Available for Free to MSC Cruises’ Guests
MSC Cruises and the LEGO Group have joined forces to bring children and families the ultimate LEGO Experience at sea, including LEGO® designed playrooms and entertainment options.
Description: Description: Description: C:\Users\njammes\Desktop\logo_LEGO_pos.jpgAs part of the partnership, MSC Cruises is implementing a special program across its fleet in which children, as well as adults, will have the chance to compete in LEGO® themed competitions and games on a designated day during a sailing. Children who participate in the LEGO® Experience Day will receive an official LEGO® Junior Master Builder diploma. In addition, all guests will have the chance to meet and greet Sailor Walkabout – the LEGO Sailor Mascot – who will be available during cruises for photos and entertainment.
The LEGO Group is also working to design completely new play areas on the MSC Armonia, the first ship in MSC Cruises’ Lirica class of ships undergoing the Renaissance Program.* Currently in dry dock, the newly enhanced MSC Armonia will re-enter service on Nov. 19, with an inaugural cruise departing from Genoa, Italy and stopping in France, Spain, and Gibraltar, before arriving at its final destination in Portugal. MSC Armonia’s dedicated offerings of LEGO® play materials when she begins sailing again will include:
· LEGO® DUPLO® for children under three, including fun games and challenges;
· Classic LEGO® bricks and Vertical Play Wall for 7-11 year olds; and
· “Building Happening” for 6-11 year olds – themed builds with limited bricks.
Description: Description: Description: C:\Users\njammes\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Word\MSC Armonia Mascot_01.pngAll the LEGO features will be available free of charge to guests, and will be replicated on the two new ships** of the MSC fleet, scheduled to be delivered in 2017.
Guests who want to take the LEGO® experience home with them will be able to visit the LEGO® corner found in shops on board. In addition, the companies are currently working to design a LEGO® MSC Cruise Ship toy, which will be available on MSC Cruises’ fleet in the future.
MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato said: “The LEGO Group and MSC Cruises are both family businesses – built on strong values – that are recognized worldwide, so our two companies are a great match. The LEGO Group bricks and toys are close to the hearts of millions of people who grew up playing with them, and with this partnership we hope to give our younger guests some magical memories that they’ll treasure forever. We’re proud to be able to make The LEGO Group a contributor to the MSC Cruises’ concept, and I know our younger guests are going to love this exciting new addition.”
MSC Cruises’ partnership with LEGO comes as the line seeks to optimize the overall onboard experience for guests and families by partnering with top global brands that are emblems of excellence in their fields. While MSC Cruises’ has long made the LEGO® toys available on all 12 ships in its’ fleet, this partnership enhances the offering, bringing MSC guests more dedicated products and areas for younger travelers.
Other enhancements for families being made to MSC’s fleet include: ships undergoing the Renaissance Program will feature separate clubs and facilities for five age groups – specifically Baby (under 3s); Mini (3-6); Junior (7-11); Young (12-14) and Teen (15-17); and a new partnership with Chicco, announced in July 2014, which will provide families with childcare equipment, a dedicated family guide and custom built children areas on select MSC ships.
*About the Renaissance Program
In December 2013, MSC Cruises unveiled the $273 million Renaissance Program, an ambitious two-year operation to take its four Lirica class ships back to the shipyard and back to the drawing board. Under Renaissance, the Lirica class ships will be lengthened by around 24 meters, and an array of key spaces, such as restaurants and bars, sundecks and entertainment areas will be overhauled and enhanced. This enormous feat of engineering, which we have entrusted to world-class Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri, will leave MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Sinfonia and MSC Opera resized and revitalized.
**About the New Builds
On March 20, 2014 MSC Cruises signed a letter of intent with STX France for the construction of two new cruise ships, with an option for two more. The two vessels are due for delivery in 2017 and 2019.
On May 22, 2014 MSC Cruises signed a contract with Fincantieri, in Italy, for the construction of two new cruise ships, with an option for one more. The two new ships will be delivered in November 2017 and May 2018.
About MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises is a privately-held, family-owned, Italian cruise line with a fleet of 12 ships. The fleet cruises year-round in the Mediterranean and seasonally in the Caribbean, Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the French Antilles, South America, South Africa, The United Arab Emirates and the Red Sea. For more information, visit www.msccruisesusa.com.
All information believed to be accurate as of the date of issuance. It is the reader’s responsibility to verify its continued accuracy, as all information is subject to change.
Famed zookeeper Jack Hanna once said that zoo animals were “ambassadors for their cousins in the wild.” A good zoo presents these quasi-United Nations of Earth’s Species with the right blend of education and entertainment. And there are some ways to tell if a particular zoo provides both in equal measure.
They Accommodate Nocturnal Animals
For animals that frolic at night and sleep during the day, The Philadelphia Zoo has a Nocturnal Wing in their Small Mammal House. A menagerie of vampire bats, primates, possums, mongeese, and plenty more have lights out at sunrise and lights on at sunset. But remember, some don’t really do much as a rule. Two-toed sloths generally sleep 18 hours at a clip, and only move around to eat or go to the bathroom.
You Can Get Up Close and Personal
Sure, getting a petting zoo together with some baby goats is easy, but some give access to more exotic animals. The Denver Zoo brings out prairie dogs, alligators, snakes, even hissing cockroaches to touch and interact with. Zoo Miami has some considerably larger African fauna feeding stations, where giraffes finesse the food out of your hand with an 18-inch tongue, and rhino’s taking in chow with their prodigious lips. Elephant and camel rides also abound at bigger zoos with more resources.
Exhibit Info is More than Just Words on a Plaque
Check to see if the zoo has supplemental video info in addition to the text on plaques. Also, cell phone tours may be available. Just dial the number and let the experience begin.
They Pull Back the Curtain
From the outside there’s the animal in its habitat, and that’s it, but hidden behind the scene is the support facilities that keep that creature alive and well. One eye-opening example is a tour given at St. Louis Zoo’s herpetarium. Not only do you get to touch an honest-to-goodness snake, but also get to know the zookeeper’s tools of the trade, which includes the all-important anti-venin, just in case.
There’s a Plan for That
The best zoos let the visitor decide what they want to see (read: The kids), and make those displays easy to find. The San Diego Zoo has a Plan Your Day section on their website, which functions as a to-do list that is shareable with all members of the party.
Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com
From 27 October to 2 November the SEA LIFE London Aquarium will be celebrating Halloween by challenging young guests to spot some intricately hand-carved pumpkins featuring marvelous marine inspired designs.
The stunning glowing creations include a spooky shark, grinning piranha and ghostly Gentoo penguin – all carefully hidden for children to discover on their journey through the deep.
Plus on 31 October the Fish Witch will be making a special appearance for the day. The mysterious marine crone only comes out on Halloween when she cooks up a cauldron full of eerie fun and tells her spooky stories of the sea. Those brave enough to come along in fancy dress on the day will also receive a tasty free treat!*
There is lots to learn with talks and feeds throughout the week,** and of course there’s an entire ocean to explore including rare giant Green Sea turtles, tropical fish, rays, crabs and jellyfish – and for the intrepid, special VIP experiences like a Shark Feed, Turtle Feed and Snorkelling with Sharks Experience.
Discounts and priority entry available with online booking – visit www.visitsealife.com/london. 0871 663 1678.
Open seven days a week from 10am with last entry at 6pm
Prices start from £18.36 per adult and £13.52 per child; Snorkelling with Sharks, VIP Turtle Feed and VIP Shark Feed are additional, VIP experiences – Snorkelling with Sharks – £125 per person, VIP Turtle Feed – £55 per person, VIP Shark Feed – £70 per person, all including entry to the attraction.
