Fantasy Eastern San Juan 3-9-2013
My first attempt at a full trip report. I have the whole thing written I just need to bring it over and drop the pictures in. I hope that will be easier to do than I think.
Before we start this is a report about our 3rd Disney Cruise and first on the Fantasy. Our previous cruises included an Eastern on the Magic in 2011, Canada from NY on the Magic in 2012 and was an Eastern with San Juan on the Fantasy in 2013.
Cast of characters -
Me - Kristie age 37
Husband - James age 37
Megan - age 7 (she was 1 week shy of her 7th birthday on the cruise)
Alice - Age 3 (she was 2 and 10-1/2 months on the cruise)
And my parents aka grandma and grandpa (or poppy by my youngest)
Day 1 – March 8, 2013 Travel and the Magic Kingdom
We had an early morning flight leaving Houston Hobby airport and since it was the start of spring break I figured that there would be a lot of people at the airport so we wanted to get there early and not deal with Friday morning rush hour traffic. We choose to use the park and stay option at the Holiday Inn Houston Hobby. We have done this before and it really does make for an easy start to the vacation. Our flight was at 7:25am so we set the alarm for 5:30 am. We got up, got dressed, picked up a luggage cart and went down to get the shuttle. We dropped our overnight bag in the van got on the shuttle and we were on our way.
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The other plus to this plan is that you get dropped off at the curb side baggage check-in point so you don’t have to schlep your luggage all over the airport. There were about 2-3 families in front of us. We had new luggage so we had to write new luggage tags for all our bags. Baggage check in was painless. I tipped the porter got our claim tickets and tickets and headed off to security. After our last trip I was smart enough to remember to take the girls to the bathroom before trying to go through security. There is nothing worse than a potty training two year-old in the middle of the MCO security line telling you I have to go now. Fortunately Hobby has a family lane for families with young children and strollers and it is very fast to use. I will miss that lane when Alice gets bigger. (It is the same lane as the A-list passengers so I use it when traveling by myself too. I do not like the regular security line). Security was easy. I also love that I rarely have to use the imaging machine when traveling with the girls. When traveling for business I always use that line and 9 times out of 10 I get stopped for something and they have to do a partial pat down of anything from my pony tail to my waist band to my bra. It doesn’t matter what I wear. I have grown to dislike that machine.
After security we got breakfast at Wendy’s and found our gate. It wasn’t long before we were boarding our plane. Even though I am A-list preferred and had a A-19 boarding number I boarded with the family on this flight at A59, A60 and (technically B1). I knew it was the first flight of the morning so I wasn’t concerned about getting seats together. We found my preferred seats in rows 18 and 19 (yes I have preferred seats on Southwest and no they are not the typical preferred seats most people coven) and got settled. The airplane was WiFi enabled which was great for me (another A-List preferred bonus is free Wi-Fi). Alice and I played with playdoh and she played on the floor while I caught up on a few Facebook posts for the last time. We landed in MCO a few minutes early and were ready to start our vacation.
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Our flight was packed with a dance/cheer team of teenaged girls. All of them had checked bags so it was a little crowded around the baggage claim carousel. Normally at MCO I find the baggage claim area to be a little light thank to the Disney ME luggage service, but not this time. It wasn’t a big deal though. We found our bags quickly and were off to the rental car. I had a Budget rental car and from experience knew that FastBreak is the only way to go at MCO. It is the start of spring break through and even the FastBreak line outside was long. Our car wasn’t ready when we first got there. As we were waiting Alice was goofing off in the stroller fell out and got her required Disney head bump. We finally got to our car (a very nice Ford Taurus), installed the car seats, loaded the luggage in the trunk and we were off. We decided to go ahead and get lunch and check in at Bonnet Creek before heading to the Magic Kingdom because we knew it would be very late otherwise (plus it is easier to leave the luggage at the resort instead of our car). Wendy’s and Chick-fil-a were right next to each other so we got the girls lunch at Wendy’s and then went next door to Chick-fil-a (my oldest is silly and prefers Wendy’s nuggets over Chick-fil-a – I don’t understand her taste buds). We got through registration at Bonnet Creek and checked into our 2-bedroom room in Tower 2 with a parking lot view. I won’t complain it was only one night. Normally we stay in Tower 5 and have great views of either Epcot or Hollywood Studios but this time we wouldn’t be here long enough to enjoy it. We unloaded the car and we were off to the Magic Kingdom.
