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Hanson Appears at Eat to the Beat Tonight

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The band Hanson (“I Will Come to You”) will take to the stage tonight at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in the event’s Eat to the Beat concert series.

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Earlier today, the band, which is made up of brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson, took a break from performing to showcase their their new beer brew, Mmmhops Pale Ale, to Epcot guests in the Festival Center.

Hanson will take the stage tonight at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. at the America Gardens Theatre and shows are included in theme park admission.

The remaining acts in this year’s Eat to the Beat concert series are:

  • Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Air Supply
  • Oct. 3-5 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
  • Oct. 6-8 – Sugar Ray
  • Oct. 9-10 – Fuel
  • Oct. 11-12 – Sister Hazel
  • Oct. 13-14 – Richard Marx
  • Oct. 15-16 – Billy Ocean
  • Oct. 17-19 – Night Ranger
  • Oct. 20-22 – Smash Mouth
  • Oct. 23-24 – Jim Brickman
  • Oct. 25-26 – Los Lonely Boys
  • Oct. 27-28 – Wilson Phillips
  • Oct. 29-31 – Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX
  • Nov. 1-2 – 38 Special
  • Nov. 3-5 – Boyz II Men
  • Nov. 6-7 – David Cook
  • Nov. 8-10 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
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10 Things To Love About Fall at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today is the first day of fall, and here at Walt Disney World Resort that means it’s the official start of a whole new season of fun.

Here are 10 reasons that fall is a great time to visit our parks.

Mickey's Boo-to You Halloween Parade

  1. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties – This special after-hours Halloween party at Magic Kingdom Park is a must-do during a fall visit. Bring your Halloween costumes, get ready to trick-or-treat and expect to see some amazing Halloween entertainment and fireworks! More details on this offering here.
  2. Villain’s Sinister Soiree - Available only on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights, guests can book this special package that offers a wicked good time that includes VIP viewing for the parade and fireworks, as well as an exclusive dessert party that features some of your favorite Disney villains, musical entertainment and some delectable treats. The package costs $99 per person and more details can be found here.

Playing a Halloween Tune

  1. Pumpkins! (And Generally Amazing Fall Decor) - Fall at Magic Kingdom Park offers up some amazing photo opportunities, as our photography team showed in this blog post earlier this month. What I love most are the pumpkins along Main Street, U.S.A., which each feature their own unique design. Take a moment to check them out.

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  1. Haunted Mansion Merchandise Shop Set To Debut - This fall will see the debut of a new dedicated merchandise shop that Haunted Mansion fans are guaranteed to love. Steven Miller offered a sneak peek at some of the items that will be available at the shop in this post. Stay tuned for more on the shop’s opening.
  2. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival - Each night through November 10, Epcot will come alive with food and fun thanks to the return of one of our most popular events, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year, 25 marketplaces will show off the talents of 270 chefs, including some of Disney’s finest, as well as some celeb chefs.
  3. Celebrity Chef Appearances - This year’s festival will feature appearances by celeb chefs Jamie Deen, “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro and Allen Susser, among others.
  4. Eat To The Beat Concert Series - While we’re talking about fall fun at Epcot, the Eat to the Beat concert series is already underway with several new acts – including Fuel, Jim Brickman, Los Lonely Boys and David Cook – in the lineup. (Concerts are included in park admission).

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  1. runDisney Races Return – Two race weekends - The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler Weekend and Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend – will return to Walt Disney World Resort October 3-4 and November 7-8, respectively. Registration for Kids Races and after parties are still available.
  2. Special Fall Treats - Even snacks are dressed up for the holiday, with new Maleficent cups, Zero popcorn buckets and more now appearing in parks.

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  1. Fall Savings on Resort Rooms - Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort this fall can save up to 30 percent on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels, including Deluxe Villa Resort rooms and Deluxe Resort rooms. This offer is valid for stays most nights October 4 through November 25, and November 29 through December 23, 2014 and must be booked by October 3, 2014. (Some restrictions apply). To book, visit DisneyWorld.com/fall or call 407-WDW-1896.

