Is Resistance Futile or Do We Rise to the Occasion?

natebenma

Beach Club Dee
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Is Resistance Futile or Do We Rise to the Occasion?
Disneyland, February 3-February 5, 2020




It has been a few weeks since my husband Mark and I stopped over at Disneyland for 2 1/2 days on the way to Hawaii.



We booked the flights for this trip at the end of February 2019. We knew we wanted to stay at the Disneyland Hotel, but we weren’t able to book the room until late summer. We contacted my DIS friend and travel agent Lisa @mickeystoontown and asked her if she could book the room for us. She watched and let us know when the rooms were released and then kept an eye out for discounts. One became available for our stay, saving us $100 and getting us a better room category.



Thanks, Lisa!



We got our tickets, 3 day park hoppers with Max Pass, from Undercover Tourist.



We used Lansky Transportation/DK Livery again for the private transfer to and from LAX. We appreciated the reliability and ease of this service- we were at Disneyland within an hour of touchdown. It is pricey, but we did receive a small repeat customer discount.



Here are a few favorite photos and thoughts from our trip.



It was much colder in California than we expected while we were there. One morning it was 40 degrees when we started out! We had packed one pair of pants and wore those every day of our trip, along with sweatshirts.



The ease of hopping between DL and CA, just walking across a small esplanade, is awesome. The pay-for-FP app, Max Pass, is cool. Being able to collect ride reservations from anywhere (once you have scanned into a park) is great and was worth it for us and I liked that ride photos and pictures taken by photographers are included with the service. We paid $15 per person per day, the price has since risen to $20. Guests can still get the traditional Fast Pass free though if they don’t want to purchase Max Pass.



As for the attractions, in many cases the ones in DL are better, in some cases far superior to the ones in Florida.



Tower of Terror- Guardians of Galaxy theme- OMG, SO.MUCH.FUN!!!


Pirates- you get a whole 'nuther ride before getting to the part you also experience at WDW.


Radiator Springs Racers "Cars" and Carsland- Awesome theming. If you are comparing the ride to Test Track, there is no question RSR wins


Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Small World- all slightly better in DL.



This was our second trip to DL- we went in July 2014 with the boys. WDW in Florida remains our home park. I find the cast members in Florida to be more prevalent and friendly than their west coast counterparts.



One example: Entering California Adventure, using my phone to display my ticket, the CM at the turnstiles asked me if I could brighten the screen to my phone. I said I don't think I can (new phone, not sure how). As I was walking away, I heard him say "Work on that!"



Nighttime entertainment- During the offseason, there are no nightly fireworks or Fantasmic shows during the week at DL due to the park being too close to residential areas. The spectacular World of Color did have shows every night of our trip, though, and you can reserve a Fast Pass that doesn’t interfere with getting other FPs at the parks.



Food choices-much easier for us in WDW. Maybe because we know the places so well, but we struggled when it came to meal time in Disneyland, especially breakfast. We didn’t eat at any sit down restaurants while there- it was all counter style or takeout.



We really enjoyed the Polynesian-themed Tangaroa Terrace, which was conveniently located at our resort, the Disneyland Hotel.







We split this amazing ramen one evening and we had breakfast there before our Early Morning Magic at California Adventure





Ramen, 2 cups of ice water, $16.16









Breakfast Platter, Tangoroa Toast,bottle of OJ, $35.22





The skewers from Bengal BBQ in DL were quite good, but surprisingly spicy. Mark mobile-ordered, so I don’t have the receipt showing what we got or how much it was. The drink was too sweet for my taste.







We also enjoyed the meal we got from Lucky Fortune on Pacific Wharf in California Adventure





Potstickers and a fake meat Bahn Mi sandwich with cucumber salad, with a Vietnamese iced coffee, $18.23
 
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natebenma

Beach Club Dee
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Galaxy’s Edge



My husband and I were at Disney World in October, and we had an initial introduction to Galaxy’s Edge. At the time, I rode Smuggler’s Run single rider. I was assigned to the Engineer position, even though I told them I flunked out of engineering school (semi-true story). We didn’t ride it during this trip.



