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A Disney Dream Cruise

Updated on October 18, 2014

Cruising on the Disney Dream

On February 21, 2013 I boarded the Disney Dream for a 3 night cruise with my husband and our 11 year old daughter. My husband had been on a (non-Disney) cruise before but my daughter and I had not.

This was also my first experience as a Disney Vacation Club member. We'd been going to Walt Disney World every year since my daughter was 4 1/2, and last year we finally decided to join. We heard great things about Disney cruises so we used up our points for the year (plus some extra) and booked a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah.

The cruise departed from Port Canaveral, which is about 1 hour East of Walt Disney World resort in Florida. We sailed to Nassau Bahamas, Disney's private island Castaway Cay (also in the Bahamas), and back up to Port Canaveral.

Welcome Aboard the Disney Dream

Boarding began at 1:00, but we had a long drive from the Sarasota area so we chose a 2:00 boarding time. We arrived at Disney's Terminal 8, unloaded our luggage, and parked on site. (You can reserve a spot and pay in advance at Make sure you keep anything you need for the next few hours separate from the luggage you hand them. You won't know when it will be delivered to your room.

At the terminal there were 2 lines. One was quite long, but we were directed to another door which had no wait at all. Right through security we walked to the lobby and up to the main desk. We showed them our passports and since we had completed the online check-in there wasn't much else to do. We were given our room keys and room number. Then it was off to another short line for a family photo and then through the ship entrance. They announce your family name and welcome you on board.

Your Room Key

Every member of your party gets a Key to the World Card. These are your room keys. You can tie them to a credit card for on-board purchases as well. Not to worry, you can decide which cards have that privilege if you want to prevent your kids from going on a surprise spending spree. ;)

You'll need to place a key in a slot inside your stateroom to activate the electricity. Don't forget it's there when you leave the room.

Info printed on the card includes the dates of your trip, the ship name, your name, adult or minor indication, your location for the safety drill (ours was the giant M), and your dinner schedules; seating time, restaurant order, and table number.

Our Stateroom

Once we boarded we stood in the lobby taking it all in, then we went off to our room to settle in.

We were in Stateroom #9168, Deck 9, aft, port side. The room was about 203 sq. ft. with a 43 sq. ft. balcony. For our family of 3 the room was a nice size and had plenty of storage space.

In photo on the top left you see the queen-size bed with 2 small side tables, a cabinet, 3 drawers, two wardrobes, and the the split bathroom. The top right pic shows the opposite side of the room with a convertible sofa bed, Pullman style bunk bed, a storage trunk/table, desk, chair, and balcony with two chairs and a side table. The room also has a refrigerator, 22" LCD flat-screen television, room phone, portable "wave phones", iPod docking station, hair dryer, and in-room safe. There are lots of nooks & crannies to hide stuff away and once you've unpacked your suitcases they fit nicely under the bed.

The bathroom interiors are below. The space on the left includes a sink, vanity and toilet. On the right a sink, vanity, tub & shower. It also has a full length mirror on it's door. My husband was wishing they were one large room instead of two small ones, but I liked it this way.

Balcony View

Since our room was toward the back of the ship, high up, and since the boat is so large we didn't feel much movement in our room. The first night I could feel us moving a bit, but by the second night I couldn't notice it anymore. I'm someone who gets very motion sick. This one one of the reasons we chose a 3 night cruise. I was worried about seasickness. I took one Bonine tablet a day and was fine the whole trip. I never felt sick on board. The only negative thing about our room location was the walking distance. The corridors are LONG and we were almost at the very back of the ship.

Dinners on the Disney Dream

One of my favorite things about the cruise was the dinners. :)

There are three main restaurants that you rotate through during your stay. Each with a different theme. You have the same table number and servers, and sit with the same guests each night. I was worried about having the same servers at first since there was a little language barrier when we met. The staff comes from all over the world and some have stronger accents than others, and some aren't as comfortable with English. My husband is gluten free and explaining that to someone who's first language is Spanish was interesting. I had no reason to worry though. Our serving team was wonderful and so sweet. I looked forward to seeing them each night. Alex Perdomo was our Assistant Server. He always had fun puzzles and tricks to show the kids, and he always had a smile on his face. Zdravko Hucika was our Server and he was always ready with recommendations. If you couldn't decide between two items he'd bring you both. :) He was a lot of fun too. They both got the hang of my husband's dietary needs and took great care of him.

