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Preview Disney Infinity 3.0 at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace on August 28-29

posted on August 27th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m delighted to announce we are holding special preview days for the new Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition on August 28-29 at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort. This all day event will give guests a first opportunity to see and play Disney Infinity 3.0 before its official release date on August 30.

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Throughout the day, guests will be able to play Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition at the location. I know my son and I can’t wait as there are several new figures including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and characters from
Disney•Pixar’s
Inside Out.” I’m most excited about the Sam Flynn and Quorra figures from “TRON: Legacy.” I’m also looking forward to trying the “Tomorrowland” Power Disc Pack as I loved the film!

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Finally, guests will have an opportunity to meet a few individuals involved with the game’s development. Special guests will include:

  • Senior Producer Ryan Rothenberger who has worked on the Disney Infinity franchise since the very beginning. Currently, he is the Game Director overseeing the creation and development of all new heroic Play Sets for Disney Infinity 3.0.
  • Senior Producer Michael Schneider who oversees the development and execution of the console versions of Disney Infinity and helps make sure the game launches on time worldwide.
  • Associate Producer David Mayernik who has been with the Disney Infinity team since the first game where he held the position of Product Support Specialist. Here he worked as a liaison between the Guest Experience Support Team and Production.

On Friday, August 28, Allison Petrek, Lead Community Manager for Disney Infinity, will be meeting with guests from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. You can catch her weekly as a host of Disney Infinity Toy Box TV where the team shares all of the latest game news including new releases, contests, events, and more.

I hope to see you there!

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Shop For Authentic Walt Disney World Resort Merchandise with New Shop Disney Parks Mobile App

posted on August 25th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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One of the most popular questions I’ve received during my time with Disney Theme Park Merchandise is, “Can I buy this item online?” I’m delighted to answer that question with the launch of the Shop Disney Parks mobile app.

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Shop Disney Parks lets you shop your way, making it easy and convenient to find favorite Walt Disney World Resort authentic products. The app offers access to thousands of products, including some of the newest arrivals created especially for Disney Parks. New products will be added weekly.

The app also provides delivery options which let you ship directly to your home.

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The coolest part of Shop Disney Parks is the online map that can be used to locate products in theme parks and resorts. I searched for my favorite Orange Bird figurine and found it located in several shops as seen in the images above. You can also scan a barcode in a shop, purchase the item through the app and have that item sent directly to your home.

Look for additional enhancements in the coming weeks including delivery to the front of theme parks and delivery to your Disney resort hotel. At this time, products from Disneyland Resort and Disney Cruise Line are not available via Shop Disney Parks.

The app is available for iPhone, iPad and smartphones for Android. Visit this page for more details how to download the app.*

*Message, data and roaming rates may apply. Availability subject to handset limitations and features may vary by handset or service provider. Coverage and app stores not available everywhere. If you’re under 18, get your parents’ permission first.

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Top 10 Things I Discovered at the D23 EXPO 2015

posted on August 18th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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The D23 EXPO 2015 was a blast! There were incredible announcements of upcoming projects throughout the Walt Disney Company (the seven year old me can’t believe that Star Wars Land will be a real place). Besides those major announcements, I wanted to share the top 10 things I discovered during my visit this year.

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I Need to Step Up My Aloha Shirt Collection
Being a long time fan of Aloha shirts, I loved seeing John Lasseter’s Studio Collection on display. In 1999, designer Reyn Spooner created a custom shirt for John featuring art and characters from Disney-Pixar’sToy Story 2.” The tradition continues today with shirts for the newest animated features including “Inside Out.”

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Incredible Displays
Located nearby the shirt display, I found this wall of Pixar balls (above). The décor found throughout the Expo was over-the-top. I’d love to recreate something like this wall in a future home.

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DisneyNature “Born in China”
Ever since I was an attraction manager at China Pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot, I’ve dreamed of visiting China. I look forward to seeing DisneyNature “Born in China” coming soon to theatres. You can see the trailer here

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Caring at the Disney Citizenship Pavilion
I loved watching Disney fans make care kits at the Disney Citizenship Pavilion. This pavilion showed what Disney is doing to inspire kids and families to think creatively, live healthier, conserve nature, and strengthen our communities.

