us for lunch or something one day) but she wasn't exactly enthralled w/ the idea of bringing a one year old to Disneyland...but we did have a blast at her place :thumbsup2

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorelai (Post 40396582)
Wonderful TR so far...can't wait to read more! By the way...it sounds like your group grew by two. :goodvibes Where along the way did your cousin & cousin's baby join you?


DizNee Luver 03-20-2011 11:02 PM

I think we might have been at the PPH at the same time!! (we were in a view room on the 9th floor) We checked in the morning of the 7th & checked out on the 10th. Loved watching the WoC from the room!!! Loved this hotel!!!!

LoveMyBeautifulGift 03-20-2011 11:26 PM

Finally the Park!
 
As soon as the alarm buzzed on Monday morning, I popped out of bed and pulled open the curtains while practically singing "We get to go to Disneyland!", lol...I was ridiculously chipper :rolleyes:...The princess: was ecstatic to find an invitation to dine w/ Minnie waiting for her and got dressed quicker than I've ever seen her get ready. :thumbsup2 We stopped at the concierge lounge, grabbed a quick bite to eat and got some waters (btw, we had to ask for bottled waters every time we wanted them during the week, they weren't in the fridge), then I led the way across the street, through the GCH and up to bag check...my sister kept asking if I was sure about where to go, but then we were there...I scoped the setup and moved to an empty slot in front of a table where a CM was setting up...:hippie: wanted to know why I wasn't standing in line, and I told her there would be more than one, then we had a nice chat w/ the CM about scoping the tables to see which would be open (basically, if CMs are hanging out at the other end of a table, it will be open). After chilling there for about 10 minutes (it took way less time to get to the tables than I expected), they let us move on to the front gates...:yay:

While waiting to get in, I reminded everyone that we were going to bypass the castle on the right and head over to MTMM, but first we were going to have to wait for rope drop...at this point, the :hug: were beginning to express doubts about being up so early if all we were going to do was wait around, but I just told them they would be glad we were in front once the park opened ;)...at rope drop, we met a mother/daughter who were very excited to be at the rope, and chatted a couple times w/ the awesome CM who was in charge of rope drop that day...soon there was a small crowd of people standing behind us and my sisters were talking about how glad they were to not be at the back of the crowd, lol.

Finally, rope drop! Boy, I never realized how quickly I could walk with purpose while pushing a stroller! :thumbsup2 We were at TT in moments and straightaway we see Pluto and Minnie :woohoo:

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Then we split up, w/ the :hug: heading to RR and :hippie: princess: and :yay: making our way back to Minnie's house/etc. The princess: absolutely fell in love with TT! We spent the morning exploring Minnie's house, Chip and Dale's treehouse, Donald's boat and riding Gadget's Go Coaster so many times I lost count...she didn't even want to stop to watch the show...luckily my :hug: grabbed buttons for everyone.

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While we played, we spotted Chip and Dale, Goofy and the :hug: told me Donald was at the show, though we never saw him roaming about...Finally I convinced the princess: we needed to head out, since she had received an invitation to breakfast w/ Minnie...we stopped at the 5 and Dime for some ears, and the princess: decided she wanted this hat instead:

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...which she proudly wore all day...and then we were off to Breakfast with Minnie!

LoveMyBeautifulGift 03-21-2011 12:18 AM

Breakfast with Minnie!
 
We strolled up to the Plaza Inn and parked the stroller and ECV off to the side...check in was a breeze as we just gave them our names, took the group shot on the porch, handed over the vouchers, grabbed our pins and they showed us our table...our reservations were for 10:30 and our end of the restaurant was still pretty full, although outside was only one family who came in just after we did...we filled our plates from the buffet (mickey head waffles, fruit, scrambled eggs, french toast, bacon, sausage, etc.) and sat down to enjoy the meal...soon the characters were coming back in fairly rapid succesion...Minnie was first, and she just adored the princess:s dress and hair bows...next was Eeyore, my sister's favorite character:

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Tigger hugged the princess: so well she practically disappeared:

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Fairy Godmother was very excited to have an entire page each in 2 seperate autograph books and bragged about it to Chip and Dale who were following closely on her heels (she even pointed out to them that they had to share a page in the larger book, lol):

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Hook and the Fox character (Foulfellow? not exactly certain bc he stayed cleared of our table after the Fairy Godmother shooed him away bc he was scaring the princess:) came out too:

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As did Perla, but Perla never made it to our table :confused: One minute she was at the next table over, the next she was gone...what was interesting to me was that the Fairy Godmother seemed to be acting as the character manager for the meal...she was circulating the entire time, and after she left our table, I saw her step outside, chat with the family that was on the porch, then come back in and lead Eeyore and Tigger outside...Fairy Godmother came back to our table several times, and each time she asked how we were enjoying our meal and which characters we had seen...then towards the end of the meal, she sort of swept through the tables and the characters headed out of the room ahead of her as she went...

