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Wow! I am loving this trip report. I especially enjoyed the Stonewall Jackson and Civil War photos. As a history person I have been trying to get out and visit all of the battlefields. In the last few months I have been able to see Gettysburg as well as Fort Sumter and all of Charleston. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

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Wow! I am loving this trip report. I especially enjoyed the Stonewall Jackson and Civil War photos. As a history person I have been trying to get out and visit all of the battlefields. In the last few months I have been able to see Gettysburg as well as Fort Sumter and all of Charleston. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

 

No problem! i’ve been to Gettysburg and it is absolutely incredible. I have yet to have been to Fort Sumter but in due time I will get there.

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You did the Louisville visit right! I did just about the same trip a month ago and I agree with everything you said. Food and drinks are way above average, the Slugger Museum is great, KK is a quirky park with some stellar rides. Glad you enjoyed your time there!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry everyone, I’ve been very busy lately but here is the next update of the thread....The place we all know and love...Dorney Park!

 

Yes it has a stagnate coaster lineup but I head back every year because Talon is worth the 90 min drive as well as Waffle House which is 20 min from the park. I know we always joke about Dorney being empty but this was the absolute most empty I have ever seen it. It was a rainy Wednesday in July and the place was a ghost town. Anyway, Im not gonna sit here and go super in-depth over Dorney so....Enjoy the photos.

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They really trimmed Thunderhawk to death. Not a fan.

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I do love Steel Force’s sign, very classic.

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Talon at the entrance. The place was so empty the let us park for free and only one entrance gate was open.

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Talon was running like its normal, great self.

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Demon Drop is still scary as sh*t.

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Everything was a walk on.

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Standard Steel Force shot.

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The best part of Hydra is it being photogenic. The next part of the update is Disney’s Magic Kingdom so stay tuned!

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This is what it looked like the entire visit.

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Nice little update!

 

I know we all joke around about Dorney being empty all the time (and I witnessed it for myself a couple years ago), but I'm curious why. Why is the park always such a ghost town? Why does Hershey, Knoebels, SFGAdv and others always get crowds but Dorney doesn't?

 

Sorry if that's a silly question, but I'm genuinely curious.

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Okay everyone, welcome to the largest installment of this trip report. Yes it is the place we all know and love...Disney World. I know, I know, it has been reported on so many times before but I have to say my piece because this was my first time at Disney in 18 years. For those of you that can count 18 years is a pretty long time. Yes, the classics I remember from my childhood are still there but a lot of attractions were brand new to me. I'm glad I got to experience Disney World as an adult because I have to say that it is one hell of a place. Everything is efficient and so well done, the food is amazing as well. The only complaint I had was not on Disney itself which was the tourists who have absolutely no idea what they're doing. It is annoying when a group of 10 stops in the mid-way to chat and look like at a map. Common sense tells you to move over to the side so nobody walks into you but I know that is lacking these days. Anyway lets get on with the show!

 

We arrived at our resort, Swan and Dolphin mid-afternoon. My family and I were staying in the Dolphin portion of the resort and I have to say I was immediately impressed. It was clean with plenty of amenities, restaurants and five pools. The grotto pool was clearly the most attractive with two hot tubs and a waterfall. That night we got ready and made our way over to Disney Springs. Disney Springs to me was a giant outdoor mall (like Short Hills) if you live in the New York/NJ area. Either way it was impressive. My family had dinner reservation at Bongo's which is a Cuban restaurant for those that are unaware. I had the slow roasted pork with a traditional Mojito, both were delicious. It was cool having the Mojito with sugar cane in it.

 

After our night as Disney Spring', Thursday morning was our first day of parks which started with none other than Magic Kingdom. I remember bits and pieces of Magic Kingdom as a kid but man, did it blow me away this time. At this age, now being an enthusiast for 15 years, I really got to appreciate it. There was not one ride that let me down in the theming and quality department, every ride was immersive. Dinner that night was Liberty Tree Tavern which was an awesome family style dinner, I would recommend to anyone going to Magic Kingdom. Also don't forget to grab yourself a Dole Whip while you're there (I had about 4 the entire trip). Lets get on to the rides:

 

Space Mountain 3x - This ride can be summed up in two words: Classic Fun. Space Mountain doesn't blow you away with size or speed but it will crush you in the fun department. The pitch black of the ride building really enhances how fast you are going. The speed with short sudden drops really makes for an amazing experience. I was laughing the entire time.

 

People Mover 1x: Anybody that has ridden it knows....You just gotta do it. It's a nice classic ride to relax on.

 

Carousel Of Progress 1x: A dated, but classic Disney ride. It was hilarious how the timeline jumps 60 years from the 1940's to the new millennium even though the last part was originally the 80's because of their clothing.

 

Monsters Inc 1x: This attraction was so-so. It is great for kids so I give Disney credit for that. The first act which consisted of the geography schtick really did have me laughing.

