I just don't know what to expect! Vegas, LA and Disneyland TR - UPDATED 8 AUGUST 2013

Chilly

RIP Tag Fairy
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
You sure made the most of that buffet, love that the food came in little pans and pots.
 

A Small World

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Joined
Feb 22, 2007
This has brought back so many wonderful memories of our trip to Vegas in Dec 2011. I thought it was such a fab place.

You were lucky getting seated right away at The Wicked Spoon - we queued for over an hour but had to pay when we arrived so had to stick the queue out.
It was worth it though as the food was so delicious and I loved the individual portions in the little pots and pans as well.
One dish I thought was quite funny though was a small basket of Fish and Chips - but it was American chips (not fries) so basically battered fish and crisps
 

izzie-wizzie

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2009
I'm glad you're carrying on with your report! Vegas is definitely next on our list so it's fun to see what you got up to. Looking forward to more. :thumbsup2
That's great that Vegas is on your list - it's such a fun place, I didn't expect to love it as much as I did!

You sure made the most of that buffet, love that the food came in little pans and pots.
Hehe we really did get our moneys worth - everything looked sooo cute and tasty it was hard to resist!!

This has brought back so many wonderful memories of our trip to Vegas in Dec 2011. I thought it was such a fab place.

You were lucky getting seated right away at The Wicked Spoon - we queued for over an hour but had to pay when we arrived so had to stick the queue out.
It was worth it though as the food was so delicious and I loved the individual portions in the little pots and pans as well.
One dish I thought was quite funny though was a small basket of Fish and Chips - but it was American chips (not fries) so basically battered fish and crisps
Aww how lovely - we loved Vegas too, so much fun!!

That's so funny with the fish and crisps - we didn't see it when we were there, someone had clearly got confused in that culinary process :lmao:
 
  • izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009

    Day Five - Part One

    We had woken up relatively early this morning - which was our last morning waking up in Vegas. We had mostly packed the night before, so we were able to just get ready and check out of the room, saying our last goodbye to our lovely view.

    We checked out with reception and left our cases with bell services at the front of the hotel, the whole process was really quick and easy.

    We had to go and pick up our hire car from the Bellagio, however before we did this we decided to go and get some breakfast - and decided to go back to the Sugar Factory to get this.

    We both had a coffee and I had the Nutella Pancakes and Scott had the breakfast pizza. The pancakes were sooo decadent but soooo good. I don't even think I got half way through it all before being pretty full!





    It was a lovely, hearty breakfast to set us up for the day - and whereas the Sugar Factory was quite dark at nights, it was lovely and bright and airy for breakfast. You could definately tell we were still in Vegas though as people sat opposite us were already getting started on the Goblet cocktails that Sugar Factory do.

    I really did love the sugar factory - breakfast was amazing, desert was amazing and that BBQ chicken pizza Scott got on the first night was devine. I just wish we had the opportunity to try some of their cocktails and perhaps a milkshake too! However, they are starting to open up in a few places outwith Vegas so hopefully I will get a chance to visit the Sugar Factory another time.

    Breakfast done, we headed across the road to the Bellagio. We realised that we never actually stood to watch the whole fountain show - and it didnt start until mid-afternoon so we wouldn't have the opportunity to do this before we left. I was a little bummed that we had missed out on doing this, time just goes away with you! We did see snippets of it when we were at Cabo Wabo and Sugar Factory the first time but it would have been nice to see it properly.

    At the Bellagio, we eventually found where to go to get our hire car, and again this whole process was a lot easier than anticipated, and within 10 minutes we were sitting in our hire car!

    Scott did really well driving across in America, and we were soon on our way - first stop, back to Planet Hollywood to pick up our suitcases.

    We then headed to the Vegas Gun Store. As part of Scott's birthday present I had bought vouchers for us to go there and go to the indoor shooting range and shoot a few real guns.

    It was only about a 10-15 minute drive to get there, and we parked and went in. There was a mix of locals 'stocking up' which I did find a bit surreal, and tourists there to try shooting. There was a big queue when we were there but we soon realised that this was people waiting for a private shooting booth - if we were happy to share we could pretty much go straight in.

