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The All-American College Band Returns for the Summer at Disneyland Resort

posted on July 22nd, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Now in its 44th year at the Disneyland Resort, the fan-favorite All-American College Band is back to entertain guests with their signature dance moves and memorable tunes, including Disney favorites like “Under the Sea” and the latest hit, “Let it Go.” The All-American College Band, composed of college students from across the country who have competed for a coveted spot, provides a hands-on music education experience that prepares them for careers in the music industry.

This summer, the students are joined by a series of successful music mentors, such as Sal Lozano, a band alumnus who played for hit TV shows such as “Dancing with the Stars” and “American Idol.” The current program is directed by former band member Dr. Ron McCurdy, who teaches jazz at USC’s Thornton School of Music.

If you haven’t yet experienced the energy the All-American College Band brings to the Disneyland Resort – you’ll want to make sure you check them out. Below is a video highlighting the Band’s 40th anniversary celebration – take a look!

The band plays at Disneyland Resort Tuesdays through Saturdays until August 15:

  • 1:50 p.m. – Hollywood Backlot Stage, Disney California Adventure park
  • 4:30 p.m. – Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland park
  • 5:10 p.m. – Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A., Disneyland park
  • 6:00 p.m. – Main Street, U.S.A., Disneyland park
  • 7:15 p.m. – Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A., Disneyland park

(Times and locations subject to change.)

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Merchandise Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 22nd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


On July 22, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror celebrates 20 years at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This attraction has quickly become my son’s favorite thing to do in all of Walt Disney World. We’ve watched nearly every episode of the television show together, and love finding the little nods to the series hidden throughout the attraction every time we “drop in.” To commemorate this year’s anniversary, we are releasing a T-shirt on our Disney Parks online store from July 22-27, 2014.

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The shirt will be printed on a Hanes Beefy tee and will be available for both adults and youth. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery (no express shipping is available). You can place an order for the shirt starting July 22 at http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

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I have, however, some even more exciting news to share for this anniversary. David Soliman, Franchise and Brand assistant for Disney Theme Park Merchandise, gave me a first look at a new art program called “Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic.” David said that the recent Haunted Mansion art program served as its inspiration.

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“In early 2015, new merchandise will be coming to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attractions in both Florida and California,” explained David. “We loved what was done with the ‘Haunted Mansion Authentic’ art program, and thought we could apply similar merchandise design philosophies to another classic Disney attraction. The Disney Design Group team did an amazing job creating the artwork which will be used on a variety of apparel items, souvenirs, home goods and more.”

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Graphic designer Tyler Dumas from Disney Design Group was one of the lead artists on this program which was started about a year ago. When creating the art, the Disney artists imagined what kind of merchandise the Hollywood Tower Hotel would have produced during its heyday. The results left me speechless!

There were a few artists who contributed designs including Randy Noble, Richard Terpstra, Caley Hicks and Fabiola Garza Villalobos. My favorite design (shown above) is from Casey Jones and features a nod to the first episode I ever showed my son.

In the coming months, I will share some additional looks at the actual merchandise that Guests will find at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort beginning next year.

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and used with permission pursuant to a license with CBS, Inc.

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Remembering James Garner at the Disneyland Resort

posted on July 21st, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Over the weekend we learned of the passing of Oscar-nominated actor James Garner. In an award-winning career that spanned six decades, his work with Disney included The Castaway Cowboy and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Today we’re looking back at a special memory Mr. Garner made at the Disneyland Resort.

I had the honor and pleasure of meeting James Garner a few times during his run on the ABC comedy “8 Simple Rules.” He was friendly, funny and obviously very much a grandfather figure to his younger co-stars.

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In September 2004 he appeared with the cast of the show at an event at Disney California Adventure park called ABC Primetime Preview Weekend.

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During this event, I gave Mr. Garner a copy of a photo we have in our archives of him with his wife, Lois, celebrating their daughter Gigi’s birthday at Disneyland in 1965. We believe the photo was taken at the Tahitian Terrace.

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When I handed him this photo backstage before a media appearance, Mr. Garner said, “Oh my, it’s my Gigi! Oh, I can’t wait to show this to Lois!” He had never seen the photo before, and he thanked me warmly before excitedly gathering the cast around him to see the picture.

What he surely couldn’t have known that afternoon was that while he was recalling a fond Disney memory from long ago, he had just made a brand new one for me.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney California Adventure Park, Disney History, Disneyland Resort, Top Stories

Show Us What Makes You Happy About Disneyland Resort on Instagram

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


We’ve been making Mondays happier for our online fans and guests this summer, and now we want to know … what makes you happiest about the Happiest Place on Earth? From now until September 1, we’re inviting you to share photos on Instagram showing what makes you happy about the Disneyland Resort for a chance to win a vacation!

