Our Last Minute, Surprise, Magical, Never-to-be-Forgotten 4th of July Trip

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by tmasingo, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. tmasingo

    tmasingo <font color=teal>Glad to see a Woo Hooty was final

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    PRE-TRIP REPORT

    The Cast:

    Myself: Tara, 31, Mom to DS, Domenic.

    Craig: DBF, 33, Father-figure to Domenic.

    Domenic: DS, 3.

    The Scenario:

    Ok, so it's the end of May. We were just at WDW at the end of March for DS's first trip.

    Refer to that trip report here for background if you'd like :)

    http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1148677&page=1&pp=15

    But back to this trip. My company shuts down every year during the first week of July. Craig and I had been discussing things we could do for vacation. I have friends in SC, and we'd debated driving down and trying to book some points (Craig's a DVC owner) at HHI Resort. The days available were chopped up, though, for what we needed/wanted, and DS was going through an "I don't want to ride in the car" phase, so our plan to drive down there wasn't sounding so great :rolleyes: Ok, so nevermind that. Maybe we'll just stick around here. Craig's sister lives on Cape Cod, so we made plans to head down there that first weekend of July and spend a couple of days, see the 4th of July parade/fireworks, etc. There. Plans made. Untilllllllllllllllllll............

    .......I check my email the morning of June 2nd and there is one from SW Airlines announcing "Special Summer Savings." My first thought, of course, was to check and see what they had for Orlando. BIG MISTAKE :rolleyes:
    (We'd already looked into it but the flights were just WAY too much. That was why we couldn't fly to SC either.)

    They had $59 one-way fares to Orlando from one of our NE airports. Oh goodness. This is not good. Well, it IS. But it's sooooo not, lol. Ok, so I show Craig. Hmmm, ok, this is interesting :scratchin It's a rainy Friday morning and we're at work checking out flights to WDW and discussing it over IM :rolleyes1 For less than 30 days from now. OMG. We could possibly be going to WDW in a month :hyper: We're getting excited. We're trying to figure out what days we would leave and come back. What flights worked best. Craig was on the phone to DVC trying to see if there was anywhere available. It was pressure at it's best.

    We can't spend a weekend since it's too many points. So we know we need to leave on Sunday and stay until Thursday-ish. They have Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday night at OKW, but they don't have Monday. But they do have Sunday and Monday at POR. So we can stay at POR for Sunday and Monday but on the 4th (Tuesday), we'd have to check out of POR and move to OKW, and stay there for the final 2 nights.

    Hmmm. Do we really want to do that? I mean, we're already talking about only staying until Thursday since I'd already bought Dora the Explorer tickets for DS for that night, thinking we weren't going anywhere :rolleyes: So, switching rooms after 2 nights would be taking up a lot of time to pack up and check in elsewhere. Yeah, ok, the excitement is turning to "Do we really want to use all these points for such a quick trip?" Sigh. Ok, yeah, it's maybe not the best idea, and by lunchtime we'd pretty much decided we weren't going. Begrudgingly, but we figured that one day we'd waste just wasn't worth it when we could save the points for a bigger vacation later. :(

    Ok, so I'm bummed. I run some errands at lunchtime and come back and start eating at my desk while doing a bit of DIS-ing. I see an email notice pop up...."you have received an email from SW Airlines online reservations." WHAT?! He didn't! OMG.....he sooooooo did!!! :Pinkbounc We have 3 airline tickets booked for Sunday and returning on Thursday. What the heck happened?! I'm beside myself. I am dancing in my chair. I know what this means...but why? How? What's up? I wait for him to get back to work and on IM. He tells me "When I got home for lunch, there was a message on my answering machine. The extra night at OKW became available and I figured if that's not a sign, what is?" :rotfl: :rotfl: (He'd put his name on the wait list for that day but we weren't exactly holding out hope for it given the time of year and such short notice)

    Ok, so now...................WE'RE GOING TO WDW IN LESS THAN A MONTH!! :banana: :banana: :banana: Does it GET any better than this?! Uh....no!! (or so I thought :rolleyes1 )
     
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  3. riopooh

    riopooh DIS Veteran

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    Yay - what a great start.

