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Best part of Busch Gardens Tampa's Howl-O-Scream?  Getting to ride all the coasters at night!!!  

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Not a whole lot of new information, but it's cool to finally have a name to call it, and know some official stats! As others have said repeatedly, this park is already awesome (my 3rd favorite park, currently), and they're about to get a world class RMC coaster that could very well be among the best 3 coasters in the world when all is said and done! It's really pretty mindblowing to think about, and that's not even touching on the fact that they're a definitely one of the few parks left that could legitimately get a Giga coaster in a few years! All of you who live down there, and get to go to this park on the regular are sure blessed, and I definitely think I'm going to try and bump up my next trip down with my kids to next year, instead of 2021, because I just can't wait to ride this thing!

 

As for the name, and apparent theme change, it absolutely is a little puzzling! While I LOVE going with a Crocodile theme, and also appreciate the tribute to Gwazi (which has always been a cool name), it does end up seeming kind of odd, given what Gwazi is supposed to refer to. Regardless of that, however, in the grand scheme of things, the colors are cool, the logo is cool, and I'm sure this thing is going to ride beyond cool, which relegates all of the name/theme issues to minor semantics, ultimately unimportant. Iron Gwazi is going to be a special coaster, at a special park, with a lot of other great coasters, rides, and attractions, not to mention the fantastic animals!

 

If you couldn't tell, I the SEAS parks, and BGT is my favorite! I'm rocking my Kumba shirt today to celebrate the exciting news! Hats off to BGT, for bringing us this addition, and I look forward to a POV, or at least a layout (like we've been given with Pantheon, Ice Breaker, and Texas Stingray) in due time, to fill in all the missing pieces currently!

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As for the name, and apparent theme change, it absolutely is a little puzzling! While I LOVE going with a Crocodile theme, and also appreciate the tribute to Gwazi (which has always been a cool name), it does end up seeming kind of odd, given what Gwazi is supposed to refer to. Regardless of that, however, in the grand scheme of things, the colors are cool, the logo is cool, and I'm sure this thing is going to ride beyond cool, which relegates all of the name/theme issues to minor semantics, ultimately unimportant. Iron Gwazi is going to be a special coaster, at a special park, with a lot of other great coasters, rides, and attractions, not to mention the fantastic animals!

 

Do we know if Gwazi is actually a real fable or did Busch Gardens just make it up? I tried Googling it and every single result brings back the coaster. If Busch did make it up, they're making their own rules here.

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^Exactly! I honestly don't know... It just seemed like a strange decision from a continuity standpoint (there's the writer/filmmaker in me flaring up!), but again, I like the end result, regardless of whatever Gwazi actually means!

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Do we know if Gwazi is actually a real fable or did Busch Gardens just make it up? I tried Googling it and every single result brings back the coaster. If Busch did make it up, they're making their own rules here.

 

That's a twist...

 

Yeah, so there's really no reason to ever look 6 pages into a google search, but if you search the word "gwazi," every single result on the first 6 pages (I'm not looking any further) uses the word in reference to the roller coaster. Absolutely nothing about African folklore.

 

Something even more fun to try, type "gwazi" into google translate. Translate the word from Swahili to English. According to google, it translates to "gum." That explains the purple track...

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Iron Gwazi looks fantastic, haters complaining about the name are dumb, and I can't wait to get back to BGT to ride this beast (and take the kids, this time!).

 

Asking the question since it seems to have been glossed over... the new waterslide? Solar Vortex? What exactly is a "dual tailspin" waterslide? Anyone know? Even the official site doesn't seem to have much info.

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Asking the question since it seems to have been glossed over... the new waterslide? Solar Vortex? What exactly is a "dual tailspin" waterslide? Anyone know? Even the official site doesn't seem to have much info.

WhiteWater and ProSlide seem to kind of have this back-and-forth where one company comes up with a new thing and the other puts their own spin on it.

 

In this case, the Tailspin is Whitewater's newest slide element that's kind of a mix between their Constrictor slide and Proslide's Flying Saucer. It's an open, very tight diving turn sized for large / long rafts.

 

AquaSphere-Tailspin-Rattler-Fusion-Waterslide-Whirlin-Waters-Adventure-Waterpark-North-Charleston-USA-1040x690.jpg

 

The above photo is from Whirlin' Waters in North Charleston, South Carolina. https://www.whitewaterwest.com/products/tailspin/

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Do we know if Gwazi is actually a real fable or did Busch Gardens just make it up? I tried Googling it and every single result brings back the coaster. If Busch did make it up, they're making their own rules here.