I am not used to arriving at the MK this late. It was 1:20 PM when we pulled into the parking lot. We parked and took the tram to the TTC instead of walking this time. We were parked in Zurg 105. The girls wanted to take the Ferry over which was arriving right as we got there. We went upstairs and found a seat. The girls had fun dancing and playing on the ferry. I kept joking that this was our cruise ship and when we got off. Ok the cruise is over wasn’t that fun lets go home. They didn’t like my joke.
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We entered the park and were walking down Main Street by 2pm.
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Can you guess our first stop? Did we run to Dumbo? Did we go to Buzz? How about Big Thunder Mountain Railroad? Tune into the next chapter to find out . . .
Day 1 Continued - An afternoon of Magic
Day 1 Continued – A Magical Afternoon
We entered the park and were walking down Main Street by 2pm. Can you guess our first stop? Did we run to Dumbo? Did we go to Buzz? How about Big Thunder Mountain Railroad?
No we went to Sleepy Hollow so my husband could get a Funnel Cake.
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As we were eating our Ice Cream and Funnel Cake, the castle show started so we watched it from the side. I had a few bites of the girls ice cream and ran off towards Buzz to get Fast Passes while they ate.
It was fun to watch the Castle Show from the side. The characters would come out of the castle and before they would enter for their cues they would stand behind the platform where we could see them and wave at the girls each time.
After the snack and show were over we headed down the path and into Fantasyland. We started our trip off with a ride on Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. But first we had to try to pull the sword from the stone.
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Next we walked through Fantasyland and went to the Tea Cups. James doesn’t ride the tea cups so he sent me on with the two girls. He took the camera and I took the video camera (which also takes some stills). The girls had lots of fun getting me dizzy of course.
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I loved this picture on the wall for the Mine Train of the Dwarves painting the roses red
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We now had just enough time to head over to Buzz and park the stroller. We might have walked in a couple minutes before our Fast Pass was technically due (1-2) but they let us in without waiting. Buzz is always a hit with the girls. As usual Alice rides with me and Megan rides with James. Maybe on the next trip we’ll get her to switch that up every once in a while.
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After Buzz I ran to get FastPasses for Goofy’s Barnstormer and meet the girls and James at the Tomorrowland Speedway. The line took right at 20 minutes which wasn’t too bad considering it was Spring Break and 3:30 in the afternoon.
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We had just enough time after that to take a bathroom break and get ready for Goofy’s. Alice had grown just enough since Thanksgiving where she was tall enough now for her very first roller coaster. She loved her first ride and wanted to go again later. We again showed up just a few minutes early and again were let in early (this time we might have been pushing closer to 5 minutes but they didn’t make us wait).
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We were going to grab a FastPass for Dumbo for later, but it would have expired before we could have finished dinner so we decided to head back to Fantasyland to see if we could grab a FastPass for one of the other rides for later. Little Mermaid was perfect timing so I got that while James and the girls took another spin on the Carrousel.
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Great start! We were at Disney for Spring Break too! So funny when you mentioned the cheerleaders, they were everywhere that week!
Looking forward to your ship review. My kiddos are looking forward to a future Fantasy cruise.
Day 1 Part 3 - Be Our Guest
It was now time to check in for our 4:50pm dinner reservation at Be Our Guest. I wish they had a little better signage that stated that everyone had to check before your crossed the bridge. We crossed the bridge and were turned back at the gate so the kids and James waited outside the gate and I went to check in on the other side of the bridge. It just seemed like poor placement in my opinion.
I got our ticket and went back to join the rest of the family. We were seated almost immediately in the main ballroom. Our server was a little slow. We were there for quite a while before we had our drink order taken or even got our menus. James and I each ordered a garden salad and split the Strip Steak. James enjoyed it. I thought it was overcooked, but that is because I prefer my stakes to be Medium Rare/Medium and he prefers them to be Medium Well. It was Medium Well. Megan had the Mickey Meatloaf. She is very picky and she ate it so it must have been decent at least. Alice had the Macaroni and Marinara sauce. She didn’t eat much. I tried it and it was pretty good. The restaurant was beautiful. Beast walked through twice while we were there. We were celebrating both girls birthday’s while we were there so they each got the Grey Stuff with a little candle and could make a wish. I’m not even sure I was able to convince Megan to try the Grey Stuff, but she had fun blowing out her candle. Alice and I liked the Grey Stuff. We then split a dessert, but I honestly can’t remember what we had. After dinner we walked through the West Wing to take a look and then went out via the Study so we could meet the Beast. Megan met the Beast but Alice was definitely not interested. At this point I was afraid this might be foreshadowing for the rest of the cruise and I was imagining another trip with no characters.