    More Please. Now please. popcorn::
     
  4. Minniespal

    Minniespal <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/image

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    Enjoying reading your reports ~ Thanx for sharing.
     
  5. tmasingo

    tmasingo <font color=teal>Glad to see a Woo Hooty was final

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    Thanks! It's taken me forever to finally sit down and write this report. I will update with more later today :)
     
  6. Madaboutthemouse

    Madaboutthemouse <font color=red>The frozen Bacardi ones are really

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    Great first installment Tara! I look forward to reading the rest even though I already know what happens! :teeth: :thumbsup2
     
  7. lewdyan1

    lewdyan1 DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl: :rotfl:
    Great start! :thumbsup2
     
  8. tmasingo

    tmasingo <font color=teal>Glad to see a Woo Hooty was final

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    So now we're revved up :Pinkbounc We're going to WDW :woohoo: In less than a month :banana: Oh man, this is going to be great! Last time was parks, parks, parks. We're staying at OKW again, so we're thinking "yeah, so we'll just relax this time, spend a bit more time at the resort than in March, use the pool...it'll be nice." :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: WHATEVER :rotfl:
    By the end of the weekend, we've got a plan for our park visits (yeah, we've got them ALL included....with some attempts at breaks) and a list of ADR's we want to do :rolleyes: By Monday, I've called 1-407-WDWDINE and we're chock full of fun for the week :rotfl:

    One thing different from last trip, though.....we've decided to make this a surprise for Domenic. It's not even a month away. Surely we can keep it quiet for that long. Let's surprise him! Ever since March, he's been on a complete Disney kick. Every plane we see, he says "It must be going to the Magic Kingdom." Yes, let's surprise him. He'll be beside himself :cool1:

    So operation Disney surprise is in motion. Uh oh. I remember as we start to plan. Operation Potty Training is supposed to go in effect that week :guilty: Domenic starts preschool in the fall and must be potty trained to go. I'd planned to use that week I had off this summer to start it. Hmmm. What to do. Do I wait, and hope that training won't take long (He has to be trained by end of August) or start before we leave, giving us a few extra weeks...but planting us at WDW smack in the beginning stages? Oy oy oy. I'm torn. I don't want to throw him in pull-ups after a week of training and confuse the heck out of him, but I really don't want to wait until we get back to start either. Ok, decision made. I'll start 2 weeks before we leave, giving us a decent start and hope that WDW won't throw things completely off.

    So we're in the middle of trying to finalize this trip. We're trying to keep it a secret from Domenic. And bang. Now we're starting potty training. Can June get any more chaotic? :rolleyes: The beginning phase goes well. Domenic takes to the easy part of it just fine. Pull ups are used at night. Doing great. Except for that pesky more difficult part. He will pee just fine. After that, it's a struggle. He refuses. He cries. He says he's afraid. He won't go. We're coaxing, we're bribing, we're pleading. It's been a week. It's just not happening. In desperation, Craig blurts out one day "If you go on the potty, maybe we can go to WDW again sometime soon." UH-OH. This is not good. We're GOING to WDW in a week. I'm in a panic. "How can we go to WDW if he hasn't done this yet by then? How inconsistent will THAT be? I can't promise something as a reward and give it anyway even if he doesn't do what the reward is for!" But we're not NOT going to go to WDW! Oh gee. Thanks Craig :rolleyes:

    So now it's a race against the clock :rotfl: I mean seriously. Imagine the two of us, whispering in desperation over the next week "What are we going to do? He HAS to do this before we leave. I cannot be a fraud of a parent." We're trying everything. He's giving a valiant effort, but for whatever reason he's just afraid. Finally....and I kid you not....the DAY before we leave....it happens. We're at a birthday pool party at my aunt's house. We're down at the pool and he tells me he has to go potty. Not uncommon since the first part is down pat by now. We rush up to the bathroom and I'm lucky enough (if you can even call this that :rolleyes: ) that this is it. I've caught him mid-accident. He goes on the potty and what does he say? "See...that wasn't so scary!" :cool1: :Pinkbounc :cheer2: I think we had the biggest celebration you can imagine. And while Domenic is thinking it's all about his big accomplishment, Craig and I are sitting there breathing a huge sigh of relief that we're not going to be looking like parental idiots and handing out an un-earned reward...but also thinking....."We're taking him to WDW tomorrow. We promised we could go if he went on the potty. How AWESOME does that make us?!" :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:
     
  9. novdisneydreams

    novdisneydreams Mouseketeer

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    :cheer2: YAY! for Domenic (Isn't potty training the WORST?)

    Loving your report ... can't wait for more!
     
  10. tmasingo

    tmasingo <font color=teal>Glad to see a Woo Hooty was final

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    Sunday, July 2nd dawns and we're ready. We've put the suitcases in the car the night before. Domenic still doesn't know we're going. We've told him we're off work for the week, and that's all he knows. Because we debated so long that fateful Friday morning, all of the earlier flights were taken and we are leaving at 1pm out of Hartford, flying into Tampa. Not what we wanted, but again...by the time we decided, all the available flights into Orlando were gone. No biggie. We like having a car anyway.

    So we get up, shower, get Domenic bathed, and we sneak the toiletry bag into the car. We tell Domenic we need to leave. Naturally, like any 3-year old, he asks where we're going. We tell him it's a surprise. This isn't good enough. So Craig tells him we're going to a playground :rotfl: He's happy with this answer ;) It's 9am and a bit overcast. It's a 2 hour drive to the airport and we stop about 20 minutes into the trip to get some donuts and coffee. We go through the drive thru at Dunkin Donuts. Domenic asks for a sprinkle donut. They don't have any. He does not understand WHY, since there is a PICTURE of a sprinkle donut on the drive thru menu :rolleyes: We order him some munchkins instead and drive around. There are a bunch of motorcyclists to the right of us. Domenic is still asking why they don't have sprinkle donuts and Craig tells him that the people on the motorcycles must've bought them all. To this day, whenever a DD doesn't have any sprinkle donuts, Domenic says "The people on the motorcycles must've eaten them all." :lmao: :lmao:

    So we head down the road to McDonald's because we're being picky and didn't want Donuts. Great. This McDonald's has a playground. Where does Domenic think we're headed? :rolleyes: :sad2: Thankfully it's started to drizzle and we can use that as an excuse :thumbsup2 All of us are now settled with breakfast, and we're off!

    A couple of potty stops later (remember....we're still in the beginning phases of this) and we arrive at Executive Parking, where we'll be parking the car for the week. We get out. Domenic is looking around. "Are we at the playground?" Ok. time to tell him. I make Craig wait to open the trunk and expose all the luggage so I can get my camera ready. Ok. Now!

    He opens the trunk, Domenic sees the luggage and I say "Domenic, we're going to go to WDW today." He looks at us. "HUH?" "We're parking the car here and they're going to take us and all our bags to the airport and we're going to go to WDW!" "We ARE?!" He's bewildered and confused, but you can see the light starting to dawn.....

    [​IMG]

    So now we're on the bus to the airport. Domenic is getting to experience the excitement we've had for the past month. He's thrilled. It's still sinking in, but he realizes we're on our way to see Mickey :mickeyjum We've decided that since we land later in the day, our plan is to land, eat something quick in the car on the way to Orlando, check into OKW, and then head over to MK to catch Wishes. Domenic LOVES fireworks, so we figured there was no better way to begin the trip. We tell him we'll be seeing them that night and he's ecstatic.