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Disney Infinity 3.0
I’m beyond excited for Disney Infinity 3.0 which debuts on August 30 this year. I loved seeing a full size image of Sam Flynn from Disney’s “TRON: Legacy” that will be a new figure released later this month. Stay tuned for additional details about an early launch party at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace on August 28.

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Gravity Falls Mystery Shack
There was a full scale recreation of the Mystery Shack from Gravity Falls. I wanted to take everything home with me. A brand new episode debuts on Monday, August 24 at 8:30 p.m. on Disney XD. I can’t wait!

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Quest for Trading Cards
Since I spent 7 ½ years as Project Manager for Disney Trading, I was delighted to see trading cards at the D23 Expo. They were part of a Trading Card Quest presented by Disney Visa Card. Fans received a starter pack of cards, and could search for opportunities to collect different cards from locations all over the show floor. I even watched Disney Fans trading cards in my hotel lobby.

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Disney Dream Store
I visited the Disney Dream Store a few times. The 3-foot Vinylmation Haunted Mansion-inspired figure by artist Javier Soto was impressive.

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D23 EXPO Design Challenge
I was also impressed with the D23 EXPO Design Challenge that my fellow author Jeffrey Epstein first discussed in March 2015. In honor of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, artists were invited to craft their own interpretation of Sleeping Beauty Castle. The image above contains just a few pieces I enjoyed seeing.

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The People Who Make the Dream a Reality
My favorite thing I learned attending the D23 EXPO 2015 is Disney fans are incredible people! While I enjoyed seeing a Nav’i from the upcoming Pandora – The World of AVATAR coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I loved meeting people who love Disney as much as me. The costumes some fans wore, such as the one my friend Mary Jo made to honor newly inducted Disney Legend Julie Reihm Casaletto, were outstanding. Stay tuned for a closer look at some of those costumes in a future Disney Parks Blog article.

What was your favorite part of the D23 EXPO this year? Please share in the comments below.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Attraction Poster Deluxe Calendar Returns for 2016

posted on August 18th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m excited to announce that the popular Disney Parks Attraction poster deluxe calendar is returning to select merchandise locations.

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The oversized calendar for 2016 will include posters from Disney Theme Parks around the world including Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Each poster is suitable for display in a standard 12-inch by 18-inch frame, with perforations above and below each poster for easy removal after its calendar month. The posters were printed on acid-free and lignin-free paper.

You may recall we first introduced attraction poster calendars at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts in fall 2013. That calendar was inspired by the highly recommended “Poster Art of Disney Parks” by Walt Disney Imagineers Vanessa Hunt and Danny Handke as seen in this article. It also paved the way for several apparel items and home goods released in 2014. I’m beyond thrilled to see a new version complete with some of my favorite attractions including the WEDWay PeopleMover, Mickey Mouse Musical Revue and the festive Jingle Cruise in Adventureland.

This calendar (item number is 400009684599) will be found in select merchandise locations at Disney Parks, and will have a retail of $21.95. The calendar may be offered on our Disney Parks online store at a future date.

Which Disney Parks attraction poster is your favorite? Please share in the comments below.

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

First Items from Twenty Eight & Main Collection Coming to Disney Parks Online Store Starting August 28

posted on August 14th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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A few months ago I shared details about Twenty Eight & Main, a new apparel and accessories line for distinguished gentlemen who love Disney Parks. Today, I’m thrilled to announce the first items from this collection will be offered on our Disney Parks online store from August 28 through September 3, 2015. For this limited time online sale, we will have three unique t-shirts along with three wooden signs that feature similar graphics.

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In the first image, I’m sporting a slub knit, short sleeve t-shirt inspired by Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. I love the soft feel of this shirt that is 60% cotton and 40% polyester. I also like the little details such as the embroidered lion on the left sleeve which is the same lion found in the coat of arms on Disney Park castles.

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The Florida Project shirt is a burnout t-shirt that includes an image of Walt Disney’s signature at the bottom left and a Twenty Eight & Main embroidered logo on the left sleeve. I love the nod to “The Mouse,” the airplane used to fly Walt Disney on secret scouting missions over Central Florida (see this article for a great story about that plane. This shirt is 60% cotton and 40% polyester so it also feels fantastic!

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The final shirt is a variegated stripe t-shirt with the Twenty Eight & Main logo. Walt Disney’s signature and the lion reaching for the star graphic are included as embroidered elements. This shirt is 75% cotton and 25% polyester which felt extremely comfortable as I ate popcorn on Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park.