The first night we ate at Enchanted Garden. This restaurant is on Deck 2, Midship, and the design is meant to remind you of picturesque gardens of Versailles, France. With the green and floral theme I expected Princess Tiana to walk by (there were no characters at the meal). The Enchanted Garden serves "Market-inspired Continental" cuisine. I had the North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli for an appetizer, a Romaine Wedge salad, Grilled NY Strip Steak, and a Banana Foster Sundae for dessert. You can look over the menu at

The second night we had dinner at Royal Palace. This restaurant is on Deck 3, Midship. They serve French-inspired continental cuisine. It's a beautiful restaurant with marble floors and sparkling chandeliers. The most elegant of the 3 and fit for any princess. Alex had gluten-free bread ready for my husband without being asked. I chose Belle's French Onion Soup, Baked Farm-Raised Organic Chicken Breast (my favorite main dish of the trip), and a Strawberry Shortcake Sundae. has this menu as well.

The last night we were in Animator's Palate on Deck 3, Aft. This had the most relaxed atmosphere of the three restaurants and was the only one with entertainment during dinner. The Finding Nemo gang, led by Crush, makes appearances on screens all around the space. He interacts with the guests too. It's a fun dinner for the younger ones. Animator's Palate offers "contemporary Pacific Rim cuisine with an American flair". I had the Wild Mushroom Risotto and Porcini Twist (my favorite appetizer of the trip), Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup, and Lemon-thyme Marinated Organic Chicken Breast. I couldn't decide on a dessert so I got both the Sweet Temptations and the Cookies and Cream Sundae. Again, you can look over the menu at

Shows on the Disney Dream

My second favorite thing about the cruise was the shows. Every night there was a different Broadway style stage show in the ship's Walt Disney Theatre, Decks 3 & 4, Forward. There are two performances a day and you go to a certain show based on your family's mealtime. Folks who eat dinner at the first seating (5:45) go to the 8:30 pm show. This was our schedule and I like it this way. Those who eat dinner at the second seating (8:15) see the show first at 6:15.

Doors open 30 minutes before the show begins so get down there early if you want your pick of seats.

Thursday night we saw The Golden Mickeys. It's an awards ceremony/musical revue honoring different Disney characters for awards in categories of heroism, friendship, romance and more. There's also an interactive preshow for Red Carpet arrivals with young cruise guests getting interviewed just outside the theater with a live video feed showing inside.

Friday night we saw Villains Tonight. I thought this was on the cheesy side but my daughter liked it best. Hades, the villain from the movie Hercules, is the main character in the show. Worried about losing control of the Underworld, he visits the most powerful Disney Villains to help him regain his evilness.

Saturday night we saw Disney's Believe. This was my favorite of the 3. It's the story of Dr. Cornelius Greenaway, a botanist who is completely focused on his work, and his daughter Sophia who's birthday wish is for her father to believe all things magical. Familiar characters include Tinkerbell, Genie from Aladdin, Mary Poppins and more.

A Walt Disney Theatre Panorama

Planning Your Days

While on board there are SO many things happening at any hour of the day that it can be hard to choose, or even keep them all straight. There will be more that you miss, than you can experience. To help you decide and plan your day you receive a Personal Navigator for each day of your cruise. In this 6 page flyer you'll find family, adult, and youth activities, movies, deck events, character greetings, and port times all listed. There's even a TV Guide style insert breaking up everything by category and time.

Our first day went like this:

  • get onboard and unpack
  • look over the 1st Personal Navigator
  • go to the mandatory boat drill
  • look around the boat a bit
  • daughter and husband rode the AquaDuck
  • change for dinner
  • eat at Enchanted Garden
  • watch The Golden Mickey's
  • plan the next day
  • watch Wreck-It Ralph in 3D in the movie theatre
  • bed at 12:30

Second day:

  • wake up and get ready
  • have an early lunch at Flo's V8 Cafe
  • head off-ship to Nassau where we shopped, went to the Pirates of Nassau museum, and got ice-cream
  • back on the boat
  • change for dinner
  • eat at the Royal Palace
  • watch Villains Tonight
  • daughter and husband rode the AquaDuck
  • on Deck 12 for Buccaneer Blast Fireworks
  • had a late night snack at Cabanas
  • bed at 11:30

Third day:

  • wake up and get ready
  • daughter, husband, and I rode the AquaDuck
  • head off-ship to Castaway Cay
  • had lunch at Cookie's BBQ
  • looked around and relaxed on the beach
  • back on the boat
  • went to Disney Animaton: Creating a Character in the D Lounge
  • change for dinner
  • eat at the Animator's Palate
  • watch Disney's Believe
  • bought souvenirs
  • packed what we could
  • bed at 11:30

Fourth day:

  • wake up and get ready
  • finished packing
  • had breakfast at Cabanas
  • stopped by Shutters to buy a family portrait
  • got in the very long line to disembark the ship
  • then we hit the road for a few days at Walt Disney World!

