It's a Small but Magical World - a Thanksgiving 2018 Trip Report

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by jrmint427, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Newsies

    Newsies Headlines don't sell papes.

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    Sorry I fell behind-- I'll try to catch up with everything now! :blush:

    We love the free orange juice at the Florida rest stop, too!

    Traffic around the Orlando area is always horrendous, I'm sorry you couldn't get to the Character Warehouse! But it looked like it really did work out with your last minute Homecomin' ADR, and I'm glad you got to go to Homecomin'!! Those pictures have me :lovestruc:lovestruc:lovestruc, they really have the best mashed potatoes ever!

    I'm weirdly obsessed with the 90s era of Walt Disney World Resort, so the pictures from your husband's 98 trip were appreciated!

    What a magical breakfast at Bon Voyage, everything looked so tasty and your pictures came out great!! The one with the girls on the floor with Rapunzel was so sweet!!

    I agree with you on Dole Whips. They're tasty, I appreciate one once a trip, but I don't think the Dole Whip changed my life!

    I'm glad you saw/enjoyed Festival of Fantasy! We left before the parade that morning because the crowds were just too out of hand for us, but it's one of my favorites!

    Love the story of the woman who helped you guys at Casey's, guests like that make Disney magical!!

    Wow, it sounds like you guys had a great Thanksgiving day! You got a lot done!! To answer your question on the way you exited Magic Kingdom-- yes, that walkway is considered backstage, they open it up when the crowds are busy and people want to leave during the fireworks! I used to walk back there when I worked at Peter Pan's Flight and had to take something back to lost and found on Main St!

    All of your daughter's outfits are so adorable!! I'm really digging these costume changes!!

    Sorry for the extremely long post-- just wanted to let you know I'm still with you!! Loving this report so far, you have such a beautiful family!
     
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  2. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Yeah, I agree it's hard to pick one favorite! I would put FoP, EE, and Safaris in my top 3! But I totally never got that it was the Yeti pulling the train backwards! Makes total sense!

    That looks like the one with fire, so it probably has lots of fuel and they don't want it to go off while people are above!
     
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  4. jrmint427

    jrmint427 Mouseketeer

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    I totally agree! I was disappointed at first but then felt like we could hear and see everything just fine. Definitely not worth a FP! I had been a little nervous that we might not make it into the show when we cut it close on the time, but it's a big theater. There were bleachers behind us, I was glad we were still on the regular benches.

    We did it later on this trip! It was awesome, I agree it's even better than the day time ride! We just happened to go on it with a FP during ROL and walked right on. It was cool to see ROL from the air too.

    That was our plan! We had an Ariel one from last year that the girls loved, but sadly, they played with it so much at home that it broke. I wanted to replace it with another Ariel one but we didn't see any. I liked the Ariel music. We would have had to buy a new one for my youngest. I'm going to try to hide them this year so we can bring the same ones back next year!

    Who are we kidding, bubbles are so fun for adults too! They just make me happy. And several other adults have happily skipped through our bubbles too :)

    No worries, I'm just glad you're still here!

    Me too!! I love going through our old pictures. Pat's family took trips in 1994, 1996 and 1998 and mine took trips in 1989 and 1995, so lots of fun old pictures between us. I may need to dedicate a post later on to some of my favorites!

    We didn't get there until about an hour before the parade, but couldn't believe the crowds! It was nuts but we did manage to squeeze a good amount of activities into the afternoon.

    I completely agree! It's really the small things that make such a big difference. But for the most part, I love Disney guests as much as the CMs!

    That is good to know! I was trying to picture where we were. There were Christmas decorations back there so I wasn't totally sure. How often did you have to take items to lost and found? I feel like people must lose so many items every day!

    Thank you!! Just wait, we have a day coming up with 4 outfits in one day :-D I have fun picking out outfits for them and this year my 4-year-old helped choose them and was really into the dressing up.

    I love it! Trips are so much more fun to re-live with other Disney lovers.