We walked through Galaxy’s Edge on the first night of our trip here in California. GE is very impressive at night!















We were fortunate to get boarding passes for Rise of the Resistance both days we tried.




My husband thought I was crazy when I told him we needed to train, but then I made him go through the process for a few days before our trip. He ended up getting a BG our first morning (but didn't know it), and readily admits that going through the process a few times helped.



Tuesday February 4, Disneyland Extra Morning Magic, 8 am open, 9 am Official Park Open

First morning, Tuesday - we were staying at the DLH, so we entered at 8 am for EMM. Went to Peter Pan, it was down and then Space Mountain. After that we stopped for photos in front of the castle. Another couple ahead of us were chatting with their photographer about trying for a boarding group, and when it was our turn, the photographer wished us luck. We went over to the left side of the castle. There were a few benches and two other couples there. One was the couple who was in line for pictures in front of us. After chatting a bit prior to the big moment, we learned that they are from the same state as us and they were also going to Hawaii after their DL stay.

It's a Small World!

When the big moment came, something went wrong for me, my husband said "Oh, no, I screwed up!" and then I saw the message "Not so fast, you are already in a boarding group!" He had somehow managed to book BG 70 without realizing it. The other two couples in our area got lower BG numbers. As they walked away, my husband heard one of them say "That's so cute. He didn't know he got a group!"


Here's a picture of the masses waiting to get into the park for the 9 am open








Of course, things didn't go great for us when it came to ride. We were in CA when we got the push notification and had a FP for Guardians which we used first. (OMG, awesome, fun ride). Unfortunately about 20 min after getting into line for RotR, ride broke down. 3 attempted reboots and 3 hours later we finally rode.



We saw 1 Cast Member briefly during the wait, but he didn’t tell us anything. We got very little info from the announcements other than, "We don't know how long the delay will be, but you are free to leave the line at any time" but it was clear they would not issue a ride pass if we did. We ended up waiting 3 hours and the ride finally came back up. When this happened in WDW, they brought through snacks, water and characters like Chewbacca to pose for pictures.



We were extremely impressed with our fellow guests trapped in line with us. People were in good spirits during the plight and not really complaining. I was also posting out the to DL RotR Boarding Group thread to provide intel and received empathy and support from them. One couple waiting for the ride to start up had to leave after a couple of hours because they had a flight to catch that night. Near the end of the wait, we struck up a conversation with a two guys, not sure if they were together or not. One had been on a couple of times and told us that the loading room was the next one from where we were. The other guy looked and was dressed like Poe from the most recent trilogy. I was glad that we got to ride with this guy because he was a riot. Had a huge smile on his face when we finally got on the ride and at one point during the ride he screamed. “Oh No! Oh No!” “I love this!”


I have a few pictures, and won't give too many spoilers, other to say that this is probably the most interactive attraction we have experienced and the scenes are technically incredible with very cool effects. You have to really look hard or ride a few times to try to figure out the animatronics from the projections.























Wednesday February 5, Early Morning Magic at California Adventure, 8 am. Official Park Open at Disneyland, 7 am

We didn’t know if we were going to try to get another boarding group this morning. We were still physically and mentally exhausted from the 3 hour wait the previous afternoon/evening.



So we went to CA and headed to Radiator Springs to ride Cars.



When we finished, we went to the park exit and decided, what the heck, we might as well try. So we joined the line to enter Disneyland and got in about 10 minutes before 9 am. We went up the stairs to the train station







It was so interesting to experience the noise level go silent in the last minute before opening. Then hearing people calling out their BG numbers. I got to yell out “23!”



We had a Fast Pass for Guardians, but decided to blow that off and stay in DL until our group was called. We rode pirates, standby and then Big Thunder with a Fast Pass. We were called to ride around 10:15 and fortunately did so without incident (well, except for getting captured by the First Order)



I didn’t take any pictures during the ride this time around.