    This was not problem for us, so we picked up our targets, and ear/eye protection and went through with our guide. We actually ended up having the place to ourselves for most of the time we were there so we were quite lucky!

    We each shot a few different types of guns - pistols, rifles and scott shot a machine gun too. I hadn't expected the 'kick back' to be quite as intense and found the whole thing quite scary if I am honest but I persevered and did it and actually my aims were pretty good! Scott loved the whole experience - it was something neither of us had done before. The whole time the guide stays with you and shows you what to do and overall makes you feel a lot safer considering you are shooting a gun! The lady that was helping with us could not have been nicer and made us feel more at ease.



    Back in the car and it was really time for us to leave Vegas now :(

    As we drove away we got one last glimpse of the strip and Hollywood Bound we were





    We drove for quite a bit - but really time was passing soooo fast on the drive, that it didn't drag for a second!

    We had planned to stop at Baker, so we could see the worlds tallest thermometer, the alien jerky shop and have some lunch.

    We arrived - and it was such a cute little town in the middle of the desert! We took a few pictures and looked around the alien jerky shop - tried some jerky which I did not enjoy at all but Scott liked it and bought a bag to take home. I had never seen so many types of soda in one drinks cabinet before either!







    After some pictures - we went across the street to Burger King for lunch, I didn't bother taking a picture - I'm sure most of you know what a chicken royale and whopper meal look like :)

    And then we were back on the road - next stop - HOLLYWOOD!!!!

     

    izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009

    Day 5 – Part Two

    Sorry for the delay in getting more up - things are so busy with wedding plans, and we are also moving house and just booked our honeymoon - 5 nights in St Lucia and a week in Disney World! So excited to be going back WDW!! We are staying at the Art of Animation Resort - the Nemo pool looks sooo awesome!

    So after leaving Baker, we continued our drive towards LA. The time really did fly by, we were originally worried that today would be a bit of a drag and a bit boring but we enjoyed just cruising along, and enjoying the new scenery. It sounds utterly bizarre and obvious – but seeing a cactus at the side of the road was amazing to me! It reminded us we were in the desert and not just on any old drive at home.

    As we arrived in LA, we then started the hunt for our hotel. Even with Sat-Nav we still got a bit lost, but it was all part of the fun and it didn’t take us too long before we arrived at our hotel. Arriving about 6.30pm.

    We were staying at the Loewes Hollywood Hotel – which is just off of the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Centre – right in the heart of Hollywood Boulevard.

    The hotel itself doesn’t have a car park, however you can just park in the main Hollywood and Highland Centre car park and it is just a short walk past a couple of shops to the hotel entrance. The car park was usually quite busy, but never so busy that we had difficulty finding a space. There was a charge for using this car park also.

    Finding our way to the hotel reception, check-in was really smooth and friendly, and we were delighted to find out that our request for a room with a view of the Hollywood sign had been granted!

    Off to our room, which was nice, clean and a decent size. It had a huge window with a view out to Hollywood Hills and a fantastic view of the Hollywood sign – I would say the best view we had of the Hollywood sign in our whole trip was from the comfort of our room. I do think there was a slight come down from the glitz of the Planet Hollywood Hotel though! Vegas will do that to you I suppose!!

    We chilled out for a little bit, and although when we arrived we were full of beans and surprised at how easy the drive had seemed, it caught up with both of us very quickly too and we were both pretty tired. However, decided we should go out for something to eat – choosing to go and find Mel’s Dine In, which is where Mary in The Muppets Movie goes and does the whole ‘Me Party’ song. I suppose that brings me to mention that for us, Hollywood was a big “that was in The Muppets Movie” … “so was that!!” – haha it was so much fun, we both love The Muppets – it’s probably one of my favourite movies.

    Anyway we left the hotel, and the plan was to just have dinner and leave the exploring of Hollywood Boulevard until the following day. I had misread a map and thought that Mel’s Dine in was just outside the hotel reception so we left this way rather than via the shopping centre.