    I can't believe I left out Safaris! I would say it's a close 4th for me. It doesn't have the same thrill factor as the others, but I could ride the Safari all day long. I don't know if I read that it's the Yeti pulling the train backwards or if I made that up, but that's what I always picture during that part of the ride!

    Ahh, that makes sense! I couldn't remember the show well enough to remember that the flowers might have different things in them. I figured there was something dangerous in just that one, and was glad they didn't make us wait for ALL the floats to pass before we could cross the bridge.
     
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  5. jrmint427

    jrmint427 Mouseketeer

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    Tusker House

    We ate at Tusker House last year and had a good meal. My girls were a little nervous with the characters but we still had some great interactions, and I remembered liking the food. So of course we wanted to go back this year. Unfortunately, our experience this year wasn’t as good. I’ll post the good and the bad.

    We had a 5:40pm reservation. We were sat at 6:00pm. DD2 fell asleep while we were waiting, so Grandma enjoyed snuggles with her while the rest of us got situated with our food. I asked our server about vegetarian options at the buffet. Last time we ate here, a chef came out and walked me through to show me what I could and couldn’t eat. This server just handed me an allergy menu, which wasn’t as helpful as I had hoped. I'm pretty sure the items they marked as vegetarian were actually vegan as a number of them looked like they might have dairy but there were a few items I couldn't imagine had meat in them. So after looking over the allergy guide, I still had some questions.

    I took the menu and DD4 to the buffet to get our plates filled. I was standing in the first line and reading the allergy guide when a chef approached me and asked which poison I was trying to avoid. He was the best part of our experience here! I wish I remembered his name. He not only walked me through the line to show me what we could eat, but he also handed a paper rose to my DD4 and then inserted us back in the line where we had been vs. making us wait at the back of a long line again. He was wonderful!

    This was DD4’s plate. I let her pick what she wanted from the buffet. With DD2 sleeping, we paid $31 for this and a little dessert (and yes, the character experience… which was my main complaint about this meal).

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    This was my plate. I like this restaurant because there are plenty of vegetarian options. I’d say the food was good but not AS good as I had remembered from the year before.

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    My husband filled up plates for him and his mom. I guess I forgot to get a picture!

    You can see the paper rose on the table in front of me here. DD4 loved it!

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    We had dessert in front of us before the first character made it to our table. We ended up getting a plate to all share. I might have gotten one more plate after this to try a couple of other things. The caramel bars were my favorite!

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    It was 6:40pm when the first character came to our table, which means we waited 40 minutes for the first character after we were sat, and an hour after our reservation time. The wait wasn’t a big deal to us though, because it gave us time to eat first and DD2 had woken up from her nap by then.

    Donald was up first. DD4 happily handed him her autograph book and pen, but then got nervous. I've included a video clip below - it was hilarious!

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    Donald saw that she was nervous, so he signed our book, took a quick group picture, and then moved on. I was a little disappointed because I know by now that if a character spends thirty seconds making an effort (like asking for a high-five), DD4 will warm up. I know characters are rushed at most meals, but they were especially rushed here. According to the time stamp on my pictures, Donald was with us for less than 1 minute.

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    Daisy Duck was up next. She was the only character of the four who made any effort with my girls. DD4 got her high five!

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    DD2 looks nervous here, but I think she was mostly just tired. The quality of pictures I have from this restaurant aren’t as good as others, I think maybe it’s the darker lighting here?

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    Mickey was up next, and this is where things really fell apart for us. Mickey was the one character DD4 wasn’t nervous about, because she had met him before and was excited to see him. When Mickey got to our table, a child and parent pair from two other tables rushed to our table (so 4 extra people crowding around us). I don’t know if they had missed him at their tables because they were at the buffet or bathroom or what, but it was chaotic and I was upset that both families felt like it was okay to take our time with him. I wished they had found a handler and asked to have him come by their tables again.

    Mickey signed our book, but then the two other girls were trying to hand him their books. Mickey, who obviously couldn’t talk, tried to point and wave them back to their tables. They didn’t take the hint.