After the ride, we grabbed an early lunch from the Black Spire Outpost



Fried Tip Yip (meh), Noodle Salad (pretty good), 2 Phattros (a little sweet. Didn’t need 2), $45.75. OUCH!!!

Fried Endorian Tip-yip – Crispy chicken, roasted vegetable potato mash, herb gravy

Yobshrimp Noodle Salad (Disney Check) – Chilled shrimp, noodle vegetables, sweet orange dressing

Phattro – Gold Peak unsweetened tea, Odwalla lemonade, dessert pear

I don’t know why I didn’t order this:

Batuubucha Tea – Suja pineapple passionfruit kombucha



We walked around a bit.











How cute is this???









 
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  • natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    California Adventure



    Radiator Springs

































    Pixar Pier







    Mickey’s Fun Wheel-of-Death

    (But the Views are SOOOOO Good)























    Guardians
















    While we were there, California Adventure was celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year “The Year of the Mouse” Technically, it is the Year of the Rat, but when in Disney... They had special themed dining areas, character meets, a Dragon Dance and parade, I think



    As we were heading into this area, I decided to take a picture of this arch.







    After I snapped, Mark said “Did you see that?” We had just crossed paths with a B-list celebrity from a reality show that aired on TLC. Does anyone care to make a guess. I’ll reveal the answer shortly.

    Matt Roloff from Little People, Big World

    We stopped to watch the Dragon Dance for a couple of minutes from the bridge that leads to Pixar Pier











    Dee’s Corner- West Coast Version



    Those of you who have followed my past trip reports are familiar with “Dee’s Corner” a little spot outside of Starring Rolls in Hollywood Studios (is that still even there?)



    Here’s the story, from Nate’s 8th Grade Class Trip “145 Middle Schoolers: Wicked Awesome or Epic Fail?:






    This spot has become semi-legendary, with renowned visitors stopping to take pictures whenever they are in the area. MickeyT and Chunky Monkey have all sent me pictures, Flat Ben has made a couple of visits and of course there is now an official “Dee’s Corner” sign





    October 2016





    October 2017





    October 2019







    On Tuesday morning, we were having a tough time finding breakfast around 10:30 at Disneyland. We were on our way out of the park so some of the places I knew would have us backtracking. We stopped at several possibilities, but they were all switching over to lunch and would not be serving that until 11. Much earlier that morning, like 6 am, we had split a bagel and a banana. We were starving and starting to snipe at each other as we were looking for food.



    We crossed over to California Adventure (that’s when the CM made the rude comment to me)



    We went to whatever that Starbucks place calls itself and found the perfect snack, a roast beef sandwich with fruit and an orange juice. $15.39



    It hit the spot and all was well. As I looked around, I noticed how much this area resembles “Dee’s Corner” so I had to take a picture.







     
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    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    World of Color



    As I mentioned in a previous comment, during the offseason there are not many nighttime spectaculars at Disneyland. On the weekends there are fireworks shows at MK, but we were there Monday to Wednesday. Mickey’s Mix Magic, a castle projection and light show took place on Monday night, but we were too tired after our early morning and traveling day, so I just watched the lights in the sky from our room.



    We had a Fast Pass for World of Color on Tuesday night, but after being in the queue for Rise of the Resistance for 3 hours, when we got out at 7:30, we were too tired to go.



    We had a Fast Pass for Wednesday night as well. I found a place in the reserved area to watch that had a clear view. I thought I was clever to park myself behind a couple who were both in wheelchairs until the actual show started and the guy miraculously rose from his wheelchair to film the show. I did manage a peephole, although a lot of my pictures have pictures of his phone, but then I got a better view towards the end of the show when the guy’s battery gave out and he stopped taping.



























     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Disneyland Hotel



    On our previous visit to DL in 2014 with Nate & Ben, we stayed at the Grand Californian Hotel. This time, Mark and I decided to try out the Disneyland Hotel.



    We like to have the early entry privileges to the theme parks and we REALLY like being able to walk to the parks. The early entry benefit was somewhat diminished with the procedure getting a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance. We did go to California Adventure on Wednesday morning when it opened at 8 am. We rode Radiator Spring Racers, but then decided to go over to Disneyland at 8:30 so we could (successfully) get a boarding group for Rise.