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Entering is easy. Just snap a photo of something that makes you happy about Disneyland Resort. The characters? The rides? The food? Get creative and share photos from the parks or at home! Post your photo on Instagram with the hashtag #GetHappierContest in the description for a chance to win. Each week, one lucky fan will win a Disneyland Resort gift basket. And the grand prize is a trip for four to the Disneyland Resort – including airfare, transportation, hotel and 3-Day Park Hopper tickets!

For more information, visit GetHappierContest.com.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. The Disneyland® Share What Makes You Happy Contest begins 12:00:00 PM ET on 7/21/14 and ends 11:59:59 PM ET 9/1/14. Promotion consists of 6 separate contest periods, each with its own entry phase and judging phase. Open to eligible legal residents of 50 U.S./D.C., who are at least 18 years old or the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at time of entry. Void elsewhere and where prohibited. Click on Official Rules for details on entry instructions, entry phase and judging phase dates, judging criteria, prize details, restrictions, etc. Sponsor: Disney Destinations, LLC, P.O. Box 10000, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830.

Please see the Official Rules for complete prize details.

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Disney Parks Salutes U.S. Military with Special Ticket, Room Rates

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


JULY 4TH CELEBRATED AT WALT DISNEY WORLD IN FLORIDA

Today, we’re announcing new special pricing on theme park tickets and accommodations for active duty U.S. military personnel at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Here’s a look at the details:

At Walt Disney World Resort – from August 25, 2014, through September 30, 2015, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:

  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $177 each, plus tax
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Park Fun and More Option for $177 each, plus tax
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $207 each, plus tax.

Walt Disney World Resort tickets may be used September 28, 2014, through October 3, 2015, except that the tickets may not be used December 22, 2014 – January 2, 2015 and March 29 – April 9, 2015.

For information on Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to Walt Disney World Resort, or to make room reservations at Walt Disney World Resort, military personnel may call 407-939-7830 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.

At the Disneyland Resort – from August 25, 2014, through October 1, 2015, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:

  • Disney Military Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Tickets for $132 each

Disneyland tickets may be used September 28, 2014, through October 3, 2015, except that the tickets may not be used December 25, 2014 – January 4, 2015 and March 29 – April 9, 2015.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. No more than six Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (or spouse) pursuant to this offer. All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by October 3, 2015.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can also take advantage of specially priced rooms at select Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotels.* This offer is valid for stays most nights from September 28, 2014, through October 3, 2015, except for:

  • November 27 – November 29, 2014
  • December 24 – December 31, 2014
  • March 30 – April 4, 2015

For information regarding Disney 3-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort, or to make room reservations at the Disneyland Resort, military personnel may call 714-520-7088 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices. Information is also available at disneymilitaryoffers.com.

Here are some other details you should know about:

  • Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased at participating U.S. military sales outlets ONLY by Eligible Service Members (defined below) or their spouses (but not both), for use by themselves and other family members and friends, as provided herein. These Tickets may not be otherwise transferred, distributed or resold.
  • “Eligible Service Members” are active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • The actual prices charged at the individual U.S. military base ticket offices for Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be less than the prices set forth above.
  • Participating military sales outlets must require that Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) present valid military identification to purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets.
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Walt Disney World Resort are not valid until activated by the Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) at Walt Disney World theme park ticket windows. Tickets and options expire and may not be used after October 3, 2015. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.
  • Disney 3-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort expire and may not be used after October 3, 2015. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.
  • No more than six (6) Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased and (if applicable) activated by any Eligible Service Member or spouse (regardless of the place of purchase and whether purchased by that person or that person’s spouse). In addition, one of the six (6) Tickets purchased must be used by the Eligible Service Member or his/her spouse.
  • Each Disney Military Promotional Ticket must be used by the same person on any and all days.

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply. Valid Military ID will be required upon check-in, and military member (or spouse) must stay in the room. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Additional per-adult charges apply at the Walt Disney World Resort if there are more than two adults per room. Other restrictions apply.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on July 20th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we announced that the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration will begin in spring 2015, celebrating 60 magical years of the Disneyland Resort. As part of the celebration, you’re invited to enter a new contest.

Share Your Favorite Disneyland Resort Memories from the Past (Almost) 60 Years

You’re invited to share your favorite memories with photos taken throughout the Disneyland Decades – 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000 to the present – for a chance to win a special Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration prize or the grand prize: a trip to Disneyland Resort to kick off the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

Check out Erin’s original story to learn how it works.

