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Comments for Disney’s Packed Parks Leave Guests Struggling, “There’s Nothing We Can Do”

Disney world 50th anniversary crowds magic kingdom

Credit: ITM Kelly C.

69 Comments

  1. Dorothy

    In my opinion Disney has and still does way over sell. You pay way too much money to stroll All day to get into four or five things because it’s so crowded you can barely move. Nice park yes but WAY over priced because of the crowds they allow.

    1. Lindy

      I don’t understand these comments. We visited over spring break, expecting the worst. For 7 days we went to MK x2, Epcot x2, AK & HS x2 We went on literally every ride (the good ones twice) saw every show and ate at Oga’s and Space 220 making reservations while we were there. I don’t think we are some kind of Disney genius family but with a little thought and planning we were able to have a fantastic time.

      1. Joey

        How did you get s space 220 reservation?

      2. Cristy

        I think there is a reason they will not release the capacity number. So Maybe they are below full capacity (maybe they are like 98%) but with shows and other such activities still closed the crowd is not spread out. This would make the crowd seem more packed which explains the reports. Whatever it is, Disney is leaving many fans with a annoyed feeling and that is not good for business. Maybe they don’t care. It seems they don’t.

        1. Charles

          Disney has never released capacity numbers. Even within Disney, only few cast members know those numbers. I couldn’t tell you why, but it’s not because they are trying to make the parks look more enticing to the potential guests.

      3. JS

        I went over President’s Day week and pretty much got on all the rides including Ratatouille, Rise of the Resistance, and Avatar. A couple rides I had to wait 2 hours, but that’s expected. I too was also able to get into Olga’s no problem. It was very busy, but I’ve seen worse. I did 6 days which did help, but completely avoided Gene+ so I think I ended up saving money. I still think I completely won Disney this time.

      4. Notices

        We were there also. Had to decide what/when park to go in way in advance no spontaneity allowed on vacation for big bucks paid. Could not get a much deserved sit down meal even when staying on property unless you reserved months to a year in advance Too many extra events have been added for additl $$( leaving that park closed to all who paid thousands for reg 4,5,7,day pass) Then lots closed no food open The system is bad not like the past just adding more $$$ to do what was inc in the pass prior $ grubbing And they scream at you like you aw/megaphones and heard you taking away from what magic 1000 dreams that left

    2. Rooftop Voter

      Disney is one giant retail outlet with a few rides sprinkled around so you won’t get the impression you are actually in a large outdoor shopping mall.

  2. Susan

    I do not understand why one can’t just purchase a ticket to the park and it automatically provides you with a reservation. Why the 2 step process? It seems like a scam.

    1. Scott Lee-Ross

      Because a ticket you purchase is neither for a specific date or park.
      IF you buy a 3 day ticket that is good for 3 days admission over the course of the next 5 days. And there are 4 parks to chose from. You have to tell Disney what days and parks you are going to use those admissions for.

      1. Katie

        Wrong actually. You now have to buy tickets for a window of time. If you pick a 4 day pass, you have to pick a date range of when you are using the ticket. And if you only use 3 or the 4 days because perhaps you got sick or changed your plans, you will lose that 4th day. Can’t come back a week later and use it. So you first need to check if the park has availability for the dates you want. Then buy your tickets for a date range. Then go right to the other page and choose the park/date you are going. Need to do it all at the same time because if you wait and then go back and try to reserve your days, they could be booked up.

        So basically now you have to get your:
        Park tickets
        Park reservations Plane tickets
        Hotel reservation
        in that order.

  3. StevenB

    Been at Disney World all this week during heavy Spring vacation time for schools, and visited all the parks, minus typhoon lagoon and the closed blizzard beach. Lines werent that bad, utilize the lighting lines and its great. Several rides my kids loved were in the 5-10min wait mark, some no line at all.
    Only bummer was the occassional cool ride went into Temp Closed mode when our lightning lane would start. But just move on, understand things happen, and enjoy the experience. These parks offer tons of stuff to enjoy.
    Theres not as much meet and greets as pre-covid, but they are there. Met several princesses, and characters. Mask are not required. People are happy, and wait for rides from park to resort on bus/skyline are min. Actually, never had more than 1min skyline wait.