    When we arrived to the hotel around 1 pm, the line of people to check in was huge! We decided to come back later, so we gave our bags to bell services and went right to Disneyland.



    That proved to be a mistake. BIG mistake. Because when we returned later that afternoon, the line was even longer. People who worked for AMC Theaters were having a convention and they were all checking in. We stuck it out in line and eventually made it to the desk.



    We had a balance due of 2 nights and I wanted to use 2 $500 gift cards I had purchased through a discount promotion at BJ’s. The guy at the desk said I couldn’t prepay, I would have to wait until checkout (note: the next morning I went to the front desk when it was not busy and it was no problem prepaying the balance)



    The lobby there, in the Fantasy Tower, has super cute tea cup seats.









    There were often characters walking through. While waiting in line, we said hello to Goofy, high-fived Chip and Dale and I took a selfie with Minnie









    We were in the Adventureland Tower. The Jungle Cruise theming in the lobby of the tower was fun.











    Although not as impressive as the model of Big Thunder Mountain in the lobby area of the Frontierland Tower















    We were in Room 2541, which is on the 7th floor. We loved the décor and the view was spectacular.

















    There were a couple of really cute Mickey touches in the bathroom

















    The giant window looked out onto Downtown Disney. (Far) off to the left, we could see Galaxy’s Edge. The Matterhorn and Space Mountain were in view. At night, we saw Pixar Pier all lit up, especially when the wind was blowing the trees giving us a less obstructed view of Mickey’s Fun Wheel.



    It was beautiful at all times of day!



































    We spent a couple of hours on our last afternoon at the pool, lying in the sun and collecting Fast Passes through Max Pass. Some people were swimming, but it was a bit cool for our taste. The monorail slide was closed for renovation while we were there, but I believe it has reopened now.























     
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  • shoreward

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2014
    Following along.

    Your pictures are great - the nighttime shots are spectacular. They almost make me feel like I was there, too!

    I'm looking forward to Hawaii.
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Following along.

    Your pictures are great - the nighttime shots are spectacular. They almost make me feel like I was there, too!

    I'm looking forward to Hawaii.
    Oh, good, you found this! I was getting ready to give you the heads up and I just posted to the BC/YC FAQ.

    I'm working on a couple of updates on my October trip report, and then hope to get some Hawaii pictures posted.

    Thanks for your patience!!!

    :goodvibes
     

    shoreward

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2014
    Oh, good, you found this! I was getting ready to give you the heads up and I just posted to the BC/YC FAQ.

    I'm working on a couple of updates on my October trip report, and then hope to get some Hawaii pictures posted.

    Thanks for your patience!!!

    :goodvibes
    Found by accident, glancing at the list of new posts.
     
  • luvpoohandcompany

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    Great trip so far. Love the comparisons between DL and WDW - Radiator Springs looks amazing- makes me want to visit.
    Love the room and its view is just gorgeous. Not sure I’d have had the patience to wait 3 hours in line but it sounds like you loved the ride so I’m glad you had a good time and it was worth it for you. You got some lovely photos of too and Mark together 💕
     

    pepperandchips

    [melinda]
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2014
    I love your photos! It looks like a great trip. We stopped at Disneyland a few years ago on our way back from Hawaii to help with jet lag reset and loved it. We’re returning in April and I’m soaking up every bit of intel I can before we go. I look forward to seeing your Hawaii pictures too! We did Maui last year. Thank you for the report!
     

    Wood Nymph

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2012
    Hi Dee,

    I just found your TR. I haven't been on the Dis much this past week.