Explore the Disney Dream

Book Your Own Disney Dream Cruise

Disney Cruise Line packages from Magical Vacation Planner.

Castaway Cay

This page isn't about Castaway Cay in particular, but it was our second Port of Call and it is owned by Disney so I'll include this map of the island. Like the cruise ship there was a lot offered that we weren't able to do. The best part was relaxing and enjoying the beautiful weather. The water is cold in February though.

Disney Cruise Line Keepsakes

Mickey Mouse Pillow Plush - Disney Cruise line


Stuffed Mickey by day, pillow by night!
14" H x 18" W (excluding head)

Mickey Mouse
Disney Cruise Line Towel

100% cotton towel with DCL screen art.
34" x 64"

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    • profile image

      dilipchandra12 lm 

      6 years ago

      Wow great lens, its nice. I really enjoyed reading the same.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love Disney :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      wow... It's great

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Well done! Disney is a great cruise line! I use to work for one that was the two day cruise out of Palm Beach, Disney is probably one of the best bang for your buck when it comes to cruises!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Your cruise brings back wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Looks like you all had a great time. This is a very good lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • accfuller profile image


      6 years ago

      What a great lens! This is one of my bucket list items. I gave you a squid-like and a g+1 ... :)

    • BowWowBear profile image


      6 years ago

      I love Cruises! My wife and I did Alaska with Princess for our honeymoon and had the very best time! Thanks for sharing. You provided a very good idea of what to expect with Disney!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I Been on this cruise the first year it came into service.You got all the information here.Good job in doing this lens.Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Years ago, I was in the hotel business. I remember well how Disney was considered to be the "gold standard" in the hospitality industry. We even used training videos to teach our employees The Disney Way. I've never been on a Disney cruise, but I'm not surprised to read that they do such a great job. Visiting this lens today makes me want to go on one of their cruises.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      6 years ago from Albany New York

      Excellent review and you really went over all aspects and was very thorough. My husband and I did a Disney Cruise without children. I did a lens on that for seniors. Congrats on the Front Page!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      thank you so much for the lens, maybe one day i will try

    • AG 1984 profile image

      AG 1984 

      6 years ago

      Very nicely done . Enjoyed reading your lens!!!!

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 

      6 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      I've never been on a Disney cruise but I would love to take my grandchildren. What an awesome lens! Thanks for all the great info!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      thank you so much for the pics, this is the room we are staying in when we cruise in october....

    • Christene-S profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @TheObjectivist: I don't have any statistics on that, but I trust the Disney brand more than any other.

    • TheObjectivist profile image


      6 years ago

      Nicely Done ! With all of the news over the past couple of years with disasters at sea - Are the Disney cruises that much safer than the rest? I still have some fears. Great Lense !

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      So far, I've cruised 4 times with Disney and I love it. And guess what, the last time I went there, was on the Disney Dream on the cruise prior to yours, the one from February 17th to 21st ^_^

    • criysto lm profile image

      criysto lm 

      6 years ago

      Great lens, I'm really hoping to be able to go one day!

    • WordChipper profile image


      6 years ago

      We've been on a few cruise vacations but never with Disney. Maybe next time.

    • renagirl profile image


      6 years ago

      wonderful lens always wanted to go on a cruse maybe i will soon

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great lens, maybe one day i will try to take a cruise in disney

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like your lens it is interesting.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image

      Glenda Motsavage 

      6 years ago from The Sunshine State

      Awesome lens - felt like I was right there with you! I'm a Disney fanatic myself. Living in Florida for the past 12 years, we have our Annual Passes and use them regularly. You will not regret your Disney Vacation Club Membership - it's a great investment for your family! Congrats on the well-deserved Purple Star and Home Page honors!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love your lens. Congratulations on getting the Purple Star for this beauty! Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I wish to have a journey with this cruise someday.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is awesome. I wish I have a chance to go on board as well. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      awesome journey with this cruise

    • RitaAnne profile image


      6 years ago

      This is awesome!... I have never been on a cruise ship before... but now I will definitely add it to my dream vacation list... Thanks for sharing your experience on the cruise :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i want to go on a cruise and sail i feel creative

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 

      6 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      Sounds like it was all over too soon!