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My overall impression of Be Our Guest was that it was a nice place, but I don’t think I’d go out of our way for another dinner there. I would have loved it if they could have incorporated a “show” with things like dancing plates and Lumiere and Cogsworth etc. The food was good but nothing wowed us. I’d like to try lunch sometime as some of the menu items for lunch sound much more exciting to me.
After dinner we went and used our FastPass for the Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
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Then we walked around and rode Dumbo “standby.” I liked it much better at Thanksgiving when the gate was open between Little Mermaid and the Storybook Circus. It is a long way around when it is closed. There was no line at Dumbo, so we were given the option of going in and play and come out whenever we wanted or go straight to the ride. We choose to play. The playground is the best part according to the girls. I love riding Dumbo at night.
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Next we took another ride on Goofy’s Barnstormer. I think I had grabbed another FastPass but I honestly can’t remember if we rode standby or with FastPass. James and Megan rode in front of this this time so he got a couple great pictures of Alice and I on Barnstormer.
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Megan and Alice wanted to ride Buzz again so we walked over to Tomorrowland for another ride. The line was non-existent so we rode standby.
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When we walked out of Buzz they were having the Tomorrowland Dance Party. They were playing Megan’s favorite vacation song Dynamite (they played it a lot on our first cruise so we consider it our happy vacation song). We ran over and danced for a while.
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At this point I wanted to go find a spot to watch the fireworks, but Megan wanted to go shopping. We headed to Main Street. We went shopping instead of the fireworks. I did get to see a few minutes of them when Alice decided she needed a potty break. Oh well we’d have fireworks on the ship in a few days.
It had been a long day and everyone was tired so we went ahead and skipped the parade and headed back to Bonnet Creek for the night.
We took the Ferry back to the TTC center. The girls definitely didn’t like my joke now that our cruise was over and it was time to head home.
Alice fell asleep in the car on the way to Bonnet Creek. She almost woke up when we got the room and I put her in a pullup and into bed. She was worn out.
All in all it was a great way to start our vacation and a fun bonus day at the Magic Kingdom.
Next up - Come Sail Away with me
I am going to have to start the cruise portion tomorrow. I left my mouse at work and it is driving me a bit mad to add the pictures without the mouse.
How fun! We always stay at Hyatt MCO before the cruise. Your girls are adorable! I love the outfits. I just have a boy who could care less what he wore. May I ask what date your Alaskan cruise is? We are going 6/23/2014 on the Wonder. My family thanks I am crazy for booking so early, but I wanted a verandah. Can't wait to here more.
Day 2 - Come Sail Away With Me 3-9-13
Today is the day!
We actually got to sleep in a little this morning. We weren’t in any big rush as the port is only a little over an hour away. But we were still up and dressed and ready for breakfast by 8am. We headed downstairs to get breakfast at the Bonnet Creek Cantina. All I can say to that is Never again. It was overpriced and awful. The girls and I each had a pancake and James had an egg sandwich I think. It was $35 for breakfast and I don’t think any of us ate much if anything. I asked for strawberries on my pancake and it was wilted and icky.
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We finished up breakfast, packed up the car and checked out. We went to Wal-mart to pick up a few things we needed for the week on the ship and then headed to the Port. I was thrilled to catch my first glimpse of the Fantasy as we came over the bridge.
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James dropped the girls and I and all of the luggage off at the curb. We got the car seats out of the rental car and bagged and tagged and the porter took our luggage. James took the car and his driver’s license to Budget to return the car and the girls and I took his passport and went to check in. I was able to check in the 4 of us with no difficulty. I got our silver castaway club lanyards and our room tickets and our boarding number. We were number 4. We went to find the bathroom and ran into my parents on the way over. They checked in while we took a potty break and then we found seats to wait for James so we could board. Boarding started a few minutes before James made it back from the rental company and through security. It was about 11:30 when we started boarding and by the time James made it through security we boarded with group #6, I think. It was not a big deal and we were getting on the Fantasy.
Wow – I was blown away when we walked in the atrium. It was so big and bright and airy compared to the Magic (which is beautiful in its own right). We took the elevator up to Cabana’s for lunch. We grabbed a window seat in the corner and had a lovely lunch. I honestly couldn’t tell you what we ate at all, somehow once I get on the ship the food starts to all blend together. I was very impressed with the “pod” dining at Cabana’s. It was so much easier than the cafeteria lines at Topsider’s.