    I love reading about your DL trip. It is totally new territory to me. It is funny to see mountains in the background. ;)
    This picture from the train station looking towards Tower of Terror: Guardians of the Galaxy gives you an idea of just how close Disneyland and California Adventure are to each other.
    I know that it is considered two parks, but like Universal, the two separate park idea seems rather meaningless.
    We walked through Galaxy’s Edge on the first night of our trip here in California. GE is very impressive at night!
    It looks beautiful at night. I wish I had taken the time to see the WDW version at night. GE at WDW is very monochromatic in the daylight.
    Of course, things didn't go great for us when it came to ride. We were in CA when we got the push notification and had a FP for Guardians which we used first. (OMG, awesome, fun ride). Unfortunately about 20 min after getting into line for RotR, ride broke down. 3 attempted reboots and 3 hours later we finally rode.
    The breakdowns are very annoying and I am very glad that we were never trapped in line during a breakdown. All threes times that I rode RotR were in the afternoon and the ride was working just fine.
    We went to whatever that Starbucks place calls itself and found the perfect snack, a roast beef sandwich with fruit and an orange juice. $15.39
    That looks like a really nice meal. A good sandwich and some fruit is the perfect meal. :)
    I thought I was clever to park myself behind a couple who were both in wheelchairs until the actual show started and the guy miraculously rose from his wheelchair to film the show.
    I have stood behind wheelchairs and strollers for the same reason. What drives me crazy is when people stand right in front of the people who are sitting in the wheelchairs, completely blocking their views. People can be very inconsiderate.
    We like to have the early entry privileges to the theme parks and we REALLY like being able to walk to the parks. The early entry benefit was somewhat diminished with the procedure getting a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance.
    The RofR boarding group process throws off the entire day, imo.

    Did you have any jet lag the next day? I know you like to get up early in WDW, but that is the same time zone for you.
    We had a balance due of 2 nights and I wanted to use 2 $500 gift cards I had purchased through a discount promotion at BJ’s. The guy at the desk said I couldn’t prepay, I would have to wait until checkout (note: the next morning I went to the front desk when it was not busy and it was no problem prepaying the balance)
    It is inconceivable to me that they wouldn't let you pay down your balance ahead of time.
    We were in Room 2541, which is on the 7th floor. We loved the décor and the view was spectacular.
    The view is great.
    Does that room have two connecting doors?
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Great pics Dee! Sounds like you and hubby had a great time! Very cool that you got to ride RotR twice!!
    We had a really nice trip. It was much different from our last trip with the boys where we had to compromise about what to do with 4 people who don't always have the same priorities.

    We enjoyed our 2nd ride a lot more. We were toast after the first time from being stuck in line for 3 hours.

    :darth:


    Great trip so far. Love the comparisons between DL and WDW - Radiator Springs looks amazing- makes me want to visit.
    Love the room and its view is just gorgeous. Not sure I’d have had the patience to wait 3 hours in line but it sounds like you loved the ride so I’m glad you had a good time and it was worth it for you. You got some lovely photos of too and Mark together 💕
    It is really fun experiencing the differences in the rides, but it is very disorienting getting around because rides and attractions aren't where we expect them to be.

    :confused3

    Sounds like a great trip! I so want to go to Disneyland some day- after over 20 trips to Disney World!
    DL is definitely a different, but not too different, experience. I hope you do get a chance to go sometime.

    ::yes::


    I love your photos! It looks like a great trip. We stopped at Disneyland a few years ago on our way back from Hawaii to help with jet lag reset and loved it. We’re returning in April and I’m soaking up every bit of intel I can before we go. I look forward to seeing your Hawaii pictures too! We did Maui last year. Thank you for the report!
    Thank you so much. Maybe we should have done this the other way, because jet lag hit us pretty bad this time.

    Where did you stay in Maui? What were some of the things you did?

    :beach:
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Hi Dee,

    I just found your TR. I haven't been on the Dis much this past week.

    I love reading about your DL trip. It is totally new territory to me. It is funny to see mountains in the background. ;)
    Well, you have been busy the past week!

    I didn't know that you haven't visited DL. Hope you make it there sometime. It was fun for us to compare the differences in the parks and the rides. And yes, the terrain is MUCH different from flat Florida.

    I know that it is considered two parks, but like Universal, the two separate park idea seems rather meaningless.
    Yes, it is more like 1 large park instead of 2 medium sized ones. They really are close together.