What’s your favorite part of visiting Walt Disney World Resort during the fall season? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


The 19th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kicked off this weekend and we shared a few stories on the Disney Parks Blog to help during your visit, including Pam’s post featuring the top ten “must-try” new tastes at this year’s event.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Brazil Marketplace

There are 35 new food offerings this year and Pam recommended 10 to look forward to tasting. At the Farm Fresh Marketplace, there’s the perfect taste of Southern comfort food: griddled “Yard Bird” (chicken thigh) with collards and a dollop of the house-made habanero sauce. The Lobster Alfredo at the Hops & Barley Marketplace also made the list. Go check out the complete list.

@r-g3nrQa5r: Enjoying Disneyland in the late 1960's - A Captured Memory with Minnie! @KrazyKevinWolff: My Dad, Uncles, & Grammy at the ‪@Disneyland ‪#Matterhorn Bobsleds in the late '60s. @rOsRMEpzHS: My Sister and I Excited to Hold Pinnochio's Hand at Disneyland in the 60s. @q7xs4LofoF: Me and My Mom on Burro (and Horse?) Ride in Frontierland, 1964. Maybe This is Why I Hate Hats? ;) @qopsCOPAn-: I Love This Picture of Me and My Brother and Sisters, Think This is Around '1969' Always Loved This Photo, Look at My Trendy Haircut I'm on Mickeys Left with the Pin Curl Sideburns and Sunglasses on My Head 'So Cool' and Talk About Nostalgic Mickey Mouse! Enjoy!

And as you know, to get ready for the upcoming Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, we’re looking for the most magical Disneyland Resort memories from the past six decades. Erin has narrowed down the photo submissions for the 1960s and is now asking for your help to decide which will win. Visit Erin’s story this weekend and let us know your favorite.

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

Fodor’s Travel Names Aulani a Top Hotel – Read more about this distinguished award, and plan your “Beach Getaway” to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush’ Moseys Out of Disneyland Park September 27 – Every great story must have a great ending – it’s time to bid farewell to ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush’ at Disneyland park. Be sure to visit your friends in Frontierland and Rainbow Ridge before September 27.

#DisneyKids: First Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park – Watch some first Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party experiences at Magic Kingdom Park!

Halloween Time Treats at the Disneyland Resort – Take a first look at some of the delightfully wicked treats debuting this year as part of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort.

Halloween Time Novelty Items to Materialize at Disneyland Resort – Get a sneak peek at some of the spooky souvenir novelty items coming to Disneyland Resort for Halloween.

Learn to Draw Grumpy from ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ – Watch as Brian James Fichtner from Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios gives a quick tutorial on how to draw the perfect grump!

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New Wearable Disney Gift Card Designed for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 19th, 2014 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


When visiting the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, complete your experience with our new wearable Disney Gift Card created especially for this year’s event.

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In addition to the many features of a Disney Gift Card, this year’s Festival-themed card comes with a wristband to ensure quick and easy access for convenience at festival kiosks. Activate your Disney Gift Card with as little as $15 and just swipe to pay as you sample your favorite food and beverages throughout the event.

The fun doesn’t have to end after the festival! Reload your Disney Gift Card on property and use it for practically all things Disney throughout Walt Disney World Resort and at other Disney destinations nationwide.

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For more about this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase, visit the posts blow:

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Our Top 10 New Tastes for 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

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


All sorts of special events, cooking demos and parties make the 19th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival worth the trip, but for us, it’s the simple pleasure of noshing and sipping our way around World Showcase that is one of the most memorable parts of the 53-day festival (the longest ever) that debuts Friday, September 19, and runs through November 10.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Brazil Marketplace

This is the seventh year that Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann has been at the helm, and every year he gets a little more authentic, a little more creative. Thirty-five new food offerings debut this year, requiring multiple visits to truly savor each taste.