No purchase necessary. Entries must be received by 8/27/14. 18/age of majority+, 50 US/DC only. Void where prohibited. See Rules for details.

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And this week, we also shared a special D-Tech on Demand video showing how rapid printing technology has been combined with great artwork to create personalized electronic accessories for guests at Disney Parks. Steven talked with merchandiser Kevin-Michael Lezotte to learn how D-Tech on Demand works.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

A Look Back at July 20, 1969: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Watched Live at Disneyland Park – See some images of the the moon landing being watched live, and two members of the remarkable Apollo 11 crew being welcomed to Disneyland park.

Splash Mountain Celebrates 25 Years of Splashdowns at Disneyland Park – Take a look back at the opening day of Splash Mountain with this special video.

First Look at the New Disney Cruise Line Halloween Pumpkin Trees – See some of the decorations on deck for inaugural Halloween on the High Seas cruises aboard the Disney Dream!

Show Your DIY Disney Side: Disney Parks Guide Map Photo Mat – Learn how to make quick and easy photo mats using Disneyland Resort tickets and guide maps.

A Peek Inside ‘Frozen Fireworks’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – See what guests – and even some of the creators of the show – think of this new nighttime spectacular!

Summer Nights to Savor: Epcot Presents a Nighttime Transformation – Read about some of the evening activities available at Epcot this summer.

VIDEO: Celebrating 59 Years of Magic at the Disneyland Resort – Watch as Fifty-nine Disney characters wished Disneyland a happy birthday at Main Street Train Station.

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Celebrating Anniversaries at the Disneyland Resort

posted on July 19th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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This week marked some significant milestones here at the Disneyland Resort. On Thursday, July 17, we celebrated the resort’s 59th birthday. Check out video of the celebration here.

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As part of the festivities, we also announced the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, coming spring 2015 to mark 60 years at the Happiest Place on Earth. We also asked fans to share their favorite Disneyland Resort memories for a chance to win a trip to the kick-off of the celebration next year! Find out how to enter here.

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Also on July 17, Splash Mountain at Disneyland park marked 25 years of splashdowns. Paul Hiffmeyer commemorated the anniversary with a lovely view of the attraction after dark. And Valarie shared a fun video of the attraction’s opening day here.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Splash Mountain at Disneyland Park

posted on July 18th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


In my opinion, Splash Mountain at Disneyland park is the quintessential E-ticket attraction. There is something about plunging down Chick-A-Pin Hill that has made it my “laughing place” for as long as I can remember. Yesterday was not only the 59th anniversary of Disneyland park, it also marked the 25th anniversary of this beloved attraction. Today, I’m positively thrilled to continue “The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling” series with an article from Critter Tales, a newspaper created by the animals of Critter Country, about the story of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear. In honor of the anniversary, enjoy this excerpt by Jasper P. Woodchuck about the story behind my favorite attraction, Splash Mountain.

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Towering up and above everything hereabouts is Splash Mountain. Used to be that once upon a time, Splash Mountain was called Chick-A-Pin Hill …

Nowadays, Brer Rabbit’s been living in a briar patch, deep in the heart of Splash Mountain. And not so long ago, old Brer Rabbit took it into his head that if he’d just up and leave his prickly home in the briar patch, then he’d be able to leave all his troubles behind, as well.

As soon as Brer Fox and Brer Bear got wind that Brer Rabbit was leaving his briar patch and setting out for an adventure, they decided to trap and catch him. Luckily for Brer Rabbit, he was able to trick Brer Bear into springing Brer Fox’s hastily devised rabbit trap. This made Brer Fox so furious that Brer Rabbit decided to play another trick on the two, and he began to tell them about a secret “laughing place” that only he knew about.

Sure enough, Brer Bear and Brer Fox followed that rabbit right to the foot of a twin oak tree … But instead of finding a laughing place, all Brer Bear found was honeybees. Suddenly, the rotted old tree gave way with a snap and pitched Brer Fox and Brer Bear into a darkened, water-filled cavern, buzzing with hundreds of angry bees.

Brer Rabbit laughed and laughed at the prank he’d played on the two scoundrels. Unfortunately for Brer Rabbit, however, he tended to laugh just a little too long at his own joke and before he knew what was happening, Brer Fox captured that hapless hare.

Brer Rabbit was dragged by the ears up to the top of Chick-A-Pin Hill, where Brer Fox’s lair was hidden in a hollowed log that jutted out over the mighty Splash Mountain waterfall. Brer Fox threatened to skin Brer Rabbit, and then to roast and eat him. But thinking quickly, Brer Rabbit told Brer Fox to go ahead and do anything with him he wanted, so long as he didn’t throw him over the waterfall into the Briar Patch.