  4. Jennie

    I was at the park the week of March 13. No reservations available for walk ins. It was a huge Spring Break week. We expected the crowds but utilized Genie+, rope dropped and got to do everything we wanted to at least once.

    1. Manny

      You are part of the problem using Genie +.

  5. Daniel Mikeska

    I’ll never visit Disney again. Prices are way to high. You need to make a reservation. If you want a fast pass you pay extra. I refuse to support any place that’s woke. Face it Disney has lost its magic.

    1. Scott Lee-Ross

      @Daniel
      1. Prices are not to high. If they were to high, the park would not be crowded. Because the parks are selling out, it means the parks are priced too low. It is basic economics.
      2. Yes you need to make a reservation. Just like you can not buy a ticket to Major League sports and just decide to go that day and which sport you want to see.
      3. If you want to skip a line, you pay for the privilege. Just like at Universal, Six Flags, Cedar Fair or Sea World parks. Just because you want to skip thte line does not mean you are entitled to do so.
      4. Ok, I guess if you want to be bigoted, that is your choice. But then stay home, Disney does not have to reflect your bigoted philosophy. But you notice, they don’t ban you because you are a bigot, they will let you come to the park, you just have to respect others, including their beliefs. They will not force you to act gay, why should you force them to act straight.

      1. Nikki

        But why were fast passes free for all those years then hmmmmm didn’t have to pay for the “privilege “ then did you……

        1. Scott Lee-Ross

          Because the parks are underpriced, the prices must go up, Same with Fastpass, it was free and was sold out, that means that the price must also go up. It is basic economics.

    2. Katie

      Stay home! All the more room for us who appreciate the magic!!

  6. Racer 1

    I’ve been here the last 2 weeks. It’s been no more crowded than any other Easter break. The lines are up to an hour wait but they always were before Covid. I’ve gotten on everything a couple of times over the course of the 8 days I had at Disney.
    I think people have short memories and don’t remember how it was before. They saw the pictures of the last couple of years and thought that was how it was going to be but even with “limited” capacity it’s going to be busy. If they’re running 75 percent or whatever it’s still packed. The only time Disney usually reached full capacity was the week between Christmas and New Years. But if you can put 75,000 people in a park and right now you’ve got 50,000 that’s still a LOT of people.
    You and your family aren’t the only ones who wanted a vacation. It’s all about your attitude going in. If you’re already mad about the crowds then you’re going to have a rotten time. If you know you’re going to wait in long lines and accept it then you’ll have a much easier and more enjoyable vacation for all.

  7. Kevin

    Does this site just rehash the same complaining articles again and again and again? I have literally read this exact same kind of article at least three times in the past month. Try ‘reporting’ on something else for a change.

    1. Sora

      I know how you feel. Seems I’ve seen the same article at least twice already.

  8. RA D

    Reduced copy editing capacity… “Wlat Disney World”

  9. Karen

    If you don’t like Disney’s views, high prices, long lines don’t give them your money. Problem solved. I don’t believe in their WOKE agend so I’m not going. My choice. Don’t go and then complain. You know what you are getting into before you go.

    1. Scott Lee-Ross

      Woke agenda. That is right wing code for “I am a bigot” and I do not want to share my vacation with others that are not like me.
      Woke agenda, That is right wing code for “I want to treat some people as less than me, because I am superior”
      Woke agenda. That is right wing code for “I do not know the facts, so I will repeat what Dear Friend, Tucker says”

      1. Kevin

        “[You are] a bigot” That is Left wing code for “I think I am morally superior than you because you have a different opinion than I do.”

        “[You are] a bigot” That is Left wing code for “I am so high and mighty that you are beneath me because you have a different opinion than I.”

        “[You are] a bigot” That is Left wing code for “waaaaaah you hurt my delicate sensibilities because I can’t handle other people’s opinions/feelings.”

        “[You are] a bigot” That is Left wing code for “I am completely incapable of having an adult discussion with someone who doesn’t think 100% like I do so I will play the race card instead.”

        “[You are] a bigot” That is Left wing code for “Even though my side does the same exact thing, YOU are wrong and we are always right.”

        Get the picture, Scotty?

  10. Cristy

    I think there is a reason they will not release the capacity number. So Maybe they are below full capacity (maybe they are like 98%) but with shows and other such activities still closed the crowd is not spread out. This would make the crowd seem more packed which explains the reports. Whatever it is, Disney is leaving many fans with a annoyed feeling and that is not good for business. Maybe they don’t care. It seems they don’t.