    Turns out we had to walk across the road at Hollywood Boulevard to get to Mel’s – only a 2 minute walk. It wasn’t until we got a bit further down that we realised a movie premiere was taking place on Hollywood Boulevard!! We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see what was happening – so went for a nosy and it was the premiere to the Tom Cruise movie ‘Oblivion’ - We actually managed to catch a glimpse of Tom Cruise himself as well as a co-star who was in ‘Lost’. We stood there for a while, just watching all the press and goings on before we really started to get hungry and headed for dinner.





    Mel’s seemed much smaller and quieter than I expected – but it meant we were sat straight away which was no complaint! I had a vanilla milkshake and Scott had a banana milkshake - both were very tasty. To eat, I had the chicken pot pie and Scott had fish and chips - the food was just fine, nothing mind-blowing but was nice and comforting food.









    We then wondered back to the hotel, watched some tv and called it a night
     

    izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009

    Day 6 - Part One

    We both woke up feeling refreshed after our early night, ready for a day of exploring Hollywood!

    I called Warner Brother Studios and got us booked in for the 11am studio tour, this was included in our LA Go Card that we had pre-paid for when organising the trip and were able to pick it up that morning from a little stand in the Hollywood and Highland Mall.

    We then jumped in the car to drive to Warner Brothers - it was a fairly simple drive and only took about 15 minutes to get there. So glad we had Sat Nav though!! We parked and headed to check in - taking pictures at all of the Warner Brothers signs outside.





    As you go in, you go through a gift shop and then a check in desk. We went to check in and were given our ticket, then went over to the Starbucks that was in there too for a coffee and pastry for breakfast.

    We had plenty of time to eat that and look at some of the gift shop before we were called through to the next room, where we watched a film showing some of the movies and tv shows that were filmed at that studios. We then got called by group to meet our tour guide and shown which tour tram we would be on.

    We then went all around the lot - one of the first things we passed was a lot street - which has been used in so many movies, including the house that Walter and Gary were brought up in from The Muppets!



    We passed many other lots and sets - and then stopped for a walk around the Warner Brothers prop shop - which was massive , it is essentially like a 3 floor supermarket for Prop Buyers - it has everything you could imagine. Some of the items had tags saying what they have either been in or what they are reserved for - it was very interesting to see what shows / movies props have been used in. It was there that we also went in to the recreated Central Perk set and got to sit on the 'Friends' couch. This was sooo awesome to see - especially since we watch Friends all the time.





    We then went back in the tram and drove along to the car museum to see some of the famous cars from Warner Brothers Movies - the highlight here for me was all the different Bat Mobiles and the Space Shuttle from the episodes of Big Bang Theory when Howard is in Space. wa also had the blue ford from Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets which was pretty cool.





    We unfortunatley didn't get to go in to the set for Big Bang Theory - but at this point we were still holding out that we would see a live recording later in the trip. We did get to go see the set of Two Broke Girls, and although neither of us are big fans of the show, we have seen a few episodes and it was very cool to see how it was all done.

    Some more driving about, lots of cool things were pointed out to us (so many to mention) - and it makes you really have a different perception of some of the things you have seen in movies. For example we saw where some of the park scenes were filmed for Friends - and whilst it looks like there in a big park when you watch it - it's actually quite a small square of grass! We then turned the corner into a square - and I thoguht it looked really familiar, and took some pictures - it wasn't until we looked at the big building that I realised - it was Smalltown from the Muppets - this is where they filmed the whole "Life's a Happy Song" routine - mind blown! I was sooo excited to have seen so many references to The Muppets when I really had not expected to!





    Finally, we headed to the Warner Brothers Museum - upstairs was devoted to Harry Potter and had a collection of very cool props and costumes from the movies - downstairs was just a mix of various Warner Brothers movies and shows. On the way to the museum we managed to get pictures of the famous Warner Brothers Water Tower.

    And then that was the end of the tour - we were there about an hour and a half / two hours - but it was such an amazing tour. We both thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it as a must do to anybody visiting Hollywood. I wish we had more pictures - but you aren't allowed to take your camera in to certain locations and as you are always on the move with the tram, it was difficult to take pictures of what you were passing.