The three wooden signs that will also be offered during this sale will measure 18-inches by 24-inches.

To order these items staring August 28, please visit http://www.DisneyStore.com/28&Main. Apparel items will ship in 4-6 weeks while the wood signs will ship in approximately 12-14 days.

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Back to School Shopping Ideas from Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 13th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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As summer is quickly fading into fall, it’s time for back to school shopping. I can’t believe my children will return to school in just a couple of weeks. I recently spent a morning at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World Resort searching for back to school shopping ideas. Here is a quick look at some of the items I found for those who want to add a splash of Disney to their backpacks.

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World of Disney and Mickey’s Fun Finds at Downtown Disney Marketplace both offered assortments of pens, pencils and other cool school tools. I liked the colorful Mickey Mouse-inspired pens and the zipper cases are something I wish I had growing up.

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I found some fun apparel items for girls in the Zoey & Pickles boutique inside the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace. They also carried a sweet backpack decorated with images of Mickey Mouse-shaped candies.

Once Upon a Toy store has a new shirt featuring “Miles from Tomorrowland,” the hit Disney Junior animated series.

At Downtown Disney West Side, D-Street had some Oswald the Lucky Rabbit t-shirts, while the Super Hero Headquarters shop carried plenty of apparel options for super heroes of all ages.

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Finally, I visited Curl by Sammy Duvall where I found a small assortment of the popular Disney Vans shoes along with clothing and accessories for girls and boys. Next door, Fit2Run, The Runner’s Superstore, has a perfect selection of athletic footwear and more. Both of these shops now open at 10:00 a.m. daily in Downtown Disney West Side.

Here’s a quick shopping tip I learned after my visit – all Downtown Disney shops now open at 10:00 a.m. which includes Downtown Disney West Side. This is a great time to visit as parking is usually plentiful and it’s easier to get in and out of shops.

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Disneyland Nights: Suggestions for Nighttime Fun During D23 EXPO 2015

posted on August 12th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m looking forward to attending the D23 EXPO 2015 this week at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Expo will be held August 14-16 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. After spending the daytime immersed in all things Disney, I can’t wait to visit Disneyland Resort at night. Here are some of my favorite places, in case you are looking for something to do as the sun sets in the California sky.

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Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
My number one nighttime destination is Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel. While I love finding hidden treasures inside the bar area (look for a hidden Orange Bird figure), I also enjoy sitting outside on the torch-lit lanai listening to live music. If you are hungry, try the Ahi Poke or the Slow-roasted Kālua-style Pork Sandwich. For beverages, I highly recommend the HippopotoMai-Tai or, if you are sharing, the Uh Oa!, named after the tiki goddess of disaster.

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Beignets and Live Music at Downtown Disney District
I like strolling through Downtown Disney District after picking up some beignets and coffee from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express. From 6-10 p.m. this month at Downtown Disney District, each night of the week will be devoted to a different musical style . During the D23 EXPO 2015 weekend, look for these performances:

  • Friday, August 14 – Tupua Polynesian variety show
  • Saturday, August 15 – Phat Cat Swinger (I love that swing dancing is still a tradition!)
  • Sunday, August 16 – Top 40 Music Jam features Dead Ringer

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Carthay Circle Lounge on Buena Vista Street
The little details on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park are fantastic (see my fellow author Tyler Slater’s article for a sampling). I also like Carthay Circle Lounge, which offers handcrafted cocktails by mixologists who use unique glassware, gourmet garnishes and drink-specific ice (try the Manhattan as seen in this video).

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Dole Whips in the Enchanted Tiki Garden at Disneyland Park
There is nothing greater than enjoying a Dole Whip while sitting in the Enchanted Tiki Garden at Disneyland park. I love watching the Tiki gods of the garden come to life as seen in this video.

Do you have a favorite hangout in Disneyland after dark? Please share in the comments below.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Hotels & Resorts

Popular Disney Theme Park Attractions Inspire New ‘Disney Attractionistas’ Dolls

posted on August 11th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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In January 2015, I shared a first look at some new dolls created especially for Disney Parks called “Disney Attractionistas.” I’m happy to report that the first four dolls in this collection were recently released at Disney Parks. I spoke with Victoria Hamilton, merchandiser for dolls and plush, to learn more about these Disney Parks-inspired items.