 

Splash Mountain 2x: This probably was my second favorite ride, if not my favorite of the entire trip. I really really loved this ride. Song of the South is a great movie with a tumultuous past. Even though younger generations can't experience the movie, its legacy and music lives on in this ride. The ride itself consists of numerous drops and show rooms, don't miss it!

 

Pirates of the Caribbean 2x: Another classic, I loved this ride as a kid and still love it now even though a lot has changed with it over the years. It is amazing how large the show building is, you really feel like you're outside at some points.

 

Hall of Presidents: As a history teacher this was another incredible experience not to be missed if you're into this sort of thing. I love that Disney had such a passion for American History and it shows throughout the parks.

 

Small World 1x: You have to do it if you go to Disney no matter how annoying it is. My GOD do they beat that song into your head.

 

Haunted Mansion 2x: I love this ride...Even after all these years the special effects are very solid. The ball room scene still gets me every time! A true classic.

 

Big Thunder Mountain 1x: A fun little mine train that has some great laterals. My restraints were a little loose so I was also catching some air and being thrown around.

 

I also rode Seven Dwarfs Mine Train but that will be in the second part of the Magic Kingdom report...Thanks for reading...Next up will be MGM!

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The Boardwalk at night, its nice to drink a few beers and watch the boats go by.

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The front of the resort....Very nice!

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Splash Mountain...Truly one of my favorite rides out there. It combines fun, great theming and nostalgia for me.

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Iconic.

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Liberty Tree Tavern's awesome spread. Pork, Pot Roast, Turkey, Gravy, Cranberry, Stuffing, String Beans, Mac N Cheese and Mashed Potatoes...Whats not to like!

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Walking to Liberty Square from Tomorrowland I paid some respects to the man himself.

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First up was our fast pass on Space Mountain.

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Magic Kingdom's iconic entrance.

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The Hall of Presidents..They have some cool artifacts in the lobby...Plus air conditioning.

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And dessert was messed up! A fudge filled heath pastry with ice cream.

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Dolphin's beautiful lobby

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The Slow Roasted Pork with Plantains and Rice from Bongo's.

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A view of some of the complex.

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Main Street....When you turn the corner and see that castle...It really is awesome.

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Space Mountain's trains featuring my blurry finger...Enjoy!

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One more shot for good measure.

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Later on after Seven Dwarf's I got Dole Whip...Which was also very very good.

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The awesome looking grotto pool featuring the water fall.

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A shot of what walking into Tomorrowland is like.

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Waiting for the show to start!

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Goodnight Magic Kingdom.

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After seeing our presidents it was a time for some delicious chicken taco's at Peco's.

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Once lunch was over we all headed over to the Haunted Mansion for some frights.

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The wait was only around 30 minutes which was great.

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A train doing its thing. I having been to Sedona Arizona and doing the red rock tour, our guide as before creating the idea for this ride Disney imagineer's traveled to Sedona and used it for inspiration. I have to say they did a great job in capturing the look!

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Big Thunder Mountain was a lot of fun.

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Okay so after our endeavor to Magic Kingdom, the following day we headed out early to Disney's MGM Studios. The Swan & Dolphin offers boat transportation there and it provides a nice quick 5 min boat ride over. I have to say that our day at MGM was great, we arrived at opening and left a little bit before closing which allowed us to ride all the rides including Toy Story Mania and Slinky Dog Dash. As far as Toy Story Land goes, it is a wonderful addition and is a hit with all fans of the movies no matter what the age. MGM for me personally, is my second favorite Disney Park behind Magic Kingdom and the only other park I went back too during my stay besides Magic Kingdom. Dinner at the park that night was at 50's Prime Time Cafe which I enjoyed very much. I had a stuffed Pork Chop which was delicious, although I wish the portions were a bit larger. The drinks were reasonably priced and included cool glowing ice cubes. So, like I said, overall it was a really fun day so lets move on to the rides.

 

Rock N Rollercoaster 1x: Our first ride and fast pass of the day was the Vekoma Bowl launched themed to Aerosmith. I really enjoyed this ride. The theming and pre-show were very cool. I think my favorite part of the ride was the station and pre-launch were Disney designed it to feel like you were outside in a back ally. Besides that the actual special effects on the ride were a bit dated and the coaster itself is nothing to write home about but it was still very fun.

 

Toy Story Mania 1x: I'll be the first to tell you I'm not a huge 3-D/Shooter ride person but I really enjoyed this ride. The theming was so and I mean SO well done. Bravo to Disney for really doing the franchise justice. It is a must ride just to experience the ride queue.

 

Walt Disney, One Man's Dream: I know this isn't a ride but if they can squeeze it in I really suggest it. Disney was an amazing human being and the little museum along with the 15 minute film is a great way to learn about the man himself and cool off.

 

Indiana Jones: This show was pretty cool, even if it can be cheesy at certain points. I mean, who doesn't like seeing sh*t blow up?