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Slow-wittted Brer Bear liked the idea and decided that flinging Brer Rabbit into the briar patch was the best thing to be done. Brer Fox tried to prevent him, and in the struggle, all three went over the falls and into the briar patch.

The briar patch is, of course, Brer Rabbit’s home sweet home. All the critters hereabout turned out to congratulate clever Brer Rabbit on having gotten away once again. And while Brer Fox and Brer Bear tried unsuccessfully to untangle themselves from the sharp, prickly briars, Brer Rabbit promised his friends that once and for all he had learned his lesson about leaving home, and that he is going to stay here forever and ever – at least until the urge to go adventuring strikes him once again.

Your obedient reporter,

Jasper P. Woodchuck

What is your favorite memory on Splash Mountain? Leave your response in the comments below!

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Eight Delectable Disney Parks Treats for National Ice Cream Day

posted on July 18th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Why do we love ice cream so much? Sunday, July 20, is National Ice Cream Day, declared by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and we’re happy for the pure joy of a dripping ice cream cone on a hot summer day.

Disney Parks fans know the gooey Kitchen Sink Sundae, the irresistible Dole Whip and ice-cold Mickey Mouse bar. And we’ve all picked a favorite flavor for a double scoop from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor at Disneyland park or Plaza Ice Cream Parlor at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort. But for National Ice Cream Day, we’re stepping out with some ice cream creations you may not have tried.

Here are eight favorites that are a little more creative than a double dip of vanilla or chocolate:

  1. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself dining at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on National Ice Cream Day, order the Sundae Sampler, a mini-trio with Frangelico toffee mousse, a float with root-beer flavored ice cream and homemade vanilla soda and a “banana split” (mousse, fresh roasted pineapple, fresh strawberries, whipped cream, candied peanuts, chocolate sauce and a cherry). You won’t want to share.

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  1. Run, don’t walk, to try the chocolate macaron sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces at the France pavilion at Epcot. A crunchy chocolate cookie sandwich with dark chocolate ice cream made right there, it’s simply divine. There are 16 flavors, but, seriously, that chocolate-chocolate sensation is a must. Another favorite? The hand-pressed brioche ice cream sandwich.
  2. Try something different at the new Morocco Juice Bar at Epcot World Showcase, where the chef is making bold ice cream flavors like chocolate and cinnamon, green tea, pistachio with orange blossom water (our favorite), strawberry and red bean, and toasted almond with rosewater.
  3. For a Magic Kingdom pick-me-up, grab the latte iced coffee float at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies in Tomorrowland. (The kids can get a caramel or hot fudge sundae.)

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  1. At Disneyland Resort, we always make a stop at Clarabelle’s at Disney California Adventure park for the hand-dipped ice-cream bar. Choose vanilla, chocolate or mixed berry sorbet, ask for it dipped in milk or dark chocolate, then add a flourish of toppings like chocolate chips or rainbow sprinkles. Made on the spot while you watch.
  2. Get fancy at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa with a single, double or triple scoop of artisanal ice creams: Scharffen Berger chocolate chunk, Tahitian vanilla bean or creamy California strawberry. The Napa Rose pastry chefs churn it out fresh.

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  1. If you’re strolling Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort, stop at Uva Bar for a homemade ice-cream milkshake. We recommend the s’mores flavor. Or if a root beer float is more to your liking, they make theirs with Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream and craft root beer.

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  1. We’ve got a soft spot for cobbler a la mode, and some of the best is at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue – fresh fruit (whatever’s in season) baked in a skillet with a crunchy topping and vanilla ice cream. Grab at least two spoons and share.
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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

A Look Back at July 20, 1969: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Watched Live at Disneyland Park

posted on July 18th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


On the afternoon of July 20, 1969, just steps away from an attraction called “Flight to the Moon,” thousands of Disneyland park guests gathered at the Tomorrowland Stage to watch a seminal event in human history unfold on live television.

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Just last week, while researching another project, I came across this rare color image in our archives that shows the Apollo 11 Moon Landing being watched live at Disneyland park.

In the years that followed this momentous event, we were fortunate to welcome two members of the remarkable Apollo 11 crew to Disneyland park.

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In February 1989, Buzz Aldrin joined us for the Challenger Spirit Salute, an event to honor the Challenger Center for Space Science Education.

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In July 2005, Neil Armstrong was on hand for the “re-launch” of Space Mountain. This photo was taken just above the exact spot where all those years earlier, Disneyland guests gathered in almost unimaginable anticipation to watch as he became the first man to step foot on the moon.

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