And while it may be nearly impossible to appreciate every single dish paired with tasting-sized servings of wine, beer (and non-alcoholic beverages) at the 25+ Marketplaces, we’ve done a little homework and are suggesting the Top 10 new, “don’t-miss” dishes for 2014.

Here, in no certain order, are 10 of the new dishes worth a taste, even if you have to share to make it all the way around:

  1. Lobster Alfredo at the Hops & Barley Marketplace, a bowl with warm macaroni noodles, generous bits of lobster and a crunch topping. Add a 6-ounce pour of crisp Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat.
  2. Eat dessert first: you don’t want to miss the rich, velvety caramel crème brûlée with fleur de sel at the France Marketplace. Pair it with a flute of Sparkling Pomegranate Kir.
  3. A hearty, healthful dish is Patagonia’s Verlasso salmon, served with quinoa salad and a flourish of garlicky arugula chimichurri. Add a pour of the fruity Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier.
  4. At the Farm Fresh Marketplace, there’s the perfect taste of Southern comfort food: griddled “Yard Bird” (chicken thigh) with collards and a dollop of the house-made habanero sauce. Just for fun, add a Florida wine (yes, Florida), the Key Limen-Key Lime Wine from Florida Orange Groves.
  5. Also at Farm Fresh, the Florida grass-fed beef slider with a scoop of kicky pimento cheese melting over the warm burger was another don’t-miss. We added the Beer Flight (four 4-ounce servings): I-4 IPA, Ba Ba Black Lager, Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale and Florida Cracker Belgian Style White Ale.
  6. Even if the idea of snails is not for you, give it a try. They’ve jazzed up the escargot in France, now served with three tender snails in pastry with lots of garlic, spinach, bacon and Parmesan. Be elegant and pair with a cool Chardonnay, Macon-Villages, La Côte Blanche.
  7. The Greece marketplace has added hearty Vegetarian Moussaka, made with eggplant and potatoes and a rich béchamel sauce. Try it with Domaine Skouras Moscofilero, a white wine with rich flavors of citrus and tropical fruits. (We also loved sipping the Tzatziki martini featuring Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka and BOLS Natural Yoghurt Liqueur.)
  8. For a taste of the tropics, it’s the Ensalada de Carrucho, Caribbean conch salad with onion, tomato and cilantro at the new Puerto Rico Marketplace along the Rose Walk leading to World Showcase Plaza. Pair it with Medalla light beer.
  9. Canada’s Seared Rainbow Trout with Bacon, Frisee and Maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette deserves a pour of the Canada Mission Hill Family Estate Syrah.
  10. Desserts & Champagne Marketplace is always our final stop, and we can recommend this year’s trio: Passion Fruit Coconut Creamsicle, Blueberry Lime Cheesecake Roll and Chocolate Espresso Opera Cake. Best of all, they’re now serving Dom Pérignon Champagne. Life is good.

And we still have to make room for a few returning favorites: the grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and crunch potato chips in Australia; crispy pork belly with black beans, tomato and cilantro in Brazil; Kālua pork slider with sweet and sour Dole pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise in Hawaii, and the kimchi dog with spicy mustard sauce in South Korea.

Also, here’s a link to all the menus. Get out there and share your favorite Marketplace dishes with us!


For more about this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase, visit the posts below:

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Taste Your Way Around the World In Style With New Dooney & Bourke Bags Coming to Epcot on September 29

posted on September 17th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival returning to Walt Disney World Resort, I wanted to share some exciting news. For the first time, the Disney Theme Park Merchandise team is releasing a specially designed Dooney & Bourke collection inspired by the annual festival of culinary delights.

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When designing the new colorful pattern, Disney Design Group artists were inspired by marketing artwork featuring Chef Mickey Mouse. Three of the items will contain a unique leather hangtag that has the event logo (the wristlet will not have this hangtag). I love the subtle designs used on these new bags as sometimes less is more.

The four new items will be released at the Festival Center in Epcot starting September 29.