    1. Scott Lee-Ross

      Disney has never released either capacity numbers or attendance figures.

  11. Wolven

    Pretty obvious that instead of taking care of their business to allow guests the best experience possible, they are more interested in perverting children!!

    1. I think a lot of this has to do with the inability to have the freedom to park hop at will. It used to be that if we were at say MK and it was too busy we’d simply hop over to Epcot or HS. Now with the oppressive reservation system you just can’t do that

      1. Scott Lee-Ross

        Reservations have nothing to do with parkhopping. You do not need a reservation to park hop

    2. MRK

      The hysteria over mythical child abuse continues – go find another talking point, this lunacy has run its course.

  12. Kathleen Downes

    Never coming back. Couldn’t get into any good rides. Park dirtier then tears ago and food awful.

  13. SP

    Just got back yesterday from WDW. Only did a one day hopper ticket for 27th. Started at AK and in 6 hours we rode 3 rides. Only waited about an hour for FoP but then waited 90+ for the safari, grabbed a snack and went to EE but the wait was 55 minutes so we headed to Kali and cooled off a bit. After getting wet we drove back to our resort, change clothes then hopped to HS via bus. Got a stand by ressie for the cantina where we enjoyed a sampler and yummy drinks then headed to RotR where we waited, according to the wait time listed, 70 minutes, but didn’t seem that long. We grabbed dinner at Back Lot, got pixie dusted a burger and fries the headed to Mickey & Minnie’s RaR. It was really cute. Then off to Toy Story Mania, RnR and we were out. The only real issue was the bus back to the resort. My sister and her family were on the same bus we were BUT they had been waiting for over an hour for that bus. People were getting UGLY. All in all it was a good Disney day.

  14. Jim M

    The parks are too crowded, yet Disney keeps building new resort hotels. They are creating this problem, not solving it. Once they have your money, you’re on your own. Corporate greed at it’s worst.

    1. Freedomrocksusa

      Agreed! They are also building more DVC units – for example, in place of the Polynesian’s luau. Sad!

    2. Scott Lee-Ross

      @Jim
      You do realize that building resorts does not contribute to crowding at the parks.
      A few facts first.
      Disney has roughly 30,000 hotel rooms on property including DVC units.
      Disney had roughly 30,000 hotel rooms on property 15 years ago. Most Disney projects have not added much capacity. Copper Creek, Riviera, Gran Destino Tower replaced existing inventory.
      The majority of guests do not stay on property. Any additional capacity that is built, only moves people from off-property to on property.
      The issue is not the number of hotel rooms on property, the issue is the Demand of people wanting to come to Disney.

      1. MRK

        And when supply exceeds demand, you raise prices to meet demand without exhausting supply.

        Disney needs to raise prices significantly.

      2. Jack

        Are you getting in free or on thier payroll?? You seem to be too defending of them. Just saying

        1. Jack

          That comment qas doe Scott L ross

          1. Jack

            Was for*

  15. VICKI KELLOGG

    We just went over spring break. It was more crowded than when we went in summer of 2007. For example, the crowd during the castle firework show was shoulder to shoulder in standing only compared to 2007 when my kids were able to sit on the ground and comfortably watch the show. He really have to find ways to work around the issues. If you stay in a resort they are able to override the system and put you in reservations for the parks that you want. If you stay in a resort where you have early hours half hour before opening that gives you more chances for rides. If you stay in a deluxe resort like wilderness lodge you able to do extended night hours for two hours you’re able to ride rides with no lines. When we bought our tickets they were for specific dates and three of those days we’re limited on park reservations. If I ever go again it definitely will be for less days and during an off-season. The prices are very high for the large crowd and extra work you have to do to be able to ride more than 3 to 4 rides per day. At least with the park hopper after 2 PM you are allowed to go to any park regardless of what your reservation is.