 

That's a twist...

 

Yeah, so there's really no reason to ever look 6 pages into a google search, but if you search the word "gwazi," every single result on the first 6 pages (I'm not looking any further) uses the word in reference to the roller coaster. Absolutely nothing about African folklore.

 

Something even more fun to try, type "gwazi" into google translate. Translate the word from Swahili to English. According to google, it translates to "gum." That explains the purple track...

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_legendary_creatures_(G)

Nothing on here either. So, it seems like a lot of enthusiasts are getting butt hurt over a name/mythical beast BGT MAY have completely made up. lol That is kinda hilarious to me.

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My god! An amazing park with an amazing coaster lineup keeps getting better. Can't wait to see the full POV and start hearing reviews next spring. We've already been planning a Florida trip for 2021. This makes me even more hyped.

 

Also, purple and green has always been one of my favorite color combinations so that will look great.

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91* on a 200+ foot drop with full length trains? I’m in disbelief. And I can’t wait.

Given the first drops on many of the RMCs are some of the most intense moments of airtime of any coasters, Iron Gwazi's drop should pack a PUNCH. I'm super into great drops (El Toro and Skyrush are some of my favorite coasters) so I'm super psyched about this facet of Iron Gwazi!

 

As for the name, and apparent theme change, it absolutely is a little puzzling! While I LOVE going with a Crocodile theme, and also appreciate the tribute to Gwazi (which has always been a cool name), it does end up seeming kind of odd, given what Gwazi is supposed to refer to. Regardless of that, however, in the grand scheme of things, the colors are cool, the logo is cool, and I'm sure this thing is going to ride beyond cool, which relegates all of the name/theme issues to minor semantics, ultimately unimportant. Iron Gwazi is going to be a special coaster, at a special park, with a lot of other great coasters, rides, and attractions, not to mention the fantastic animals!

Also, Iron Gwazi will be closest to the current location of the gators at the park. I wonder if they'll even relocate some of them even closer to the ride.

 

Do we know if Gwazi is actually a real fable or did Busch Gardens just make it up? I tried Googling it and every single result brings back the coaster. If Busch did make it up, they're making their own rules here.

 

That's a twist...

 

Yeah, so there's really no reason to ever look 6 pages into a google search, but if you search the word "gwazi," every single result on the first 6 pages (I'm not looking any further) uses the word in reference to the roller coaster. Absolutely nothing about African folklore.

 

Something even more fun to try, type "gwazi" into google translate. Translate the word from Swahili to English. According to google, it translates to "gum." That explains the purple track...

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_legendary_creatures_(G)

Nothing on here either. So, it seems like a lot of enthusiasts are getting butt hurt over a name/mythical beast BGT MAY have completely made up. lol That is kinda hilarious to me.

Yeah I did the same thing as you all and came up with only quotes about BGT. It is very curious. However, even if they made it up, they marketed it as meaning one thing and now will be marketing it as another thing. Not that the average parkgoer will remember/know/care.

 

And in a few weeks/months none of us will care either. A chunk of us will call it "IG", some of us just call it Gwazi, and someone will inevitably make an even worse pet name for the ride. I give it one more week.

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Asking the question since it seems to have been glossed over... the new waterslide? Solar Vortex? What exactly is a "dual tailspin" waterslide? Anyone know? Even the official site doesn't seem to have much info.

WhiteWater and ProSlide seem to kind of have this back-and-forth where one company comes up with a new thing and the other puts their own spin on it.

 

In this case, the Tailspin is Whitewater's newest slide element that's kind of a mix between their Constrictor slide and Proslide's Flying Saucer. It's an open, very tight diving turn sized for large / long rafts.

 

AquaSphere-Tailspin-Rattler-Fusion-Waterslide-Whirlin-Waters-Adventure-Waterpark-North-Charleston-USA-1040x690.jpg

 

The above photo is from Whirlin' Waters in North Charleston, South Carolina. https://www.whitewaterwest.com/products/tailspin/

 

 

I live in Charleston and have ridden this new slide many times. It is so much fun. When you take the turn it feels completely out of control.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last night TPR was invited to attend the opening night of Howl-O-Scream 2019 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. This year's theme is Twenty Years of Fear as the event celebrates its 20th season in Tampa. This year's event features six houses (five returning and one new), eight scare zones, one show plus the added benefit of having eight of the park's rides open to experience in the dark!