The Festival Center is located between the Universe of Energy and Mission: SPACE pavilions in Future World. We will have these items on display in that location when the event kicks off on September 19. This Dooney & Bourke collection will not be available on our Disney Parks online store at this time.

I wonder how many Kālua pork sliders I can carry in one of these bags (they are my favorite thing from the event!). I hope to see you at Epcot!

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Latin Flavors Shine During Hispanic Heritage Month at This Year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on August 28th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Fabulous flavors and the vibrant music of Puerto Rico, Patagonia and Mexico brighten up World Showcase for an extended celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month September 19 – November 10, during the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase.

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How about Puerto Rico’s Ensalada de Carrucho (Caribbean conch salad with onion, tomato and cilantro with Medella Light Beer; or Carne Guisada con Arroz Blanco (slow-braised beef with Puerto Rican-grown rice) with a frozen San Juan Breeze? Patagonia marketplace will showcase the tastes of Argentina and Chile with dishes such as sustainable Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri; Grilled Beef Skewer with Cimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée, paired with Chilean Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier and Argentinean Terrazas Reserva Malbec. The Mexico marketplace features three popular dishes: Shrimp Taco with Fried Shrimp, Pickled Habanero Pepper and Onions on Flour Tortilla; Rib Eye Taco with Marinated Ribeye, Roasted Chipotle Salsa and Grilled Scallions on a Corn Tortilla, and Sweet Corn Cheese Cake. Sip a Dos Equis Beer, Sangria or a Mango-Strawberry Margarita – or get a lesson in tequila with a flight of diverse vintages.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is officially September 15 – October 15, but the celebration will continue throughout the Epcot festival. Celebrating Hispanic and Latino Americans’ contributions to the United States since 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month is steeped in the centuries-old traditions that reflect the ethnic and cultural customs of their communities.

The festival also will present Hispanic and Latin culinary stars hosting dining events and demonstrations.

At the festival’s Puerto Rico experience and marketplace, guests will be transported against a colorful backdrop of Old San Juan created by Walt Disney Imagineering as the festival’s first two-story marketplace. There, guests can explore the history and culture of Puerto Rico. More tastes will include Frituras Sorullitos (sweet polenta fries), Bolitas de Queso (cheese fritters with mayo ketchup) and FlanCocho (vanilla caramel custard with chocolate coffee cake).

Puerto Rico also will host “Experience Puerto Rico – The All Star Island” gala, a premium event in the park’s World ShowPlace pavilion at 7:30 p.m. on September 20. Guests can enjoy the foods, beverages and entertainment of Puerto Rico during the island’s premier dining celebration.

More than 25 festival marketplaces in the park’s World Showcase will feature flavors of six continents. Culinary demonstrations and beverage seminars at the Festival Center in Future World will present recipes and beverages from many cultures, including Puerto Rico, Argentina and Chile. The lineup of notable chefs includes Puerto Rico’s Maira Isabel, who will create a variety of recipes with Puerto Rican ingredients at scheduled culinary demonstrations and during the September 20 gala.

Some Festival Center activities and all Eat to the Beat concerts and park attractions are included with Epcot admission. Premium wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations. Information and reservations for select programs are available at www.epcotfoodfestival.com.


For more about this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase, visit the posts blow:

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Experience the Ultimate Day VIP Tour at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on August 15th, 2014 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


What could possibly be better than enjoying all there is to enjoy at the acclaimed Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? Enjoying it via the Ultimate Day VIP Tour!

Delicious Desserts Tempt the Sweet Tooth

Begin the daylong festivities at the VIP Lounge hidden within the Festival Center at the Wonder’s Retreat. This special tour includes Champagne, a beverage tasting, six-course tapas-style lunch, wine, private backstage tours, time on some of the most popular Epcot attractions, food and beverage pairings with Disney chefs, VIP seating at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, reserved seating for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks spectacular and more. Whew!

Sip, taste and enjoy as you travel World Showcase at Epcot. You won’t want to miss this extraordinary celebration of all things culinary, the grape and brew as your Disney VIP Guides accompany you throughout, highlighting special moments not everyone gets to experience.