    :crowded:

    It looks beautiful at night. I wish I had taken the time to see the WDW version at night. GE at WDW is very monochromatic in the daylight.
    The colors in GE were awesome at night. And it seemed much brighter than I remember what it is like in Pandora at night.

    The breakdowns are very annoying and I am very glad that we were never trapped in line during a breakdown. All threes times that I rode RotR were in the afternoon and the ride was working just fine.
    Do you know if the ride consistently goes down at WDW these days? There was predictably at least one breakdown per day in DL, at least up through the time we rode. I am kicking myself a little bit- After we were called, we chose to ride Guardians of the Galaxy before going back to DL. If we had gone immediately, I think we would have missed that breakdown.

    But have I mentioned that Guardians of the Galaxy is awesome???


    That looks like a really nice meal. A good sandwich and some fruit is the perfect meal. :)
    The snack really helped tide us over until an early lunch. The hangries were setting in.


    The RofR boarding group process throws off the entire day, imo.

    Did you have any jet lag the next day? I know you like to get up early in WDW, but that is the same time zone for you.
    We never recovered from the jet lag. We were waking up by 4-5 am during our time in California and had trouble sleeping later than 3-4 am while in Hawaii. I'm not sure we have caught up on sleep since coming home.

    :cat:


    It is inconceivable to me that they wouldn't let you pay down your balance ahead of time.
    It was super busy at check-in with the people from the AMC Theaters conference at the same time and the CM who was waiting on us just didn't want to deal with it. The next morning, when it was quiet in the lobby, we had no problem at all paying off our balance ahead of time.

    Gave us something to do in the morning while we waited for a breakfast place to open up.

    The view is great.
    Does that room have two connecting doors?
    The view was fantastic. Loved looking out to see what was going on, and being able to see DTD, some of DL and some of CA right from the room.

    Yes, two connecting doors. The one behind the chair was unexpected. But we didn't have any issues with noise from our neighbors on either side, fortunately.

    BUT there was a stage not far below our window where nighttime musical performances were held. We could hear that and one night it went on pretty late (9:30 pm, LOL). The music selections were good, but we were tired!

    ::yes::
     
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    pepperandchips

    [melinda]
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2014
    Where did you stay in Maui? What were some of the things you did?
    We stayed near the Maalaea harbor in a condo rental - we weren't in the thick of the tourist attractions but the condo was perfect for our budget and we actually found Maalaea to be a perfect central location for us - easy to drive over to Haleakala, Lahaina, or a quick zip over to Kihei for dinner. We did sunset at Haleakala, the road to Hana, a few beach days to experience Kaanapali and Wailea, and my top favorite experiences were a whale watching tour (we went in December) and the Feast at Lele dinner show. Life got in the way and I still haven't finished up my TR, but I did get most of it posted here if you'd like to relive Hawaii with some photo touring: https://www.disboards.com/threads/big-update-5-13-maui-christmas-a-tr-of-our-return-to-aulani-and-first-visit-to-maui.3729422/

    UGH I just realized half of my pictures disappeared from my TR!!! Oh no! Now I will have to fix it before I can finish up... :sad:
     

    Wood Nymph

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2012
    Do you know if the ride consistently goes down at WDW these days?
    The RotR ride at WDW still goes down, but it is random. Some days they get through a lot of boarding groups and some days have a lot of problems. It seems as if the ride goes down the most in the morning and is more dependable in the afternoons. When I had boarding group 10, which was one of the first ones called, I was glad that the ride was down when I went to ride it. I was then able to ride it anytime I wanted to, which was perfect for me. :)
    We never recovered from the jet lag. We were waking up by 4-5 am during our time in California and had trouble sleeping later than 3-4 am while in Hawaii. I'm not sure we have caught up on sleep since coming home.
    When we went to Hawaii we would wake up around 4 - 4:30am and be dead tired by 8pm. The hard part was that it was still dark that early in the morning. I was glad that we had a condo so we could make breakfast since none of the restaurants opened until 7am. We had condos for all but the very first trip. Condos were great.
     

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