    We get to the airport, no problems checking in (Aside from the fact that we must hand over blankie to go through security) Domenic's not thrilled at ALL about this and starts crying. The security guard (who I can only assume doesn't have kids) says to him "Here. He needs to go through and if you let him, you can get a surprise." Yeah. Thanks dude. So we tug blankie away from Domenic, he goes through security, Domenic comes with me, crying the entire time, and guess what? All he gets back at the end is blankie. No surprise. My kid is smart. He wants to know where it is :confused3 I'm shaking my head and while I know that this guy was just trying to get the job done with minimal struggle, I want to go tell him that you don't promise a three year old a surprise and not deliver. I mean really. We're taking the kid to WDW because he went on the potty. Ya gotta pay up :rolleyes: :rotfl: ;)

    Ok, so we're plenty early. We are flying SW and have an "A" ticket, but that's not an issue since we can preboard. So we just plop ourselves by the window and eat some lunch. By now Domenic's getting pretty tired. Naptime is upon us. I've brought stuff to play with, but he's ready for a plane to arrive. It finally does and we start to board. We're one of the first on the plane and we are lucky enough to get one of the front rows. So we buckle in the carseat and get Domenic settled. We sit and wait for the rest of the plane to board. I look over at Domenic about 10 minutes later and he's fast asleep :cloud9: I'd banked on him falling asleep during take-off but apparently he wasn't about waiting. I'm just hoping take-off doesn't wake him up and we're stuck with a cranky kid for 3 hours :rolleyes:

    It doesn't and we are on our way. Now, had the flight been smooth, Domenic would've woken up about 15 minutes before we landed. But alas, it was a stormy day, and we hit thunderstorms. There was turbulence, and as Domenic's waking up and we (unknowingly) tell him it's almost time to land, they announce that we've got to circle because of bad weather. So for the next FORTY FIVE minutes, we fly around. I must commend our flight crew (or at least one of the guys) because they did an excellent job of keeping people laughing and not making it a miserable time :thumbsup2 Finally we get the ok to land.

    ....to be continued
     
  11. tmasingo

    tmasingo <font color=teal>Glad to see a Woo Hooty was final

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    We're now about an hour and a half behind and I'm getting antsy. I want to be AT OKW! I'm starting to be concerned we're going to miss Wishes, but what can you do? I wait with Domenic for the luggage while Craig goes to get the rental car. He comes back as I'm tugging the last bag off of the carousel and we're off. It's pouring out :( We're hopeful it's not moving towards Orlando. It's not :cool1: We stop on the way for some supper, eating in the car. We arrive in Orlando and head to a grocery store. Yet again (see first trip report for history on this) we canNOT find it :rolleyes: :sad2: So we head to another Walgreens. Guess what we see as we're getting out of the car, across the trees and adjacent parking lot....yeah....there it is....the Publix we are not destined to enter :rotfl: Oh well, we're at Walgreens. We can get what we need here. So we head in for some bottles of water, some juice for Domenic, some breakfast bars and a couple of snacky items to keep on hand. We're set and head out to OKW.

    Check in was easy. There was nobody there and we got right in and out. We head over to our room, which is one building over from the last stay, and dump our bags. We're excited to see our towel animals

    [​IMG]

    We pretty much throw our bags down, grab what we need for the park, and head over to wait for the bus. No point in driving tonight. We just want to relax and get there. I don't remember how long the wait was, but I don't think it was long, and we see the bus. We climb on and are off to catch Wishes :cool1:

    We get to MK and the magic is upon us pixiedust: It's so magical coming to this place. I know we were just here a couple of months ago, but there is something so exciting and comforting about it. It's dusk, and my precocious child who just recently learned some new shapes yells "Look Mommy, these are hexagons!" about the bricks on the ground. We chuckle and head inside the gates. It's like deja-vu almost, since last time around, we did this our first night also, and we arrived just after Spectro had started. Same thing tonight. We head over towards Main Street and the Ice Cream Parlor and go inside. There's no line and we get an ice cream

    [​IMG]

    We wait for Spectro to end and find a spot on Main Street for Wishes. This is fantastic. Just how I wanted our first night. I'm so thankful we made it before it began. Wishes begins and Domenic's sad that Tinkerbell doesn't fly tonight, but we explain that because of the thunderstorms she can't. He gets it and enjoys listening to Jiminy Cricket (he's just discovered the movie Pinnochio). The show is spectacular, of course, and we love every minute of it.