    I was frustrated but decided to try to ignore them. I should have said something directly to the other guests, but I didn’t, probably because I was trying to take video of DD4 with Mickey. DD4 was trying to show Mickey that she was wearing Minnie on her dress. His head seemed to be pointed in our direction, but he showed no sign that he had heard her. So I repeated her comments and said, “Mickey, she wants to show you her dress.” Mickey didn’t even turn his head to me. I realized that whoever was inside there was paying no attention to us. DD4 asked me why Mickey was ignoring her, and that made me sad.

    I actually have video of some of this interaction, but since it shows one of the girls and her mom who were trying to interrupt us, I won’t post it. As soon as he left our table, I saw Mickey walk across the restaurant to a handler on the other side. He seemed to have a quick conversation with her before coming back to our dining room.

    Goofy was a quick meet too. He also seemed to sense that the girls were nervous, and did not try to interact with them. The character experiences left us in a bit of a bad mood. I was mostly upset that DD4 was disappointed with Mickey and feeling a bit frustrated that we had paid so much for the experience.

    I don’t blame Mickey at all. I was upset that there was no handler in our dining room to help handle the other guests. Mickey was at our table for 1 minute and most of that time was spent in chaos in trying to manage us vs. the other guests. As we were leaving, I found a handler in another room and told her about what had happened. She just asked me to point out the other guests who had come to our table. I pointed them out but told her my concern was not about having the guests reprimanded, that I wanted a handler to be paying attention and help step in with those situations. She said, “Well there’s only 2 handlers and 4 characters.” So really, it was a staffing issue. She eventually asked if I was asking to have him come back to our table. At that point, I knew we were all tired and had been there way too long, and we had already left our table, so I said no. I just wanted to make them aware so they could help in future situations.

    We paid $179 before tip. When you’re paying over $200 for a character meal, I personally feel there should be a focus on making sure each table has a quality experience (even if it is just 1-2 minutes) with each character. We decided that character meals with fur characters probably just aren't for us right now.

    Thanks for letting me rant. This was a low point for our trip, but things got much better the next day!

    It was 7:15pm when we finished our meal. We had talked about sticking around the park for a bit longer, but we were all exhausted, so we decided to head home.

    On a happier note, I put together a short video with fun clips from our day! Including the funny moment when DD4 goes from being excited to see Donald to suddenly deciding he is scary :-D



    Steps: 14,266
    Miles: 5.76
     
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  6. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    I just don't understand people. Why would you do that?!? Oye.

    I am surprised MIckey didn't come back. He clearly knew that wasn't the best interaction.

    Sorry that it was disappointing meal. But glad that you bounced back quickly.
     
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  7. jrmint427

    jrmint427 Mouseketeer

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    I was a little surprised too. To be fair, he signed our book when he first walked up and then we tried to pose for a picture. His pose is kind of funny in the picture and one of the daughters and her mom are poking out behind us, which is why I decided to not post the picture. So maybe he figured we had our signature and picture and moved on? He seemed flustered so I felt bad for him too!
     
  8. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    @jrmint427 - So, off topic, I realized that we might want to go to Disney next year the first week of December. And it will be right after Thanksgiving. Did the crowds get less the farther you got away from Thanksgiving?
     
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  9. jrmint427

    jrmint427 Mouseketeer

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    It was definitely better than Thanksgiving and the 2 days after! But honestly, to us it didn’t feel a whole lot better. I guess wait times were somewhat better but the parks still felt pretty congested. It felt way less crowded when we went in September last year, but interestingly, the crowd calendar said actual crowds were similar both times we were there, if not better this time. It was still manageable though, and would have been so much easier without a double stroller! We were able to do everything on our list so we can’t really complain.
     
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  10. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

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    I found your trip report, after you've been so dutifully reading mine! :rotfl2:

    Oh my goodness, this character meal looks amazing!!! This restaurant was on my list for this past trip and we ended up choosing Park Fare instead, but I want to go here so badly next trip! I LOVE Flynn Rider. Your girls' outfits are absolutely adorable.
     