    Before we drove back to the hotel to explore Hollywood Boulevard, I was keen to drive past the Walt Disney Studios - although we wouldn't have been allowed in, I still really wanted to see it - even if it was just from the street.

    When we first started planning this trip I really wanted to do the Adventures by Disney tour - where you actually get to go inside the Studios, however it was just so expensive we couldn't justify it. But even from the street we got to see the big 7 Dwarves Building, and the Fences with Mickey Mouse on it, and just be so close to THE Disney Studios - was pretty amazing. We also drove past the animation building where there is a big sorcerors hat.









    Buzzing from our first proper Disney fix of the holiday, we headed back to the hotel and then went out for lunch - and where else to lunch on Hollywood Boulevard but to Disney's Soda Fountain!! Before I went in I of course had to get my picture with Mickey outside

     
  • pascalstongue

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    Hollywood sounds awesome so far. I really want to go. I have already warned DH how much the Adventures by Disney tour is, as I really want to do that. I love all the Muppet experiences too. Great TR!
     

    Linda67

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2009
    Just caught up with your fab TR!
    Isn't the WB Studio Tour great? so many cool things to see and really worth going to :thumbsup2
    You both look like you are having a great time :goodvibes
     
  • Chilly

    RIP Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2006
    I wish I'd done the Warner Bros Tour when we were there I don't know why we didn't do it.
     

    izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    Hollywood sounds awesome so far. I really want to go. I have already warned DH how much the Adventures by Disney tour is, as I really want to do that. I love all the Muppet experiences too. Great TR!
    The Adventures by Disney really does sound amazing - if you can afford it you should definately do it!!

    Just caught up with your fab TR!
    Isn't the WB Studio Tour great? so many cool things to see and really worth going to :thumbsup2
    You both look like you are having a great time :goodvibes
    Such an amazing tour - I'm so glad we did it!

    I wish I'd done the Warner Bros Tour when we were there I don't know why we didn't do it.
    Always a good excuse to go back!! :goodvibes
     

    izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009

    Day 6 - Part Two

    We went in to the Disney Soda Fountain for lunch, and sat at the counter. The place is half soda fountain / half disney store.



    Scott ordered a Coke Float to drink and I had a Stawberry Milkshake - both were very good. For lunch, we both had a grilled cheese - which was just a perfect size for lunch - especially as our drinks were quite filling too - doubling up as a dessert as we didn't even contemplate any more ice cream for dessert!







    We then wondered around the gift shop - and I bought a Disney Soda Fountain pin.

    Leaving the soda fountain - we then had the afternoon to explore that area - we started off by crossing the road and taking pictures at the Chinese Theatre and looking at all of the hand prints. It was very crowded with people though (I don't think the pictures make it look as busy as it was) and there were so many pushy people trying to get us to buy there music which was a little annoying.





    We escaped that area and went on a guided tour of the Dolby Theatre (cost of which was included with our LA Go Card). The Dolby Theatre is where the Oscars are held. They had a very strict no-camera policy during the tour. We got to go all around the theatre, on the stage and the VIP areas and see where the stars walk in / the winners walk. I actually found it all very interesting finding out all the behind the scenes things that happen for this event - especially as I am an events organiser - but I don't think Scott quite got it as he had never watched the Oscars.

    We then went to go take our pictures with the El Capitan / Soda Fountain in the background (the El Capitan was part of The Muppet Studios in the Muppets Movie!). We had planned on going to see a movie there - but never got around to it, I really wish we had done it - I think if they were playing a better movie we would have been more convinced to go, but neither of us really fancied The Wonderful World of Oz.



    We then walked across the road to the Hollywood Museum - again the cost of admission was included with the LA Go Card... it was quite tired. Really wouldn't have paid additional money to go there - we saw a couple of cool costumes and props, but nothing as interesting as what we had seen at the Warner Brothers Museum in the morning. They did have a big Mike and Sulley statue though!! The museum was over a number of floors - the basement was a horror floor which was a bit creepy but had costumes from Sweeney Todd which I thought was exciting as I do love that movie! They also had a lot of older film props - films that we probably don't appreciate as much as others might.