  16. Rodney Simonson

    Currently in Orlando, from Michigan. Annual Passholders for 10 years. Staying for 7 days at our Hilton timeshare. Able to make five park reservations a month ago, but unable to make any once we used our first, due to “unavailability”. Crowds are enormous for several reasons… closed experiences, mechanical failure closures, shortened live shows, 30,000 fewer employees dealing with those crises, reduced transportation options. All of that means crowds seem larger even when attendance us restricted and reduces. Prior to the pandemic, as a long time passholder used to visiting six times a year for a week or more at a time, I never experienced refusal of entry at a wait time longer than 90 minutes. The general nationality make-up was 50% foreign. Disney cheapened passes for residents, in the face of travel restrictions. Now, more locals, more often… more line jumping by large families and fewer cast members to deal with it. Personally, I see several corporate choices that need to be revisited.

    1. Scott Lee-Ross

      Almost every single statement you made is incorrect.
      Reservations you made in advance were before capacity was hit. Unavailability during your stay is due to Demand. Supply has been exceeded, That is no different than a sold out movie, sporting event or concert.
      Crowds are enourmous, because there are more people attending. While capacity is reduced, attendance is still larger than all but the previous phased closure days. More people are in the park. There are minimal closed experiences. Actually less closures than previous years. Mechanical failures are not any more than previous years. The shortened live shows have now returned (or are rehearsing to return) to full length. Disney has returned to full cast levels. They are only about 5,000 short of pre-pandemic levels. Transportation options does not affect crowd levels.
      As a passholder since the early 2000’s I have experienced phased closures every year during the holidays. And I most certainly have waited more than 90 minute waits. Did you not visit Galaxy’s Edge, Pandora, Slinky, Minetrain or any other E-ticket attractions? Personally, I have waited over 4 hours for FOP. Finally, Disney offers far less discounted tickets for FL residents. AP Prices have risen dramatically and there are less of the 4 day offers for FL residents.

  17. F

    This will end now that they lost their “self governing” status. They will now have to be accountable to the same regulatory boards and requirements that ALL other parks that aren’t Disney affiliated must be. Health inspections, capacity requirements, emergency service response, etc.

    1. CalledIt

      Except they are not losing it. DeSantis didn’t read the fine print and missed a bunch of stuff including the county needs to sign off on it which isn’t happening and the taxpayers would need to pay stuff like emergency services. Whoops!

    2. Scott Lee-Ross

      F
      I guess you do not know what the Reedy Creek Improvement District actually does. All of those same requirements are there for Disney as well. Except, stricter but more modern Building Codes, daily inspections by Health Dept, Faster standards for Emergency Response Times. Oh and higher property taxes to pay for these services.
      Instead of getting the facts from reporting with an agenda, you can visit the RCID online and actually view exactly what it is

    3. MRK

      The vengeful, cancel culture move by Republicans against a company for exercising its 1st amendment rights (which Republicans worked so hard to uphold in the past) is an absolute fail. DeSantis is a fool and he can either cost Florida billions in taxes, or admit this cancel culture move is exactly what “Republicans” have accused Democrats of, just hysterical posturing because they are so full of hate.

      God be with you and fill your heart with love, not hate, be like Jesus. He healed the sick, helped the poor, and welcomed ALL. Amen.

  18. Kurt

    I still don’t believe they are limiting crowds. Been there 3 times since December. December and February were the very worst crowds we had ever encountered. We are there several times a year, as we live in Florida and are annual pass holders. Those two visits were on par with any holiday or other high capacity times, maybe more.
    We did see a much more manageable crowd last weekend. That with some good weather made it a worthwhile visit. But, summer vacations are around the corner, it will probably get really crowded again.

    1. Scott Lee-Ross

      You have to remember that park capacity is the extreme crowds you used to see Christmas week. Disney has reduced the max to below those previous capacities. But that new capacity is still larger than what attendance was most day. So you still get huge crowds under the new reduced capacity. And they still sell out most days!

  19. Lee

    Never have understood how you are coming from overseas and don’t do any research. When we plan vacations we do our research, dates places are open, times , reservations etc. Your lack of planning isn’t Disney’s fault. We live locally and we still research before booking a stay cation

  20. Susan

    It has been years since we were there and it was VERY congested then. The streets were not made for these crowds.