*each guest will receive one mini lollipop on 31st October only, while stocks last
11:00 Octopus feed – available daily
11:30 Ray talk and feed – available daily
12:00 Penguin Talk and Feed – talk available daily. Feeds available every day except Wednesday
12:30 Rainforest talk and feed – available Monday, Wednesday and Friday
14:30 Shark feed – available Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
15:00 Penguin talk and feed – available daily
15:30 Coral Reef talk and feed – available daily
16:00 Seahorse feed – available daily
16:30 Terrapin talk and feed – available daily
Leave your mark at Zoo Miami by becoming part of the brick project and purchasing a commemorative brick which will line the walkway to the new Zoo Miami Florida: Mission Everglades Exhibit. This wing of the zoo, opening in 2016, will feature state-of-the-art interactive exhibits showcasing the majestic and unique ecology of our world-famous River of Grass. Celebrate a birth, graduation, wedding, or any other significant event. Bricks come in two sizes and there are dozens of designs from which to choose. Be part of your zoo’s legacy. For complete information, visit http://www.zoomiami.org/bricks. Special prices are effective until February 28, 2015.
The Dungeon, a historical and theatrical attraction popular in Europe, opened their first North America production in San Francisco in June 2014. Located in historic Fisherman’s Wharf, this unique experience highlights 200 years of San Francisco’s colorful past with dramatic and theatrical story storytelling. The San Francisco Dungeon guides visitors through theatrical sets on a 60 minute walk-through journey as nine different shows unfold, from the colorful Gold Rush era to authentic tales about the Barbary Coast criminal gangs, Alcatraz and more. This is the first attraction of its kind in North America bringing to life the stories of old San Francisco with a larger than life cast, special effects, gripping storytelling, 360-degree sets and an underground boat ride. The San Francisco Dungeon is designed to be fun and sometimes a little bit scary. The attraction is open from 11 a.m. 365 days a year at 145 Jefferson Street. For information, visit: www.thedungeons.com/sanfrancisco
Operated and managed by Aquarium of the Bay, the Sea Lion Center is a free nature center where guests can learn about the world famous California sea lions that inhabit the docks at the end of PIER 39. The Sea Lion Center overlooks PIER 39′s K-Dock, the usual hangout of these charismatic mammals that mysteriously made this their home in January 1990, shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake. The Sea Lion Center features interactive displays, educational videos, fascinating presentations and one- on-one interactions with naturalists. Guests can touch real sea lion artifacts including pelts and skulls, and size themselves up next to a life-size sea lion skeleton. For information, visit www.aquariumofthebay.org or call 415-623-5300.
Offering Appealing “Fall Family Fun Rates”
. . . Special Rates at the Seven Hotels Provide A Nice Way to Take In Such Events As
The Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival,
the Eat To The Beat Concert Series at Epcot®,
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®,
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom® Park,
and Holidays Around the World and Candlelight Processional at Epcot®
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL– Taking advantage of the special “Fall Family Fun Rates” that are being offered by the seven Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels from November 1-December 23, 2014 is a great way to experience the exceptional special events that are being conducted at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. This includes the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom® Park, Holidays Around the World and Candlelight Processional at Epcot®, and The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. You should definitely mark your calendars to attend this year.
In addition to the hotels having an ideal location with an easy walk to the shopping, dining and entertainment venues at the Downtown Disney® Area, these seven Official Walt Disney World® Hotels also provide complimentary shuttle transportation every 30 minutes to all four Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, two water parks, and to the Downtown Disney® area. As a bonus, guests at these hotels also receive the “2014 Downtown Disney Deals” booklet that features exclusive discounts and specials from over 30 merchants on Downtown Disney® area dining, entertainment and shopping.
Available for stays November 1-December 23, 2014, the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels’ “Fall Family Fun Rates” are:
· B Resort & Spa – now open – rates from $99 per room, per night
· Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel – rates from $79 per room, per night
· Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa – rates from $79 per room, per night
· DoubleTree Suites by Hilton – rates from $109 per suite, per night
· Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – rates from $89 per room, per night (through December 19th, 2014)
· Holiday Inn Orlando – Lake Buena Vista – rates from $89 per room, per night
· Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort – rates from $74 per room, per night.