We had a fabulous start to our day and our trip! In TT, we felt like we had the park to ourselves :goodvibes...the characters at Breakfast w/ Minnie were so friendly and always circulating :lovestruc, it was perfect! We headed back to the hotel on a cloud, laughing and chattering about how much fun we had had, all the great character interactions, how excited we were for the rest of the week, etc...

We spotted Cruella hanging out by the firehouse on our way out:

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and watched as she ran away from Chip when he tried to give her a hug...she told my sister to make sure to keep the book open after signing it so none of the other "creatures" contained in it would contaminate her page, lol...

Back at the hotel, we stopped in the concierge lounge for some sodas, chips and cookies, then it was upstairs for the :hug: and :hippie: to chill while the princess: and I hit the pool...we had a great time and the princess: even made friends w/ another little girl who was swimming...I almost wasn't able to convince her we needed to get back to the room, but in the end the draw of the parks won out...

Back at the room, we found :hippie: and my youngest sister feeling :sick: (our best guess is that it was the cheesecake they dragged around all day before consuming) After making sure they knew where the Immodium and Pepto were, and getting some more Sprites, the princess, myself and my other sister headed over to DCA...

We walked on to Monsters and rode it 4 times before heading over to Muppets 3D (mom can't do 3D anyway, so this was a good chance to do it w/o leaving her cooling her heals), then got caught on the wrong side of the Pixar Pals Parade while trying to check out the setup for Aladdin:

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After the parade dispersed, the crowd immediately surged over to Aladdin...so anyone wanting to catch the show should check the schedule...the parade stopped right in front of the theater, and we could not cross the street while it was coming down nor did we feel like braving the crowd just to ask a CM where we would line up for preferred seating later in the week...

We turned right around and stopped for a minute (or 15) to chat w/ a DVC CM who offered the princess: a button...poor guy was probably bored out of his mind having to stand there all day while people ignored him to watch the parade...

We stopped at Engine Ears to get Potato Head parts, then walked on to Soarin' :woohoo:...what an amazing ride...we lucked out and got row b-3, and I really felt as though my feet were going to touch the ocean and I was so busy looking at the screen I didn't even notice the feet of the people above me...after we got off Soarin' the princess: asked if we could go back to see the castle, and so back to DL we headed...really, how could we not go to the castle on our first day at DL? what were we thinking? lol...we walked through the castle, rode IASW, and managed to catch Mickey (who hadn't been in his house that morning until well after the show followed by a line of people from the show) before he headed out for the day...then we rode Gadget's again (twice), and the princess: discovered that the fountain plays music when you step on the little circles, so we played with it until they announced it was time to leave...the princess: was asleep well before we made it back to the hotel...my face hurt from smiling so much, but still, I smiled away as I told mom and sister about our afternoon while prepping for the next day and watching the last half of WoC...I fell asleep thinking about how our day had been just pure magic....

LoveMyBeautifulGift 03-21-2011 01:15 AM

Whoa Whoa Its Magic...
 
Tuesday morning was our first MM, and of course we were headed straight to Fantasyland! We rode Dumbo twice before splitting up...then (w/ the princess: leading the way) we rode the carousel, the teacups and Alice twice (the second time we went through Alice, I noticed a PP photographer snapping candids of people as they came through the ride...he wasn't giving anyone cards or taking cards, just snapping pics ..my guess would be for Magic, Memories and You):

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Then we headed over to Pixie Hollow, where we waited in line for about 10 minutes to see Iridessa and Tinkerbell:

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Iridessa was very happy that she had her own page in the autograph book and that the princess: knew her name/who she was...Tink was very friendly, too...and chatted with our little fairy for the day about growing up to be a great inventor...