  11. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

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    I'm sorry it wasn't the best experience for you guys! That's definitely disappointing. What day were you guys at Tusker House? Our trips are so close together!

    We had a so/so Tusker House experience too, but only related to vomit, which you'll be able to read about soon in my trip report lol.
     
  12. jrmint427

    jrmint427 Mouseketeer

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    Magic Kingdom – November 24, 2018

    On Saturday we went back to the Magic Kingdom. We knew that the park would likely be packed this day, so we went in with expectations low and mostly in hopes of just making it to our FPs and dining reservations.

    We left the condo around 7:45am. We hadn’t made it to a store yet to buy coffee to stock the condo, so this morning I decided we might be a happier group if we picked some up on our way to the park. I found a Dunkin Donuts nearby, so we swung by the drive thru on our way. I wished we had done this the previous 2 days!

    We parked by 8:13am and the first tram we loaded onto wouldn’t move. We had to be evacuated (haha!) but they quickly pulled a new tram up right next to us. Have I told you before how fun it is to load the double stroller on and off the trams? And we got to do it twice this morning! We took the ferry, and by the time we got through security and ticketing, it was 8:57am. The park officially opened at 9:00 this morning, so we were able to catch the end of the opening show. I've actually never seen the opening show before! It was casually on my to-do list for this trip but I was happy to just to hear part of it as we walked down Main Street.

    We took a quick picture in front of the castle. Any guesses where we might have been headed first?

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    If you zoomed in, you probably guessed right!

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    I didn’t have a Dumbo FP for this day, but DD4 had been begging to ride it the past 2 days (4-year-olds don’t care if you’re not at the right park - I was supposed to make it just appear in Animal Kingdom!), so we decided to “rope drop” it. Can you call it rope dropping if you’re not at the rope when the park opens? Anyway, it paid off because there was no wait.

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    DD4 was actually sad about not waiting. I had told her about the playground she could explore while waiting for Dumbo, so she did not understand why the playground was closed or the fact that this was actually good news because we could walk right on the ride.

    I don’t think DD2 could have remembered this ride from the year before, but she was excited for Dumbo too!

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    Pat rode with DD2 while my MIL and I rode with DD4.

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    I thought I’d get a picture of Pat and DD2 in the car behind us. Where did they go?! Where did ALL the people go??

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    Phew, found them.

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    DD4 had announced right before we boarded the ride that she needed a bathroom, so we made a quick pit stop before going to our next ride… DD4’s first roller coaster!
     
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  13. jrmint427

    jrmint427 Mouseketeer

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    Happy to have you here too! :wave: We did go around the same time and both have a 4-year-old so I was immediately drawn into yours!

    We loved the Bon Voyage breakfast! We're actually hoping to fit it in again next year. I love Flynn too (what will your 10-year-old say?!), and all of our character interactions there were great. Park Fare has been on my list, I'm actually trying to figure out how we can make it work next year! It's looking like it might have to be on the evening of one of our Animal Kingdom days and I'm just debating if we'll be up to it or not. Your post has me leaning toward giving it a try!

    We were there on Friday, September 23rd, the day after Thanksgiving! I think the crowds were a little rough this day all around. It seemed to get a lot better starting on Saturday! What day were you at Tusker House? Ugh, I'm hoping it wasn't your family for your sake...
     
  14. meghannnmouse

    meghannnmouse Earning My Ears

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    Wait, so it is always going to be the screen or was it just temporarily down?! She was our favorite too!
     
  15. jrmint427

    jrmint427 Mouseketeer

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    No, it was just temporarily down! We caught her at a bad time :(
     
  16. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Sometimes I think going for rides like that first thing, is the way to go! Glad the girls loved Dumbo again!

    Thanks!

    Honestly that is all you need to see. It's nice but nothing spectacular.
     
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  17. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

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    Looks like we were at Tusker House exactly one week after you guys, the following friday. :) We checked into Disney the Sunday after Thanksgiving!

    I love your girls' Dumbo dresses! I soooooo badly miss having a tiny girl that I can dress up! Enjoy it while it lasts and then they have strong opinions on what they wear lol.
     