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“Disney Attractionistas are special friends that love to be together at Disney Parks every chance they get,” explained Victoria. “As the story goes, each Attractionista wished to be part of their favorite attraction, and that it could be a part of them. Once their wishes came true, they were magically transformed with attire inspired by those various attractions. These 12-inch fashion dolls come with detailed clothing, a special animal sidekick and a fun story on the back of the packaging about things each doll enjoys. I think these dolls make great companions for any guest who loves Disney Parks.”

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The first four Attractionistas were inspired by classic Disney attractions such as Mad Tea Party (Maddie), Space Mountain (Celeste), The Haunted Mansion (Gracey) and Pirates of the Caribbean (Pearl).

Two additional dolls will arrive this fall including Carrie, who was inspired by King Arthur Carrousel at Disneyland Resort and Prince Charming Regal Carousel at Walt Disney World Resort; and Nellie whose looks were inspired by the world famous Jungle Cruise.

Disney Design Group artist Mike Sullivan created the designs for the dolls while Dave Keefer designed the packaging.

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The Attractionistas will be carried in select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, and they will be found on our Disney Parks online store.

We will be holding a special Attractionistas party on Friday, August 21 in Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. From 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., Mike and Dave from Disney Design Group will be meeting with guests and signing dolls.

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Summertime Update About Retail MagicBands and Accessories at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 7th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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As the “Coolest Summer Ever” continues at Walt Disney World Resort, I wanted to give you an update about several new retail MagicBands and accessories. These items are a great way to show your Disney Side during your vacation. Here is a look at some of my favorites.

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The open edition retail MagicBands featuring Steamboat Willie and characters from Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” are currently available in select merchandise locations.

On August 14, we will release two additional open edition retail MagicBands. One will have Winnie the Pooh while the other will feature Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Open edition retail MagicBands have a retail of $19.95 each. Like all other retail MagicBands, these open edition items can be linked later making them great gifts.

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At the beginning of the year, we released a retail MagicBand with an image of Cinderella Castle from Magic Kingdom Park. Later this month, we will have three additional open edition retail MagicBands for Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I’m thrilled to see Figment on the Epcot-themed MagicBand!

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Some of the coolest MagicBand accessories I’ve seen are the attraction-themed MagicSliders. These small rectangular images easily slide onto the side of a MagicBand. They are a great way to either showcase your favorite Disney attractions or to keep track of which ones you’ve experienced.

Attraction-Themed MagicSliders Available at Walt Disney World Resort Attraction-Themed MagicSliders Available at Walt Disney World Resort

There are three attraction sliders per MagicSlider pack. Look for three different packs of Magic Kingdom Park attractions, and two packs each for attractions at Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Each pack has a retail of $6.95.

Finally, we are now offering some of the Disney character MagicBands including Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck on our Disney Parks online store. You can find them along with select MagicBand accessories by visiting this page.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Online Store Releasing New Shirts in August 2015

posted on August 7th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


This month, the Disney Parks online store will continue its series of specially designed limited release shirts. Guests can order these items during the timeframes listed below by visiting http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of shirts.

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August 7-13
Being a long time fan of all things related to Epcot, I adore these 1980s-inspired, pixelated Mickey and Minnie Mouse T-shirts designed by Disney Design Group artist Maria Clapsis. These Hanes Nano-T shirts are part of our monthly series of companion shirts that was first introduced last month. The shirts will also have a small pixelated Epcot logo on the back.

For the companion tees coming in September, you may want to make room for one more (or should I say two?) shirts.

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August 10-16
Speaking of Haunted Mansion, Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra created these Hanes Nano-T shirts that contain a nod to the Hatbox Ghost at Disneyland park.

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We will also offer a long sleeve option in black. Each of these shirts will contain glow-in-the-dark ink and a small graveyard graphic on the back.

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August 17-23
The third shirt in our series of original Disneyland park attraction T-shirt features the Tomorrowland attraction, Autopia. In addition to a shirt, we will also release a print and a canvas wrap based on this design. Please note that artwork will ship in 12-14 days.

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August 28-September 3
Finally, we will have a special online store release of Twenty Eight & Main items from August 28 to September 3. If you are going to the D23 EXPO 2015, August 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, make plans to attend the Disney Parks Merchandise presentation on Friday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Stage 28. During the presentation, we will share some additional details about this upcoming men’s apparel and accessories collection along with a host of other sneak previews. I hope to see you there!

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