The exit led us right to a little cart/shop where we picked up some stuffed fairy dolls, a headband and a wand for the little fairy...the :hug: split off, and :hippie: and I took the fairy on the Storybookland Canal before catching the monorail to get to lunch w/ Goofy at 11:00:

Getting to the lunch was a bit of a puzzle as we missed the sign at first, but once we got into the hotel, we were able to make our way there easily enough...we were checked in and had a seat to wait about 5 minutes before it was our turn to take pics w/ Goofy...we were glad we waited, because the groups ahead of us were kind of rushed through their pics, but we got to hang out w/ Goofy and Peter Pan (and even play a little hide and seek) for a few minutes while they got our table ready):

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Once inside, we grabbed some food (peanut butter and jelly pizza, worms in dirt, along w/ breakfast and salad fixings) and then sat at our table (up the ramp on the right after you come in the door)...and sat...and sat...eventually Pluto came by for a quick minute, then Baloo stopped by for a little bit longer:

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Dale came by, too, and he sat and had a nice chat w/ the fairy by writing on the paper tablecloth:

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Unfortunately, we were having so much fun playing w/ Peter Pan when we came in that we never asked for his autograph, so the fairy insisted we wait until he came around to our table...after another long wait, we asked our server if Peter Pan would be visiting the tables or if he was only out front...he went to check, and a few minutes later the character manager came over to say that Peter would be making rounds in a few...about 10 minutes after that, she came over to our table and led us to him...

I think we must have picked a really bad time or had a really bad seat for this meal...or maybe both...we heard music and someone announcing dancing for the kids, but we couldn't see it from where we were at and the princess was not interested in going to find it bc she didn't want to miss a character if they came around...we actually saw our server more often than we saw any characters...we actually hung out longer than the alloted 90 minutes, hoping we would see more characters....our little fairy was unaffected by the lack of characters, as she was enjoying her lunch and chatting about the characters we did see and how fun they had been...but :hippie: and I were a bit disappointed with the progression of the meal...after having spent so much time playing with Goofy and Peter Pan to get into the meal and have the briefest of moments with so few characters (except Dale) was a bit of a let down...

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel, where mom rested and we swam...then it was back to DL, where we went back through the castle, rode Peter Pan (at the fairy's insistence, she had to ride it after playing w/ Peter Pan that morning, even w/ the line, lol) and then Casey Jr., Its a Small World, back over to TT, and Peter Pan again (this time through the exit since we convinced :hippie: she could do the ride w/ no problems)...

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The fairy thought it was adorable that Mickey and Minnie have the same picture in each of their homes...as you can see in the pictures, we had a wonderful day w/ low crowds, great weather and fun times!

As the day drew to a close, the little fairy asked for pizza, so we stopped at Pizza Port, which turned out to be a waste of time and money, since she took one bite and then wouldn't eat the rest :lmao: (we are a bit spoiled about pizza...we have a wonderful pizza shop just a few blocks away that makes the most amazing delicious thick crust, fresh toppings pizzas ever...yum...). We then headed over to the penny arcade to meet the sisters and played around in there before heading back to the hotel...we stopped in the concierge lounge where I grabbed a plateful of the yummy quesadillas and a plateful of chocolate covered strawberries before heading upstairs to order a burger for mom and fries for the fairy from room service...we enjoyed our food by the window watching WoC once again...where the fairy passed out before the show was even over...

After picking up a little bit and prepping for the next day, then taking a very short shower (more on this later) I hit the bed once more smiling and reminiscing on what had been another magical day...

LoveMyBeautifulGift 03-21-2011 01:19 AM

Everyone loved the hotel...the princess: particularly loved the pool and :hippie: loved the concierge lounge...more specifically, the coffee in the concierge lounge, lol...

Quote:

Originally Posted by DizNee Luver (Post 40401898)
I think we might have been at the PPH at the same time!! (we were in a view room on the 9th floor) We checked in the morning of the 7th & checked out on the 10th. Loved watching the WoC from the room!!! Loved this hotel!!!!


wulaishiwo1 03-21-2011 01:34 AM

nice trip
 
a trip to Disney land with family members, sounds great! I went to the Disney in HongKong with my sister. We two also had a great time there. I have a secret dream that one day I go there with my husband and my children, and my parents!:dance3:

LoveMyBeautifulGift 03-22-2011 12:25 AM

GAH! Just lost an hours worth of trip report by clicking one too many times :headache: :lmao: Ah, well, its fun to look at the pics and share the magic of our trip w/ people who aren't tired of hearing about it already, lol...

AussieDisneyNut 03-22-2011 03:53 AM

Sorry you lost some TR ... I am sometimes technology challenged too! I still haven't worked out how to post a photo! :lmao: But I am enjoying your report, it is helping me keep the dream alive in these last few frantic days of packing and organising! :rotfl:


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