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  18. jrmint427

    jrmint427 Mouseketeer

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    Glad I didn't miss too much then! I never saw the show that was at the front of the park either. We're not great at getting to the parks quite as early as we should... maybe some day we will truly rope drop!

    We just missed you guys! We were back at AK the day before you and left on that Friday. Thank you! I am definitely enjoying the matching clothes while I can get away with it (which I'm afraid might be just one more year, if that). That's my excuse to my husband - I have to dress them up now while I still can :-D
     
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  19. jrmint427

    jrmint427 Mouseketeer

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    Morning Rides

    We were so happy with our decision to get to the park early this day. MK seemed so empty for the first hour or so! After a quick bathroom stop (and outfit change!), I saw there was no line for the Goofy Barnstormer. DD4 watched YouTube videos with me in advance and said she would think about trying it. I asked DD4 if she still wanted to ride it. A friend of hers went recently and told her how much fun it was, so I think that helped convince her to go for it.

    DD2 was sad that she wasn’t tall enough to ride, but Grandma hung out with her while Pat and I took DD4. We saw another girl in line with the same dress. Great minds!

    She did ask me to put my arm around her, but seemed excited for the ride!

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    We sat in the very back row. As we were going up she said, “Up to the sky!”

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    She did great! She did yell at me a few times, “I’m going to fall out!” and I assured her I wouldn’t let that happen. At the end her only reaction was, “I didn’t see Goofy! Where was he?”

    Me: "But did you like it?"
    DD4: "But where was Goofy?!"

    I was so focused on her during the ride, I wasn't actually watching for him. I told her maybe we went too fast to see him.

    As we walked by the Teacups, DD4 asked to ride. I kind of hate the teacups, but there was no line, so we stopped. We all fit into one teacup.

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    DD4 and Pat had fun making us spin. I tried to not complain too much. Ugh.

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    Everyone else seemed to enjoy it!

    I had booked 9:30am FPs for us and it was now 9:45am. Pat didn’t want to ride Space Mountain this trip (he says it’s painful), but my MIL said she would ride with me. So I got us FPs for Space Mountain and Pat and the girls a FP for It’s a Small World. I was impressed he wanted to go off with both girls on his own! We were a little nervous about splitting up, but agreed we would meet outside of the Buzz Lightyear ride afterwards, which was our next FP.

    Space Mountain is one of my favorite rides at MK! I love zipping around in the dark.

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    My MIL and I finished before Pat and the girls, so we waited at a table near Buzz's ride until they caught up. Pat said he and the girls had a good boat ride. We got to Buzz’s ride right at 10:40am, when our FP window opened. Pat loves this and TSM – he usually beats everyone by several hundred thousand points.

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    We started moving… and then I thought to myself, we’ve been in this disco ball room for a long time, why haven’t we left it yet? How big IS this room? Oh. The ride had stopped but the way the lights are in that first room, I felt like we were still moving. I wanted out of the flashing lights as soon as possible but we were stuck for several minutes.

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    I think there might have been something wrong with my laser. I’ve never come even close to scoring this before and don’t believe my aim was that good! 680,600? I'll take it, though!

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    I think Pat scored under 200k, so I enjoyed rubbing my score in his face for once, even though I knew it had to be a mistake! I think DD4 said she scored 0 and she was sad about that.

    We felt good about all the rides we had fit into the morning, given how low our expectations were based on the crowd predictions. We headed off a little early for our 11:25am reservation at… can you guess from DD4’s outfit?
     
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  20. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

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    Ha! I remember I got a super high score once, because I hit some super random thing near the end of the ride that had a ton of points. My dad was with during that trip and he was so mad that I beat him lol. You probably just hit something like that!

    Be Our Guest for lunch?!?!?!
     
  21. jrmint427

    jrmint427 Mouseketeer

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    Haha I think you’re right! I hit something in the first room and my score jumped to 100k. I thought maybe that was an error but wondered if it was possible there was a big target and I got lucky? I’ll take it!

    And yes! A BOG lunch review is coming up next!
     

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