Occurring rain or shine Thursday and Sundays on select dates September through November, this private tour lasts six and a half hours and costs $399 per person (21 and up only). Call 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687) for reservations. You can also access the online VIP Tour Services brochure here for more info.


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Sneak Preview of Merchandise for 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on August 5th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m counting down the hours until I can taste my way around the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This annual event returns to Epcot from September 19 through November 10, 2014. I’m already planning on being at the kick-off weekend to celebrate my birthday week (I’m sure I’m not the only one who celebrates her or his birthday all week long). After reading Pam Brandon’s article about new offerings this year, I caught up with the merchandise events team for a sneak preview of festival merchandise.

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This year, I found two different art programs – “Taste Your Way Around the World” and “Brews Around the World” – that will be featured on a variety of items. Guests should look for several familiar favorites including Chef Duffy the Disney Bear, a coffee mug and apparel items like hats. One of my favorite things is the specially designed food tray that was originally introduced in 2012. This new design includes a place to hold beverages and plenty of space for food.

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The Disney pin trading team created some cool limited edition pins that are presented on recipe cards. One features Jessica Rabbit with a recipe for Carrot Cake, while the other has Mickey Mouse that explains how to make Cheddar Breakfast Potatoes (now I’m hungry!). Speaking of recipes, we will also carry a new cookbook that my fellow author Pam announced in this Disney Parks Blog story.

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Finally, I liked this reusable tote bag that contains both merchandise logos.

Look for these items and more in the Festival Center, which will be located between Universe of Energy and Mission: SPACE pavilions in Future World. Select items may also be found at merchandise kiosks throughout World Showcase once the festival opens in mid-September. We will not be offering merchandise via our Disney Parks online store this year.

I hope to see you at Epcot!


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Two New Ways to Enjoy Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on July 31st, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Update: The schedule for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Late Nights LIVE! has been adjusted and guests will have the opportunity to enjoy this event on Thursday nights throughout the festival. Guests who had booked a Tuesday night will be contacted by a Disney cast member for further assistance.

How about an after-hours street party, and an Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package to make the 19th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival even more fun?

Delicious Desserts Tempt the Sweet Tooth

Epcot Food & Wine Festival – Late Nights LIVE! street party will run from 9:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Thursday during the festival between the United Kingdom Pavilion and World Showcase Plaza. The event includes six tastes (food and beverages) from select marketplaces, live music, entertainment, and a DJ. Cost is $79, plus tax. Bringing together the love of food with the love of music, it’s the perfect destination for a delicious final bite. Party is subject to capacity and advance reservations are recommended; to book a spot, call 407-939-3378. We know that Greece, Hawaii and Desserts & Champagne will be showcased, along with others that will change throughout the festival.

*Note: Admission to Epcot is not required after 9 p.m. for guests who have purchased credentials to the event. However, if the guest wants to visit Epcot before 9 p.m., valid theme park admission is required. Alcohol will only be served to guests 21 and older.

Now for some brand-new “Premium” fun! From noon-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday during a select festival period (September 22-November 6), the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package is an opportunity for guests staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel (or the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels) to sip and savor in style. The package includes an in-room gift with wine for guests 21 and older, a festival wine glass, truffles and credential for the Premium Package Areas at the festival – plus an Epcot International Food & Wine Festival MagicBand and a $50 Disney Gift Card to start the fun. The credential gives access to 10 VIP “Premium Package Areas” around World Showcase Promenade where you can order items from Marketplaces and have them delivered to you – no waiting in line. You can also bring your favorite marketplace treats into the Premium Package Areas and just relax. The package also includes one admission to Epcot Food & Wine Festival – Late Nights LIVE!, which you can attend on Thursday night.

Cost is $199 per guest, plus tax, plus Epcot admission.

For the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package, call 407-939-1889. For more general information on the festival, go to epcotfoodfestival.com.

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