    [​IMG]

    We had planned to watch Spectro after Wishes, but we give Domenic the option of watching it or going to try to ride a ride or two. He immediately says ride and Craig and I both mutter "let's check out Buzz" since this is a favorite of Domenic's. There's no line and we walk on. Domenic has a blast and now it's time to let Craig have a turn ;) He's been dying to see the newly refurbished PotC ride, so we head over to see if there's a line. There isn't :cool1: and we head in. Domenic's a bit apprehensive, but we convince him it's ok. He does great. The ride is neat. Not too much has changed, but we enjoy the new animatronics and features. Domenic's still not its biggest fan, but he makes due :)

    By now it's late and everything is closing, so we decide it's time to head out. It's been a long day and tomorrow is Domenic's first real trip to Epcot. Off we go to wait for the bus. It's been a wonderful first day and now we're off to dream of tomorrow :cloud9:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. NCDisneyMom

    NCDisneyMom DIS Cast Member

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    I'm loving hearing all of the details of your trip, Tara! Can't wait to hear how it ends. ;)
     
  13. tmasingo

    tmasingo <font color=teal>Glad to see a Woo Hooty was final

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    :teeth: Looks like we just overlapped posts :rotfl:
     
  14. jwsqrdplus2

    jwsqrdplus2 <font color=green>I suddenly got inspired<br><font

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    Yea! The trip report. Good job so far Tara. :Pinkbounc
     
  15. tmasingo

    tmasingo <font color=teal>Glad to see a Woo Hooty was final

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    ::yes:: Though I must say...after that week at WDW, where he actually only had a couple of accidents all week....we've been in the clear and he's done fantastic :thumbsup2 So pretty much 3 weeks, which was WAY better than I'd anticipated :)
     
  16. Madaboutthemouse

    Madaboutthemouse <font color=red>The frozen Bacardi ones are really

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    Great report Tara!!! :banana: :banana: :banana:
     
  17. ont/ohana

    ont/ohana Proud SSR owner

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    It sounds like so much fun!! Great report so far. Thanks
     
  18. BethanyF

    BethanyF DIS Veteran

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    not so patiently waiting for the best part :teeth:
     
  19. almousefan

    almousefan Mouseketeer

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    Can't wait to hear more! We had a surprise trip ourselves for July 4th and it was the best!
     
  20. paras4ri

    paras4ri Wishing upon a star........

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    We want more!!!! :teeth:
     
  21. tmasingo

    tmasingo <font color=teal>Glad to see a Woo Hooty was final

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    DAY 2~EPCOT PART 1

    I'm back....sorry.....life sucks when it gets in the way of trip reporting :rolleyes: ;)

    So yes, day 2. When we were there in March, we only went to Epcot for dinner one night and that was it. So this time we wanted to spend a day there. We weren't sure how Domenic would do and if he'd be bored, but I was hopeful. We'd made ADR's for lunch at The Garden Grille and had plans to eat supper in Morocco (where we'd booked last trip but never made it to).

    We leave the room early. Too early. We get to Epcot and have half an hour before the gates open. Domenic's a bit antsy so we hop on the monorail and ride to the TTA and back for a bit of air conditioning and a way to keep him occupied. It works and when we get back, the gates are open :thumbsup2 We decide to head to Turtle Talk first since that was the one thing we tried to do at Epcot last time and couldn't. We're early. Again :rolleyes: We decide to stick it out and walk around and look at the fish. Domenic loves fish so this keeps him happy for awhile. We check out Bruce the Shark.