  21. Gene

    We live close enough to the Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks nightly from our front door. We have been annual passholders for many years, and that is not cheap. Although we pay to have no blackout dates, we have to make reservations several weeks in advance to have a specific restaurant in mind for lunch. No fast passes anymore, so we don’t waste time on long lines or fighting online to go on rides we have been on many times. Disney has taken away a lot of other things from locals (and employees) Many locals are quitting Disney. Universal is supposedly opening special lines for annual passholders. SeaWorld is enjoyable and much less expensive.
    Walt and Roy must be rolling over in their graves. This was never solely about the money to them, and that made Disney magical. The magic is indeed gone.

    1. MRK

      I have to agree. They jam the park full of way too many people, because profits. They sell everything at very high prices, because profits. They try to make it so going on rides costs extra to not wait hours in line, because profits. The magic is gone, and yet I see articles like this with this park JAMMED full of people. Folks – at this point – enjoy any other attraction in Orlando because flat out, as a diehard lifelong Disney nut, Disney isn’t in anyway worth the money now!! Spend your money elsewhere! Seriously. These parks deserve a massive downturn until Disney stops with the masochistic attitude towards their guests with these insane line schemes and reservations.

      Know how to make the lines shorter? Stop letting a billion people in the park. Easy.

  22. Tony

    I’m glad I no longer go to theme parks anymore. I’ve gone so many times since the early 80’s when it was affordable for anyone to go. I remember paying around $20.00 to get in. Those days are gone. It’s sad and pathetic how expensive it is now for families to go. Greed is a plague in the world.

  23. Trevor

    I’m not trying to be insensitive here but I read this entire article to find out that someone didn’t follow directions and reserve their park reservations. I’ve booked three trips now over the past two years since that’s been in place and it’s outlined on the Disney site numerous times.

  24. tony G

    i wont go back until the reservation system is gone. i live right next door and used to go same day last minute. now we cant do that, so we’re going to universal more instead.

    1. MRK

      Sadly, this is the way. People need to stop encouraging the current state of the Disney Parks, it’s not magical in anyway now, it’s an atrocious process of potential failure points at the cost of thousands.

  25. Marisa

    Went for the first time in January. Park Hopper 2 days we got to do a lot and was definitely manageable. 2 big issues were rise of the resistance broke down on us twice and we had waited in line for almost 2 hours😖. 2nd issue, the Magic Kingdom fireworks. We had never been (we knew that they did fireworks but that was it) we were corralled all the way back to the pack entrance no one would help us and we were so confused ended up standing right behind a light post and didn’t see any of the fireworks. Context the 2 of us are short and easily could have fit in anywhere but everyone was so focused on themselves they didn’t look around. It was probably one of the worst experiences I have ever had on a vacation, I’d rather see the epcot show. If I ever go back I will definitely be going on rides during the fireworks. Ps after the show watched a guest assault a worker because they were making her walk in a path with everyone and she was trying to go the other way… lovely attitude.

  26. Crissy

    I’ve been going to the parks for 30 years and April 10th-14th was the most challenging planning and execution I’ve ever done. We paid for all the Genie plus and ILL fancy rides. My family said they had an amazing time but 5 times we tried to get in line to get in a ride line, the ride was down (like issuing return tickets down). I know about rope dropping and selecting the most challenging to get on rides first and planning meals and shows in the afternoon during peak periods. And I think in a group of two adults I could easily do the system. But with the inflexibility of how you need to do things, to get on all the things nowadays if all 8 of your large party arn’t doing the research with you (or if you have strong willed 7 year olds that you want to say yes to a quick tea cups moment or Aladdin in the scorching afternoon max wait time heat) or the adults don’t totally understand how inflexible these optimized ride priorities are it makes the parks so taxing and challenging. Which is not really how I want to feel on my vacation. I feel like I got the hang of hacking genie by day 3 even though I studied all the blogs ahead of time. I would recommend to people to choose an easy or your least favourite parks first when you go so you can mess up Genie without as dire of repercussions. Also they now need blue guest experience kiosks about as frequently as you see ice cream sandwich kiosks because so many people having guest experience issues. You see them everywhere now taking away from theming as they are almost a visible representation of how regular cast members either arn’t taught to solve problems in the old magic way or they’re stretched too far so that when they’re approached with a small problem you’re directed to the blue umbrellas. Also genie plus needs to allow you to modify your reservation even when the fastpass window has opened. Multiple times in the first days I would just book as many fast passes as humanly possible as soon as available and then realize after that my party wanted to go somewhere else when the fastpass window was open and couldn’t be changed. Or I would have one fastpass that I was scared of loosing but see something else pop up abs not be able to cancel and rebook in time.