For more information on the “Fall Family Fun Rates,” or to make a reservation, visit www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com , specifically http://downtowndisneyhotels.com/pr-fall-fun-2014 (or http://bit.ly/DDHF2014 ). Rates are based on availability and some blackout dates may apply. The rates do not include the Resort Services Fee or daily parking fee (if applicable), taxes or gratuities. The offer is not valid with any other special offers, promotions, existing reservations, or for groups.
Taking advantage of the special rates also will enable you to enjoy such other benefits of staying at one of the seven Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels as:
· Disney tickets available to purchase at each hotel
· Advance tee times and discounts at all Walt Disney World® golf courses
· Disney Merchandise store located in each hotel
· The ability to book advance dining and dinner show reservations for all restaurants across the Walt Disney World® Resort.
Special events at the Walt Disney World® Resort include:
· Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Presented by Chase® — through November 10, 2014, at Epcot®.
· Eat To The Beat Concert Series – through November 10, 2014, at Epcot®
· The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights presented by Siemens – November 7, 2014-January 4, 2015, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®
· Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – select nights November 7-December 19, 2014, at Magic Kingdom® Park
· Holidays Around the World – November 28-December 30, 2014, at Epcot®
· Candlelight Processional – November 28-December 30, 2014, at Epcot®.
In addition to these special events you also could take in the wonders of the recently expanded New Fantasyland, which is the largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom® Park. It offers more immersive enchantment and interactive experiences, and features two new themed areas: Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus. Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences include Under The Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid; Be Our Guest Restaurant; Enchanted Tales with Belle; Ariel’s Grotto; Gaston’s Tavern; and the crowning jewel of New Fantasyland Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Storybook Circus attractions include: The Barnstormer; Dumbo The Flying Elephant; Casey Jr Splash ‘N’ Soak Station; Pete’s Silly Sideshow; and Fantasyland Station.
Among the many coupons featured in the “2014 Downtown Disney Deals” booklet are discounts at Rainforest Café, T-Rex, Wolfgang Puck Express, Steve Baker Caricatures, Lego Imagination Center, Planet Hollywood Downtown Disney®, House of Blues® Restaurant, La NoubaTM by Cirque du Soleil®, Bongo’s Cuban Café®, and Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop.
“This is a wonderful time to visit the Walt Disney World® Resort,” said Steve Garner, chairperson of the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels’ marketing committee. “The special events in the fall are outstanding, and the holiday festivities are truly magical. Add in that the theme parks are often lighter during this time of year, and these very appealing ‘Fall Family Fun Rates,’ and it is a great way to experience the Walt Disney World® Resort.”
Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels (www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com ) is a consortium of seven hotels located in the Walt Disney World® Resort that includes: the stylish B Resort & Spa, opened in June 2014 with 394 newly renovated guest rooms and suites, the full-service B Indulged® by AVEDA Spa, and a zero-entry pool; the 18-story Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, surrounded by 12 acres of lush tropical landscaping, and offering 325 spacious rooms and suites, and complimentary WiFi; the newly renovated and sophisticated Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa, featuring 1,014 guest rooms and suites, a 10,000-square-foot spa, three pools, and five restaurants and lounges; the luxurious and spacious 229-suite Doubletree Suites by Hilton, the only all-suite resort hotel in the Downtown Disney® Resort Area; the deluxe 814-room, full-service Hilton Orlando Resort, featuring seven on-site restaurants and lounges and the new Hilton Fitness by Life Fitness® Center; the Holiday Inn Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, the only Holiday Inn located in the Walt Disney World® Resort Area and featuring elegant rooms with modern Florida décor; and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, featuring 626 guest rooms (which each feature a refrigerator), the Oasis Aquatic Playground with two pools and interactive water features, and six dining options.