    [​IMG]

    Domenic's a fan of Nemo, so he likes this. I'd explained the kid-cot stations to him a little and they had one here. I try to get him to color a dolphin. No such luck. He doesn't want to. No biggie :confused3 Finally it's time to start thinking of getting in line for Turtle Talk. After a short wait, we head in and find a seat up front so Domenic can sit on the floor. I've never seen this attraction, but Craig's explained it to me, so I'm excited. I try to get Domenic to sit up close. He sits on the floor, but stays close to me on the side. The show starts and it's cute. For the first 5 minutes. Then Crush starts taking questions from the kids. And the first girl he calls on (about 7 or 8) says "Are all turtles annoying? Like You?" :sad2: Everyone in the room kind of went "Ooooh." Crush handled it well and said everyone is entitled to their opinion. At this point, Domenic, in only week 3 of potty training, announces to me that he has to go potty. Of course :rolleyes: I can't ask him to wait, since I know that's an accident waiting to happen. So I just explain to him that if we leave we can't come back. He says he has to go, and we leave. But as we're leaving, Craig said he heard the next child's question. It was a little boy, who asked "Are all turtles cool? Like you?" :thumbsup2

    Since we're now out of Turtle Talk, we start moving on. I will admit, I'm having a bit of trouble at the moment remembering the order in which we did things that day :blush: After Turtle Talk we headed over to see Journey to Imagination (or Fig-a-ment) as Domenic called it. He likes it and afterwards he plays on the fun squares which make noises and we take a picture email postcard to send.

    We finally leave there and it's HOT. We've noticed that Epcot is not very busy up until now, which is very nice, but boy is it HUMID. We're dripping in the sun. We decide to start to head towards Future World for a bit, stopping at the water spot, where we wind up spending probably 45 minutes. Domenic has a BLAST.

    [​IMG]

    While there, a photo-pass photographer came by and asked if Domenic was my son and if I minded if he took some pictures. Sure. No problem. Next thing I know, we've got about 45 pics of Domenic playing in above water on our photopass card :rolleyes: Unfortunately, there really weren't any that were worth buying compared to the ones we took :(

    By now we need to go get Domenic changed into the second outfit I'd brought "just in case" ;) and head to lunch at The Land. I've never eaten at The Garden Grille, but Craig has given me a heads up as to what to expect. We have a very short wait and are called in. I absolutely LOVED this restaurant! I thought the rotating aspect was very cool and Domenic, though I'm not sure he ever quite caught on, thought the booth was neat. He was a bit antsy (a refrain you'll hear throughout this whole report :rolleyes: ) and I couldn't wait for a character to arrive to give him something to keep him from being bored. Not to worry, Pluto arrived soon after. We saw him, Chip, Dale, and Mickey. Domenic had a great time...and we saw the characters a couple of times. Our waitress was sweet and the food was excellent :thumbsup2 I'd definitely go back.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now full, we head out. We stop at Mexico to ride the boatride. Domenic likes it. I try to get him to color a mask at a kidcot station, but again, he's not interested. We leave there and since he's getting tired, we decide to head over towards The Boardwalk in hopes that he'll fall asleep. It works, and we do some browsing and shopping. It's gotten very overcast while we're inside. We walk around the boardwalk some more and realize we really need to find some shelter because it's going to RAIN. And it does. Before we find shelter. We're ALMOST at the Yacht club when the skies open. Domenic is woken up by being poured on, and we rush inside. We sit in the lobby and let him watch some cartoons while waking up. After a few minutes we decide to head over to the arcade and let him play some games. This takes up just enough time to allow the sun to come out again and we leave to walk back to Epcot though the biggest puddles Domenic's ever seen. He was in heaven.

    [​IMG]
     

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