    • SeriousWanderlust profile image


      6 years ago

      I can't wait to go on a disney cruise!!!

    • worldflashpacker profile image


      6 years ago

      Didn't know you could do a Disney cruise in Europe, looks a dream cruise.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I was on the Disney Magic two years ago on an 11 day cruise in Europe. Had a fantastic time!

    • eilval profile image


      6 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Great holiday destination and so much fun !

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow this is great, I mean the ship, the view, the rooms. Everything is awesome, thank you for sharing this lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi there...this is really interesting lens

    • chocochipchip profile image


      6 years ago

      woww! it looks so beautiful both on the outside and inside! wish i had a chance to be on it once! <3

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The kids will truly love this !!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The Balcony view is very nice one.

    • step2mai profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow i will be taking my son on this one.

    • toldyaso lm profile image

      toldyaso lm 

      6 years ago

      Okay, I've been feeling kind of iffy about taking a cruise, since all the mess that's gone on with Carnival, but your photos make me want to take one. A Disney cruise looks SO fun! Your pictures are beautiful and your lens compels me to book a cruise. Great job!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You would think you would get bored on a cruise but I absolutely love them. There's so much to do, even if it is to catch up on some R&R!

    • davidtrust profile image


      6 years ago

      I've thought about the Disney vacation club. Seems like a pretty good deal

    • Bonfire Designs profile image

      Bonfire Designs 

      6 years ago

      Sounds so wonderful, would love to do this some day!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi there...this is really interesting lens. Looks like an exciting vacation idea. Thanks for the lens. :)

    • GardenerDon profile image

      Gardener Don 

      6 years ago

      We took our first cruise on a Holland America ship. I recall saying to my wife that we were the babies on the ship (& we're 60!!), maybe we should have picked a Disney Cruise to get some balance!!! It was a great cruise though, but I guess we should have done some more research, Holland America seems to cater more to the older crowd.

    • Christene-S profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @CyberPappy: LOL

    • CyberPappy profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow, sounds fun. Wish I had the $$ or the time. Glad you didn't choose a Carnival cruise. ;-)

    • blue22d profile image


      6 years ago

      What a dream vacation! Would love to do it but short the funds. Great lens.

    • Wendy Leanne profile image

      Wendy Leanne 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Awesome information. Thank you for this. We are saving up to take a Disney vacation next year. We're trying to decide between going on the Cruise or going to Disney World. I'm going to share this with my husband. It will help us decide what's best for our kiddos since we don't know anyone that's been on the cruise ship yet.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, good idea to have such cruise

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great resource for insight and planning! Thanks for sharing!

    • Niagara Ghosts profile image

      Niagara Ghosts 

      6 years ago

      Looks like a great time!

    • NightMagic profile image


      6 years ago

      Unbelievable, what a gorgeous looking ship. If I had kids, I would go on a Disney Cruise. Sounds like you had a lot of fun.

    • Christene-S profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @MusicMadness LM: Au contraire. How old are your kids? There's a whole teens-only lounge for 14 to 17 year olds, and plenty of spaces for 18+.

    • MusicMadness LM profile image

      MusicMadness LM 

      6 years ago

      Wow, that looks like some great family times you had. We thought about the Disney cruise when the kids were younger, but they're a bit too old for it now. Have to settle for our little 30 foot sailboat in the summer;)

    • EdTecher profile image

      Heidi Reina 

      6 years ago from USA

      Just got back from the Bahamas - I prefer to fly. Beautiful, and the Disney ship pulling in was impressive. I'm glad you had such a great time.

    • InfoCoop profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful details and great photos! Disney cruises are incredible.

    • LluviaDeArte profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens-looks super fun ! Thank you for sharing your adventure!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I had some friends that did a Disney cruise in Europe.. :)

    • EllieHarper profile image


      6 years ago

      Great info for people thinking of taking a Disney cruise. Thanks

    • jolou profile image


      6 years ago

      I haven't been on a Disney cruise, but took a Celebrity cruise to Alaska. I love cruising, the food and entertainment are wonderful, and they stop at interesting places. It's definitely the way to travel.

    • Michelllle profile image


      6 years ago

      I have always been concerned about motion sickness too. Nice to know you were OK.

    • alina nicoleta92 profile image

      alina nicoleta92 

      6 years ago

      wow, I will definitely go on a trip like that.