 

Howl-O-Scream has always been a unique favorite of mine when it comes to the Central Florida haunt scene. While Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando has built a reputation of scares based on immersive, movie-quality sets in their houses (many of which are based on popular horror properties), Busch Gardens has focus most specifically on making the most effective scares with what they have. Unlike some of the other haunts, the houses are not replaced annually, rather rotated in and out every few years, with the returning houses being regularly plussed year over year to make sure it isn't a straight repeat of the year prior's experience.

 

Time for a break down of the year's lineup:

 

The Residence: The one new house at Howl-O-Scream 2019, this one is built upon the former Demented Dimensions house and this was one of my favorites for the evening. As you roam this haunted home, you'll find that things are more than out of the ordinary... I really was impressed with how effective the scares were for this one!

 

The Black Spot - Bloodshed: Over in the back corner of Stanleyville by Tigris, this pirate-themed house returns for the second most well-themed house of the event (behind my personal favorite, Death Water Bayou). Taking advantage of the cavernous former queue of the African Queen Boat Ride, this house is filled with wrecked pirate ships and the maddened pirates who suffer from the Black Spot.

 

Simon's Slaughterhouse: This house debuted during last year's event, borrowing a bit of the former Zombie Containment Unit 15's concept of splitting groups up down different paths. Guests are herded into three different corrals at the entrance of the Slaughterhouse like cattle for the kill, sent down close but separate paths with individual scares along the way before regrouping parties roughly a third of the way through the house. From here it becomes a more traditional house, with scares at every turn. The wooden barriers the funnel you forward don't lend to overly detailed set pieces but once you exit the corral, you start to see the horrors of Simon's Slaughterhouse come to life... And take some away.

 

Motel Hell - Infestation: Always a solid house. This one leverages the phobias people have with hotels, so you know the inside won't be the cleanest... But what this house does well too is give you an experience of the insanity that fills the inside and the outside of a twisted motel.

 

Death Water Bayou - Wrath of the Queen: Consistently my favorite house year over year. This house is filled with detail starting with its outside, leading you into the bayous of New Orleans, where a decrepit house marks your entrance into the world of voodoo. You come in close contact with one of this year's icons, the voodoo queen early in the house and the scares consistently catch you off guard here. This is the house that features the annually-present spinning tunnel effect but other than that, there's little that you could find predictable in this house. Bungee jumping scare actors lunge at you from dark corners of the house and before you can respond they've already disappeared. The horror extends to the forested waters of the bayou, a haunted cemetery and to the backstreets of New Orleans. The detail in this house is rich--probably the closest house you'll find to Halloween Horror Nights-quality set design. There's nothing not to love about this one, and you'll likely find yourself convinced to revisit at least once more while at the event... I did.

 

Insomnia: Another new house from last year's event, this shocked me by how strong a concept Insomnia could be, considering the "Deconstruction" house that has been hosted in this location for many, many years before was so tired. Insomnia places you in the middle of a sleep therapy clinic where the patients have been overcome by their nightmare demons and lashed out at their doctors to run the clinic into madness. Mayhem ensues. The house teeters on true insanity as layers peel away from the clinic facade to reveal nightmarish hellscapes, monsters, a rabid sheep and patients who have gone off the rails. This house is peak Howl-O-Scream alongside Death Water Bayou.

 

As an aside, while all of Busch Gardens coasters are amazing, this was my first chance to experience Tigris... And man, did it thrill me. Admittedly this wasn't something I rushed over to the park to experience, but the triple launch, the unexpected airtime and the crazy hang time made this so much more fun than I expected. Operations were also on point, with an average dispatch time of 1 minute and 35 seconds from unload to dispatch.

 

Howl-O-Scream is worth the drive to Tampa, year over year. The houses continue to thrill, the already world-class lineup of rides are incredibly fun to ride at night and with scare zones filling the park, the scares don't end until you get to your car. Howl-O-Scream runs on select nights at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay between now and November 2nd. Do yourself a favor if you're a haunt fan... Check it out!

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Tonight we’re at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for the opening night of Howl-o-Scream!

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Work on the station and queue for Iron Gwazi is under way.

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This year marks Twenty Years of Fear at Howl-O-Scream, and with that many of the event's past icons have a presence during this year's event.

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Guests can enjoy liquor tastings throughout the park during Howl-O-Scream.

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Scares can be found everywhere throughout the event.

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Ran into some friends of TPR here tonight! Be sure to follow Super Enthused and Expedition Theme Park on Youtube. Great seeing you guys!

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I love that they consistently update the scare zone themes year over year.

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Death Water Bayou returns for another voodoo-filled run at Howl-O-Scream!