    After the Museum we went to Madame Tussauds (again the price was included with the LA Go Card - we definately go the value of this card today). This was good fun, and we had a good giggle taking pictures and enjoying the good air conditioning as it was getting really hot outside by this point.

















    Tussaud photoshoot over - there was only one more thing to do by the Boulevard - and that was to go find the Jim Henson Studios! It was a bout a 10 minute walk but wow was it exciting to see that big Kermit! We stopped and took pictures and admired - while so many people were just walking and driving past like it wasn't exciting!!

    We then headed back to the hotel, stopping to take my pictures by The Muppets Star on the boulevard.







    Back at the hotel, we had a bit of a relax - and decided what to do for dinner. We decided to go to the Grove Shopping Mall to go to the Cheesecake Factory - numm!!

    I LOVE The Cheesecake Factory so much!

    We parked at The Grove Mall - and it was a beautiful shopping area - I really wish we had a bit more time here, and time to explore the Farmers Market but we never did get round to it.

    We had a little wait for a table at the Cheesecake Factory, but once we were seated we ordered our drinks - Scott was driving so just had a coke - but I still went ahead to have a Raspberry Mojito - so so tasty.



    For dinner I had the Orange Chicken and Scott had the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Honestly, both were amazing - I so wish that there was a Cheesecake Factory in UK!





    Of course we had to leave some room to have cheesecake for dessert - I can't remember what flavour Scott had but I went with the Red Velvet Cheesecake - and it was delicious! I wasn't able to finish it all though - but they boxed it up and I was able to have some at the hotel later.





    We then decided to call it a night and went back to the hotel ready for our next day - at Universal Studios Hollywood!
     

    Linda67

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2009
    Hee Hee I am just drinking my tea out of my Disney Soda Fountain mug - your photos are bringing back lovely memories :goodvibes

    The best looking shop assistants I have ever seen in my life work in the Grove Shopping Mall - not at all intimidating when you are trying stuff on for size :rolleyes1
     

    izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009

    Day 7 - Part One

    Today was Universal Studios Day!! We were very excited for our first theme park visit of the trip!

    We began today by getting the subway train from Hollywood Boulevard to Universal City. You only go a couple of stop - ten minutes maximum. Once off the subway you just have to go up to the street level, cross the road and wait for a shuttle bus that takes you to the entrance of Universal Studios.

    Arriving at Universal Studios - we had to stop to get the "I'm at Universal Studios - look at the spinning globe" picture.



    We then went to the will call window to get our tickets (included in the LA Go Card!) and were soon through the gates ready to have some fun!

    The first stop was to go straight to the Transformers Ride before the queues started. However, this ride is at the ENTIRE opposite end of the park to the entrance - so you had to walk through the park and then take the longest outdoor escalator ride in the world down to the lower part of the park and then a little walk from there!!

    It was odd having the park on two levels - essentially most things were on the 'upper level' of the park - the only things really 'downstairs' were the Transformes Ride, The Mummy Ride and Jurassic Park Ride.

    Anyway - we walked straight on to the Transformers ride, and it awesome. It was pretty much just the same as the Spiderman Ride at Universal Orlando - but the Spiderman Ride is epic and unique, so it's awesome to have a similar ride experience!

    We rerode the ride straight away - and when we came out of the ride we noticed Optimus Prime was out for pictures!! He was very cool indeed - and huge!





    Then we went to go on The Mummy Ride. We were kind of expecting this to be the exact same / maybe even a lesser version of The Mummy in Orlando - you can't help but compare the two. But for thrill factor I think I have to say that Hollywood wins!! It was much faster and kind of took both Scott and I off-guard the first time we rode it!! But it was soo much fun! We were so lucky too, once the ride stopped - there was no queue at all to get on so we were able to stay in our seats and go around for a second ride! Woo!

    The only thing that it was missing that the Orlando version wins at - was the special effects / fire etc was much more basic in Hollywood. If they combined the Orlando effects with the extra-thrill of the Hollwood ride - woah , that would be mind-blowing. I guess we couldn't handle it which is why they spread it out across both parks!