    • JeffGilbert profile image


      6 years ago

      I went on a cruise last year and it was great, the Disney is something I'm considering for the future. Great lens!!

    • Paul Hill84 profile image

      Paul Hill84 

      6 years ago

      That looks amazing! Simba is my all time favourite Disney Character...Great Lens

    • ladyyummy profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh boy, that looks soooo much fun. The bathroom looks neat! I hope I get to go do that someday with my future family :D

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 

      6 years ago

      Wow, talk about a floating city. That's incredible!

    • nicenet profile image


      6 years ago

      It's good to enjoy life and take advantage of every opportunity.

    • DvdMovieGirl profile image


      6 years ago

      Lovely lens, I have never been on a cruise but I am tempted now!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i really want to go somewhere on that cruise

    • lisln profile image


      6 years ago from Denver Colorado

      I never been on a cruise maybe someday. Beautiful pictures!

    • CamelliaPenny profile image


      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Great lens!! I love cruising, have cruised from Port Canaveral many times, and would love to experience a Disney cruise. You have made me feel like I was there with you! We have considered it several times, and may finally go this year, if I can convince my husband. He has never cruised before. :)

    • nick-gondoras profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow love the play by play of the whole experience

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've always wanted to go on a cruise

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice and awesome cruise.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Enjoyed going through this lens.Thanks for sharing it.

    • PinkstonePictures profile image


      6 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

      Great lens and lovely pictures. Looks like you had a great time. I've always been interested about the seasickness problem and whether you would feel the motion as that's something that has always stopped me going on one of these cruises. A three day test cruise sounds idea. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • street2linen profile image


      6 years ago

      I've always wanted to go on a cruise. Once I have the money, I'll definitely go for sure!

    • Christene-S profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @ChrisLdn: Tons of characters for photos & autographs:Mickey MouseMinnie MouseDonald DuckDaisy DuckGoofyPlutoChip & DaleLilo & StitchArielAuroraBelleCinderellaSnow WhiteTianaTinkerbellPeterpanCaptain HookSmeeJack SparrowPlus many, many more in the shows.

    • ChrisLdn profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't know if this has been mentioned before but were there many, if any, characters on board? I've been reluctant to try a Disney Cruise because it doesn't seem quite as "magical" as going to Disney World. It does sound fun though, I've been on two non-Disney cruises and I loved them both!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      6 years ago from USA

      So nice that you could all go on this trip. I'm sure it will leave you with fine memories.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This looks absolutely amazing!

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 

      6 years ago

      great lens, thanks for sharing...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've been very reluctant to consider a cruise but I love Disney and you make it sound great. Thanks for all the detail!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I could enjoy this.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image


      6 years ago

      this one looks fun thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      bookmarked for my kid!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      6 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I would love to do this some day. My husband would like to cruise even more than I do! It's nice to see all the details.

    • LisaDH profile image


      6 years ago

      I'd love to take a Disney cruise some day!

    • Art Inspired profile image

      Art Inspired 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing a well written lens about your Disney adventure. Make it a great day!

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 

      6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      Thanks for sharing your experience. It sounds like things are very similar to the Royal Caribbean cruise we went on. We are headed for another Royal cruise next week. We are doing the 3 day to Bahamas from Port Canaveral and visiting with family in Florida before and after. I'm guessing now that you've had fun on a cruise you will be eager to go again.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh it was fun:)

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 

      6 years ago from US/TN

      I've never been on a cruise, but this one looks like fun!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Cruising is not possible for me now, but if I could, this is a super guide. Being from such a personal, step by step view, I can tell exactly what to expect. Enjoyed the presentation.

    • katiecolette profile image


      6 years ago

      How cool! I am hoping to go on a Disney cruise next year. Next month we are going on a Norwegian cruise to Bahamas :) Can't wait!

    • iamraincrystal profile image

      Rosyel Sawali 

      6 years ago from Manila Philippines

      Wow! This is my dream vacation! ^_^

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I used to go on lots of cruises with my parents when I was a teenager, and I had such a great time. And those were "old folks" kinda cruises, you might say. So I'm sure I'd have a great time on one of these! I love Disney and used to go there quite often when I lived in Florida. Actually, my fiancee and I are planning a Disney World trip for next year. Maybe I should "mention" the cruise idea too.

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 

      6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Looks like you enjoyed yourselfs on this cruise. I've never been on a cruise, I don't think it's really my thing, unless I can bring my fishing rod along LOL


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