With nearly 30 food and beverage outlets and restaurants, more than 3,600 rooms and scores of amenities, the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels offer a rate, space and menu to please every guest. Located in the heart of the Downtown Disney® area, these properties are within walking distance of some of the area’s best shopping, dining and entertainment.
For reservations, or more information, visit www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com
Available October 15th through October 31st, Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive – which recently underwent an extensive, multi-million dollar renovation and sits at the heart of America’s theme park capital – is offering an exclusive “Fright Flight” wine tasting, which pairs classic vintages with everyone’s favorite Halloween candy.
For a ghoulish $13, guests can indulge in a Halloween candy and wine pairing featuring a variety of creative combinations.
“Fright Flight” pairings, available at the resort’s sleek lobby bar, will include:
· Skittles with bubbly Champagne
· Candy Corn with a crisp Chardonnay
· Hershey’s Dark Chocolate with a balanced Cabernet
ORLANDO, FL – Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is just about seven weeks away. For those who would rather stuff a suitcase with clothing than a turkey with seasoned bread croutons, the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld® still has availability for the four-day holiday weekend!
With rates starting from just $99 per room, per night, Thanksgiving is a perfect long weekend to escape for some fun in the sun in Orlando. Whether travelers want to enjoy a weekend at the theme parks with the kids or just looking to get away to enjoy some time in the sun or at the hotel’s on-site nèu lotus spa, the hotel is just the right destination for the weekend.
For families coming to Orlando, the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld also features Junior Suites with a king bed and pull-out sofa which provide more space than a standard guest room. Rates for the Junior Suite corner rooms are from $149 per room, per night. To make a booking for Thanksgiving, visit www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mcosr-renaissance-orlando-at-seaworld or call 1-800-327-6677.
The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld helps guests make the best local discoveries. In fact, the hotel’s Navigator, Jessie Vollero, prides herself on going above and beyond to give guests an unforgettable taste of Orlando no matter what time of year they visit. For the holiday weekend, Jesse reports many of the theme parks including Universal Studios are offering extended hours; SeaWorld will be hosting its Christmas Celebration from November 22 to December 31; and many Disney restaurants will be serving a Thanksgiving Day meal as well. Additionally, the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld will be hosting its own Thanksgiving Buffet Dinner in Tradewinds Restaurant with all of the traditional trimmings.
The 4-star Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld® combines the enchantment of America’s favorite playground with imaginative style. From a breathtaking 10-story sun-bathed lobby to modern, residential suites and luxurious guest rooms — among the largest in the Orlando area — a truly distinctive experience awaits. Travelers can break a sweat in the state-of-the-art gym or retreat to the quiet nèu lotus spa, indulge in exceptional dining in one of six outstanding restaurants and eateries, or catch a wave of family adventure at the R Aqua Zone water park. For more information, visit www.renaissanceseaworld.com or call 407-351-5555.
Renaissance Hotels represents a diverse collection of 155 hotels in 35 countries worldwide. Each property is unique, offering passionate travelers a one-of-kind experience and memories they will be sure to take with them long after they depart. Within every hotel, guests are greeted by an exceptional array of amenities and an inspiring world of local discoveries. For travelers looking to experience something new, innovative and locally driven programs including the industry leading entertainment platform RLife LIVE as well R Navigator, ensure that every trip is transformed into an eye-opening, unforgettable journey. Renaissance Hotels. Live Life To Discover. To discover more visit www.renhotels.com.
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Five-Acres of Spine-Chilling Terror at ‘Terror in the Jungle’
~ South Florida’s premier Halloween attraction
to take place on select nights from October 2 – November 1, 2014~
MIAMI - For the most pulse-pounding haunted attraction and trail experience ever experienced, head to Jungle Island and endure the park’s first-ever Terror in the Jungle. This Halloween, two scary attractions starred by mutated animals and zombie-like Aztec Indians will take over South Florida’s favorite haunt to provide visitors with 20 nights of hair-raising events beginning Thursday, October 2 and concluding Saturday, November 1 on the Day of the Dead.