    Anyway - enough love about The Mummy, after our double ride we were both really quite hungry as we hadn't ate breakfast. So we went back 'upstairs' to the main part of the park and got a couple of hot dogs and sat and ate them just outside The Simpsons Ride.



    After our lovely breakfast of hot dogs (it's pretty much a sausage sandwich...it's not toooo bad!!) - we went to do the main Universal Hollywood Studios Tour. We just had a short wait for that and were boarded into our tram.

    One of the first parts of the tour is when you go in to the 3D King Kong part - to be honest I was a bit confued as to what was going on, there was a lot of noise and shaking the tram though.

    Shortly after King Kong, we passed Jaws - which was a mini version of what the ride at Orlando was like... still freaked me out a bit though!



    We passed some movie sets and tv sets, notably the set from one of the Grinch movies and Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives.



    We then went along and saw the set from War of the Worlds which was quite amazing actually.



    Tour over - we went to go see a couple of the shows at Universal - Water World and Special Effects. Both were fine, nothing really to say about them!

    Shows done, we were ready for some lunch - and went to Fred Flintstone's BBQ! They had a huge BBQ pit outside that you could watch them cook the food and the theming was pretty cool too.

    I ordered the Ribs Meal and Scott got the Turkey Leg - the picture makes it look quite gross - but actually it was super tasty!! I don't think I even managed half though as it was a HUGE portion, but I appreciated the Corn Bread that came with it - whcih is something I had never had with a meal before... it was a bit like having a fairy cake with your meal - but I was not mad about that!



    Full from lunch, we then went to go and watch the Animal Actors Show - which was very sweet, the only bit that freaks me out is when the birds fly over head, I just had to close my eyes for that bit!!

    We then went on The Simpsons Ride, which is as awesome / identical to the Orlando version.



    After The Simpsons Ride, we had pretty much done everything in the park, apart from Jurassic Park - but we decided against going on that as we didn't really want to get soaked.

    We decided to go on the Transformers / Mummy Ride again though - so went down the Escalators, stopping half way to take in the amazing views of LA that you can see from there. My aweful photography skills do not do anything justice though!!



    Downstairs, we went on The Transformers - this time doing single rider, but managing to get straight on doing it that way.

    After the ride, we noticed there was a little movie museum so we went in and had a look there - seeing the original delorian from Back to the Future.



    We then had a bit of a wonder around, looking in the Transformers Gift Shop a bit - then went for one last ride on The Mummy. As we were leaving there was one of the huge scary dudes on stilts outside scaring people - he TOTALLY got me, I completely screamed my head off and got such a fright - giving plenty of people a good laugh. We stayed to watch him scare some more people, partly so I didn't feel like I was the only one who screamed, but even after waiting about 10 minutes noone screamed quite as much as I just had... oh well!!

    Back 'upstairs' to the upper part of the park - we decided just to wonder around and take it all in, enjoy the sunshine which was nice. We came across some cars from Fast and the Furious which made Scott happy :) And saw a shop with heaps of Despicable Me merchandise - although I would appreciate that so much more now as I have a much higher appreciation of the Minions since the second movie!!



    Universal Studios done, we decided it was time for some cocktails, so we left the park and headed towards Hard Rock Cafe.



     

    izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    Great trip report so far, can't wait to read more :)
    Thank You :)


    Hee Hee I am just drinking my tea out of my Disney Soda Fountain mug - your photos are bringing back lovely memories :goodvibes

    The best looking shop assistants I have ever seen in my life work in the Grove Shopping Mall - not at all intimidating when you are trying stuff on for size :rolleyes1
    Aww that's awesome that you have a Soda Fountain Mug - I had to stop myself getting carried away as I wanted a few of the unique items at the Soda Fountain - as it's not like you can get them anywhere else! I had to resist though to save my money for Disneyland!
     

    Chilly

    RIP Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2006
    You packed loads in. I remember the Mummy ride being great at Universal.
     

    irongirlof12

    <font color=blue><marquee>Am I the only one who lo
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2006
    Fab trip so fa, you are getting a lot of value out of your LA go card
     



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