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After lunch it was time to go explore the ship a little. We left Cabana’s and started our way around deck 12. By the time we made it back to the other side of Deck 12 Megan and Alice were ready to hit the pool, so I pulled swimsuits out of the bag and we changed and went to the pools for a bit.
James and Megan headed straight to the Aqua duck and Alice and I headed to Nemo’s Reef. I love Nemo’s Reef. It is so much nicer than the little splash pad area on the Magic. There were so many things for Alice to play with. Megan and Alice came back down and the girls went to the Mickey pool for a bit. We briefly checked out the AquaLab on deck 12, but it was too chilly in the wind to enjoy it. Then Alice went back to Nemo’s reef and Grandma kept an eye on her while James, Megan and I went to the AquaDuck. It was a lot of fun.
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When we came back from the AquaDuck Alice was wrapped up like a mummy in towels so it was time to go dry off and check out our room.
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Day 2 - Sail Away Cont
We had room 6630. It was a category 4D with the extra Murphy bed. I really enjoyed having the extra space. The room was on Deck 6 closer to the aft elevators than the midship elevators, but really not close to either set of elevators. I think in the future I would prefer to pay a little extra and get a room on deck 7 and a little closer to midship. The room was quiet though and we had connection rooms with my parents which was very nice. We choose not to open the verandah divider.
We dried off and changed and went to go register the kids at the Oceaneer’s club. I think I accidently left my lanyard in the bathroom when Alice and I changed into our swimsuits so I had to go down to guest services to get new keys for the girls and I (since James had his). Sometime later I found my lanyard in the room so it must have been returned and the room hostess Marissa must have put it in the stateroom for me.
Megan was 6 (she turned 7 one week after we got off) and Alice was 2 (she will turn 3 in April) and fully potty trained. I asked if Alice could register for the Oceaneer’s club and since her birthday was in April and she was potty trained they let her and gave her a wrist band. We checked out both the club and the lab. Alice had to go check out the restrooms in the club and managed to lock herself in the stall and couldn’t get it unlocked. She climbed out of the stall and I had to find someone to go in and unlock it afterwards. Oops. After that I showed her how to use the lock and we went back to exploring. The club space was great. Both girls loved playing in Andy’s room. They tried on some clothes in the Fairy nook. They played on the computers. Alice had a great time building in the Lab. We tested out the Magic Play floor and then it was time to shut down the lab and club to get ready for the Mandatory Boat Drill so we headed back to the room.
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Day 2 - and we're off
James took the girls to try to get a hot dog on Deck 11. He didn't make it before they closed for the safety drill though.
I went back to the room and our luggage was arriving so I started to unpack while we waited. There did not seem to be as much closet space on the Fantasy as there was on the Magic. I think my biggest complaint was that the largest section was only half length for hanging and well we have a lot of dresses and skirts. All my dresses and some of Megan’s had to get squished on the small long side and all of Alice’s some of Megan’s and Daddy’s clothes were on the bigger short side. It worked out, but it was definitely more cramped for the clothes than I was expecting. I had no problem unpacking the rest of the stuff into drawers but we did have to share drawers.
The drill was the standard boat drill. James and the girls were waiting for us in Deck 4 when Mom, dad and I showed up. We checked in and listened to the drill and then headed to the sail away party.
I promised Megan we would go down to the main floor this time so we could dance. We got our streamers and danced. Alice insisted on me holding her the whole time. Megan had to leave for a potty break in the middle but made it back before we sailed away. We had a lot of fun dancing together. James and my parents sat off to the side at one of the tables on deck 11.
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After the sail-away party we went back to the rooms to change clothes for dinner.
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We had dinner at Animator’s Palette tonight. Unfortunately I had forgotten to give Megan her mid-day dose of Dramamine and now that we were moving she was starting to feel it. I went to the room (with Alice and Megan in tow) to get the Dramamine. As soon as we sat back down Alice had to go potty. Then they wanted a walk again so daddy took them. They missed out on Crush. He and I had a totally awesome chat though about Houston and space and I don’t remember the rest. I loved where we were sitting at Animator’s. It was a very cool restaurant. I was not as impressed with our serving team. At this point I thought it was just because we were up and down all night.
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Megan needed to lie down after dinner so no club time tonight. I finished getting everything unpacked. I think we watched a movie and had an early night of it. The first night crossing the Gulf Stream is always a bit choppy.