  27. Crissy

    If you use Genie plus individual lightning lane and are trying to book the most difficult rides as quickly as possible you typically book your whole group in spite of having a grandmother in the group that is not going on rise of the resistance or flight of passage. That means that we had to pay for a product we would definitely not use and there was no way to refund her individual lightning lane in the app. We kept having to go to those blue umbrella guest experience kiosks to get it fixed. One day we were too tired with all the running around to do that. I can’t imagine how many other families this happens to that they’re getting extra money out of. Who’s going to risk missing out on a rise of the resistance ticket by editing the group before paying when they sell out in a flash?

  28. MRK

    I have been to WDW probably 20 times or more, I’ve lost count. I will not visit with my family while these ridiculous crowds and totally goofball reservations/Genie+/whatever are in place. Charge more, get the crowds down, Disney World was never a place where everyone should get to go – as some point people won’t take the debt and just book whatever, the crowds will go down, and the Disney World experience will be like it’s supposed to be.

    I am utterly disappointed with what Walt Disney World has become and I will not do anything to encourage the current horrible state that it’s in.

    1. Trevor

      I think you’ll be waiting for eternity then because it’s all here to stay!

  29. TotalDramaDisney

    On the plus side, it’s now becoming quite clear who’s winning in the Disney-Desantis war.

  30. JGFoss

    Some of these comments are smart and wise, some are downright silly.

    Here are some things to think about:
    When Disneyland first opened in 1955, the average cost per person for tickets was $2,50, and you only bought tickets for the attraction you were actually visiting. No ticket books. The news reports for the opening days: “Disneyland is too expensive.”
    Disney was the LAST to turn to a system like Genie+, not the first. Universal has been using it for several years.
    Disney has been hemorrhaging money in the last 2 1/2 years. During this period, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Hong Kong Disney, Shanghai Disney, Tokyo Disneyland, and Paris Disneyland were shut down, and nobody was going to the movies. Now things are opening up and people are returning. However, LODGING at Walt Disney World is still not at 100% open, nor are all the attractions at WDW open and back to normal. How about FANTASMIC? It soaks up 5,000 people per performance, and is not operating yet.
    Goodnews! Fantasmic, full parades are returning, but Disney is cautious and does not wish to be blamed for an outbreak of COVID. Can you blame them?
    And just for comparison, have any of you looked at air fares lately? Fewer pilots, fewer flight attendants, higher fuel costs all factor in. I just bought two tickets to Copenhagen & return thru Stockholm – $6300. Last year it would have been more like $4000.

  31. Jesse

    “Check for availability before you purchase tickets”. How about just not sell the tix if no capacity in the park?

  32. Jeff

    Its bad that they overbook, pack it so you cant move anywhere without running into a mass of bodies. It takes all day to go on a ride, and hoping it doesn’t break down. Over crowding spoiles anyones vacation and they have the ordasity to say nothing they can do. Get it together Disney. Feel sorry for the people who gets screwed with a service proven to be useless, and the ones who get packed in like sardeens and expect them to enjoy the day. Wow.

  33. Toby Jefferis

    Spent three days at the parks over Easter weekend. We had no problems at all: we took an Uber from the airport directly to our hotel at Old Key West. We went on all the rides we wanted to go on and I refused to use Genie+ or Lightning Lane. Using the Mobile Food orders were a huge time saver and we did not Table Service meals, we just did Quick Service. It was actually better because I didn’t feel like we were on that much of a schedule. The bus transportation was great-I will definitely be going back! Things are always going to change and be a little bit different-I have been going to Disney since 1980 and the Magic Kingdom is definitely not the same today as it was then-my advice is to Plan-Prepare-Adjust–then relax and have a good time!!

  34. Jeff Guertin

    If everyone would just cancel their vacation to Disney and go somewhere else they would have to change. As it is now people are still handing over the cash. We canceled our trip that was planned for July. We are now going to Jamaica in an all inclusive resort that includes deep sea fishing, UTV tours and swimming with Dolphins and Sharks. This trip was only a fraction of what we were going to spend at Disney and the fact that is has been stress free to plan is priceless. Boycott Disney.

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