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Iron Gwazi is looking amazing already!

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Just look at this turn!

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I made a friend over at Death Water Bayou.

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Beware of the infected souls in the “Hell on Wheels” scare zone!

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I'm might be swooning a lot over this coaster.

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This certainly looks different than a few years ago.

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Excited to see what comes of this.

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Simon’s Slaughterhouse separates guests as they move through corrals towards their doom!

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I can't stop staring...

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Looks like we have an inversion incoming!

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Motel Hell returns for another great year.

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Cheetah Hunt is even more fun at night!

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These scare actors startle guests by sliding across the grounds of the park!

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Shots, anyone?

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Insomnia is the strongest maze to fill this space in years and it is great to see it return.

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Wait times for the coasters of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay are short during Howl-O-Scream so there is plenty of time for night rides!

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You never know when you could be caught off guard at Howl-O-Scream...

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Opportunities for scares are everywhere!

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Falcon's Fury is amazing, especially at night!

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Tigris is way bigger in person than I imagined...

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And this thing really flies!

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Time to take a ride on Tigris!

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Fiends, a @howloscream tradition returns...

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The show wouldn't be complete without its signature Naughty Nurses.

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Wanna play?

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Cheetah Hunt in the dark... I can't rave about it enough!

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It is never a bad idea to take another night ride on Cobra’s Curse!

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Just so much fun!

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Dia de los Muertos is a new scare zone for the year.

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There are some really cool projections running at the entrance of the park.

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The Voodoo Queen from Death Water Bayou roams the entrance of the park.

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This was a nice, new touch.

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Time for some photos from inside of the houses and scare zones!

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Meat Market is a perfect lead up scare zone to Simon's Slaughterhouse.

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Here is the point at which you get separated from into different corrals in Simon's Slaughterhouse.

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Leaving so soon from Hotel Hell?

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I ran into a few of the infected in Hell on Wheels...

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Hell on Wheels has lots of kinetic energy.

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Dia de los Muertos has some neat elements to it...

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Over by Cheetah Hunt you can find a zombie dance party.

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Insomnia features some fantastic practical effects.

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This demonic sheep is one of my favorite elements of the house!

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And some great scares too!

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Little Nightmares sees demonic toys come to life...

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The horror is real.

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Drop in for a ride or two while you're here...

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What a perfect moment captured inside of The Residence.

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The Black Spot is filled with fun details.

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Up close and personal...

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That wraps up our awesome time experiencing the opening night of Howl-O-Scream! Be sure to check out the event between now and November 2nd to experience what 20 Years of Fear has brought to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay!

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I always found Howl-o-Scream to be my favorite haunt in Florida. Horror Nights is really great - but it seems like there is more of a passion for the event at Busch Gardens and that they try harder.

 

David

 

Yeah that's pretty much my take, I like both events for different reasons but HoS is just so much fun. I

m bummed I can't make it down this year but next year after Iron Gwazi opens makes it a can't miss for me.

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I'm heading down to Busch Gardens in a couple weeks to check out Howl O Scream for the first time and seeing these photos makes me even more excited! Busch Gardens is one of my favorite parks so I can not wait.

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I'm looking forward to visiting Tampa's Howl-o-Scream for the first time in years this October. I liked it back then, and it looks good now.

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I just visited HOS for my first time this past weekend. It was a nice haunt! The design reminds me of a lower budget Knott's, but that's not a bad thing. The bungee scares really got me.

 

Did Fright Feast, and didn't know there was entertainment there! But I had to say, the food wasn't that great. But it was nice to have FOL for the first hour... we got all 6 mazes done!

 

Only other complaint (aside from the not-so-great food at Fright Feast) was the the lines for the rides were actually pretty long. Fury said it was 15 min and the queue was barely half full, but it took 45 minutes due to extremely slow ops. They'd let people exit and have the ride sit there empty for literally 2 minutes for no visible reason before letting on the next group. I don't understand why they don't have a single rider line for that.

 

The line for Cheetah was 60, and Cobra was 70. We got on a lot faster, and we realized after the fact that we had honestly, completely accidentally, gotten into the Express line and no one told us we were in the wrong queue. Kinda felt bad, but even the express line took 20 minutes. This was on a Saturday night, so I guess I should have expected longer lines, but based on what everyone else was saying, I thought the lines would be a lot less.

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So is there any information or speculation on whether the lift hill will be wood or steel? It looks like they're basically going to build it from scratch so it would be nice if it was steel. Personally, I love the way Zadra's lift hill looks.

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