Our Alaska Cruise is June 10, 2014. I am so excited and can't wait for that one. I'm looking forward to it being less than a year out though. It still seems so far away right now.
Day 3 - March 10, 2013 - Sea Day = Relax!
Ah the joy of the sea day! I love Sea Days! Unfortunately we are still rocking and rolling a lot today and Megan is still feeling a little shaky this morning.
We woke up early to find a “pirate” ship off in the distance. Okay so it isn’t a real pirate ship, but you could see a 3 mast sail boat off in the distance from our verandah.
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We got dressed and headed upstairs to Cabanas for breakfast.
Did I mention it was chilly cold this morning? Well it was chilly cold this morning. After breakfast we donned our jackets and headed up to a very chilly deck 13 for some Goofy golf.
I was surprised that we could see a lighthouse from Deck 13
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James and Megan played 2 games; Alice made it through a half a game before she lost interest and had to take a potty break.
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Meanwhile my parents went off to explore the ship and found the Outlook and Satellite Falls.
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We had planned on going to the Animation class at 9:45, but Megan was not up to sitting inside in a drawing class even though she loves to draw. My parents went to the class and had fun learning to draw Mickey and Donald.
Day 3 - Sea Day Continued.
My time schedule is a bit off for the day. I know we spent some time at the pool. Alice found the slide at Nemo’s reef which she loved. I had the opportunity to ride the AquaDuck at least once. Max (Goofy’s Son) was trying to ride but they wouldn’t let him. I almost convinced them (the cast members that measure you) that he could ride with me, but his handler said no. :rotfl2: Max was waiting for me when I got off the Duck and helped me out of my raft. It was fun to joke around with him. Unfortunately since I was getting ready to go on the AquaDuck I didn't have my camera so I couldn't get any pictures.
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I made an appointment to get my hair cut. I think I had my appointment around 12:45 or so. This is based on the navigator because we ran into Buzz as I was headed to my appointment and he arrived at 12:45 in the lobby and I met up with my mom and Alice on Deck 4 with Donald and he came out at 1:15. I really liked my new haircut. I had a hard time styling it the rest of the week though because I didn’t bring any product with me and a little light styling gel would have helped a lot with the wind and humidity the rest of the week. Donald surprised Alice when he came out by trying to high five her so she chickened out when it was her turn to meet Donald, so I got to have that picture by myself.
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My mom, Alice and I went up to Cabanas and sat down and had a nice drink and chat for a bit. Alice decided that the salt and pepper shakers were fun to build with. I’ll be honest I have no idea where Megan, James and my dad were at this point. I think Megan and James were in the room and dad was exploring somewhere.
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Mom and Alice and I went down to see Aladdin in the Walt Disney Theater. We tried to catch up with Dad beforehand but we couldn’t find him. So Mom, Alice and I watched from the right side of the theater and Dad ended up watching from the left side of the theater. We all loved Aladdin! The Genie on our cruise was great and had a wonderful comedic timing.
Day 3 - Cont Bibbidi Bobbity Boutique!
After the show, we went back to the room to find Megan as she had a 4:30 appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. When I got the room I found Megan was still having some issues with the rolling ship. James had spoken with one of the ships officers (the white hats and I have no idea who he talked to) who said there were problems with the ships stabilizers. I felt really bad for her. At this point though the biggest thing was getting her moving and getting her eating something. I asked if she wanted me to try to reschedule her appointment but she wanted to do it. I’m glad she did. She really started to perk up a little being out of the room and out and about. The ladies at BBB were awesome! They told me I could run upstairs and get Megan’s dress and she could change there, so I left Megan in case they were ready for her to start and ran up with Alice to grab their dresses and shoes and a hairbrush so I could work on Alice’s hair too. As I was trying to fix Alice’s hair one of the Fairy Godmothers in training asked if she would like a Mickey in her hair and gave us a little pixie dust by putting a quick twist and a Mickey in her hair. She was thrilled. Megan choose the Pop Diva style with the pink cotton candy hair. I actually really liked how it turned out. James and Dad showed up towards the end and they sat with the girls while I ran upstairs to change clothes and I came down just in time for the reveal. The girls both got dressed and completed their princess transformations.
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I had the girls dresses hanging on the rack where the costumes hung as the princesses got dressed. One little girl saw their dresses and wanted that one. I loved their dresses much better than the official princess dresses.
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