From the creator of Festival of Souls (Demon Mansion), voted Florida’s Scariest Haunted House by Hauntworld.com, Terror in the Jungle will feature a chilling 40 x 22-foot Toxic Zombie Jungle Entrance leading guests through five acres of terrorizing jungle paths and a 10,000 square-foot ancient Ruins Pyramid Haunted House. Carefully navigate a dark jungle filled with zombies, demons and military HAZMAT containment units all while being chased by wild mutated animals. Many more surprises wait inside the Ruins Pyramid including booby traps and scary creatures, which will give even the fearless the fright of their life. Those who wet their pants or don’t make it through Terror in the Jungle will be added to a Wall of Lost Souls.
“We’re excited that Brandon Kittendorf of Florida Event Productions chose Jungle Island to serve as the venue for his award-winning Halloween attractions over the next three years,” said John Dunlap, President & CEO of Iconic Attractions Group, which manages Jungle Island. “This attraction will heighten guests’ senses and be a true test of courage for those who dare to conquer it. We’re certain our visitors will experience a heart-pounding fear like never before at Terror in the Jungle.”
Kittendorf has brewed an incredibly chilling story line for Terror in the Jungle, which goes as follows: A plane carrying toxic bio-chemicals from a research lab in Mexico flew off course and crashed into the ruins of the Aztec city surrounded by a lush tropical jungle. The bio-chemicals mutated the jungle animals and local Indians into half dead creatures who feed on all the living creatures in the jungle. The Aztec Indians prayed to their gods for forgiveness and instead, the Gods unleashed their demon called the HUNTER, which devoured everything living in its path.
The Mexican government has been looking for the plane for over two years. Reports of the giant mutated animals and zombie-like Aztec Indians running wild in the jungle has forced the Mexican government to investigate. One of the chemicals carried by the plane was an experimental virus banned by the research lab because of the uncontrollable side effects. A Hazardous Material Containment unit has been dispatched to the region to clean up the mess, but they have no idea what they are about to encounter. Little do they know, they are entering into what the locals call, Terror in the Jungle.
“Every time you let your guard down, there will be something else to scare the living daylights out of you,” said Kittendorf. “We’re creating a gory Halloween attraction using nature’s natural darkness, fog, costumes and special effects, screams, animals and visual stimulation to play on peoples phobias and fears. The thought of walking around in a jungle in pitch-black darkness is already eerie, which is what makes Jungle Island the perfect setting for this event.”
Guests are encouraged to come in costume. Tickets to Terror in the Jungle cost $45 per person on non-peak days and $55 per person on peak days. Fast passes start at $20 per person. Tax is additional. Jungle Island also will offer childcare on a first-come, first-served basis for $5 per child, per night. Terror in the Jungle will take place every Thursday to Sunday from 7:30 p.m. to midnight, with one Wednesday over the following dates: Non-peak dates / October 2-5, 9-12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 29 and November 1. Peak dates / October 17, 18, 24, 25, 30 & 31.
Group rates, frequent fear pass, corporate party, event and sponsorship packages are available. For additional information, follow #terrorinthejungle on social media or visit www.terrorinthejungle.com.
About Jungle Island
Jungle Island, South Florida’s popular zoological attraction, is situated on Watson Island in the heart of Miami between downtown and South Beach. Building upon a rich tradition that began in 1936, Jungle Island enriches the lives of park visitors through immersive experiences centered on adventure, animals, discovery and play. From exciting adventures including the new aqua park to educational VIP tours, camps and unforgettable interactions with some of the world’s most fascinating animals, Jungle Island offers guests a plethora of real-life jungle experiences. With its Treetop Ballroom and picturesque outdoor spaces, the park also serves as Miami’s destination for extraordinary events. Discover the new Jungle Island today. Follow #JungleIsland on social media or visit www.jungleisland.com
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