 

Star Tours 1x: Dated is one word that comes to mind when riding this ride. I still enjoy it because it is Star Wars (Not the horrible new trilogy either). My one question is, does anyone else know how the ride jumps era's like it is nothing?

 

Tower of Terror 3x: This ride was an absolute home run for me and I am so thankful of finally being able to experience it after hearing about it from others for so man years. I am a huge Twilight Zone fan and I can say that the entire experience is so well done. It really makes you feel like you're taking part in the episode. As for the ride itself, that portion also kicks ass as well. I love how no two rides are the same so it keeps the experience fresh as you can only guess what is going to happen. I think this was my favorite ride in all of Disney.

 

Muppets 3D 1x: It was a nice little show, I got a few laughs. As a fan of the Muppets I wish they could have done a little more.

 

Slinky Dog Dash 1x: Okay...So I got extremely lucky. It rained that night at around 9:15 so I stuck around and as I walked into Toy Story, the Slinky Dog coaster opened. It was a miracle, all day long lines were 3+ hours and I was able to sneak on within a half hour. The ride itself was a lot of fun. Kudos to Disney and Mack for making a coaster that is geared towards family but still packs a punch. I would have ridden another 5 times but alas, the lines.

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Tune in Lounge/50's Prime Time Cafe was really cool!

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Guitar: The Ride!!!

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The ride trains.

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This is about as solid a family coaster as they come. It really is something everyone can enjoy.

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Look at how nice it looks.

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First up, a Vekoma and Aerosmith collaboration.

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MGM's entrance. Disney does a fantastic job of getting people into the park with a minimal wait.

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Look how awesome it is in all of its glory.

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The entrance to the marvelously themed Toy Story area.

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The pre-show area with some Aerosmith memorabilia.

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This was a great meal. A Pork chop stuffed with Gouda Cheese and Apples...What isn't to like?!

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The inside of the cafe.

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This was Grandma's Punch. Without getting into specifics....It is a lot of different kinds of booze with pineapple and orange juice. Just drink it.

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The next few shots are Toy Story Mania's queue in all of its glory.

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Tower of Terror dominating the park's skyline.

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A train getting ready to launch out of the ally.

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More great theming for Slinky Dog Dash.

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A view down the main Blvd.

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There he is now. I love the map from the movie in the background. "Evil Dr. Pork Chop" gets me every time! New Update will be up in a few days.

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Great report!

 

I'm surprised Hollywood Studios was your second favorite park. I do enjoy the headliners at that park, but I don't like how you sort of have to plan around a lot of showtimes to fully experience the park. Slinky Dog looks amazing.

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Great report!

 

I'm surprised Hollywood Studios was your second favorite park. I do enjoy the headliners at that park, but I don't like how you sort of have to plan around a lot of showtimes to fully experience the park. Slinky Dog looks amazing.

 

I just like the overall feel of MGM. What it defintely could use is some more shade. It is unbearable mid-day. Slinky Dog is now a must ride when you’re at Disney.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Saturday was our free day of the trip. I went out and drank plenty of beer after MGM Friday so it was nice to wake up and not have to rush, we had brunch at the Grand Floridian at 11am and besides that nothing planned but a few flash passes at Magic Kingdom.

 

The Grand Floridian really is an amazing place. I love the "Old Florida" look and as per usual Disney hits it out of the park. I had French Toast with Sausage which was absolutely delicious. After that my brother and I hopped on the Monorail and shot over to Magic Kingdom to enjoy some rides during the afternoon.

 

Here is where I will give my review of Seven Dwarf's Mine Train. I rode this coaster twice when I was there, once at night and once during the day and while I do like the night time experience better, this is a great ride. The coaster part is nothing to write home about but the dark ride section is where this thing works its magic. The special effects are bar none, every detail is perfect. The part that really got me was when going up the second lift hill you see the shadow's of the dwarf's marching up the mine. A must ride if you're at Magic Kingdom.

 

This is a short update, the next one will be Epcot sometime this week (If you're interested in seeing me drink a lot of beer).

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One of the mine trains pulling into the station.

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Really a beautiful complex.

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Some theming on the queue line.

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Happy Riders.

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Magic Kingdom's newest coaster.

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This was the perfect amount of food. It was enough to make me full but not over bearing when dealing with the Orlando heat.

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I love the Victorian Architecture.

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The Main Lobby of the Grand Floridian.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay so next update....Here we have Epcot. I don't need to go into much detail because you all know what Epcot is about. So, I will dive right into it. Listen....I know I'm going to catch a lot of heat for this but....Out of all four Disney World parks, Epcot did the least for me. Test Track is fun as well as Soarin and Living with the Land, but besides that I wasn't blown away by Epcot. That being said, I do NOT think Epcot is bad by any stretch of the imagination.

 

In fact, Epcot..Especially the World's Showcase is beautiful. The food was fantastic as were the drinks. I think where Epcot didn't do it for me is:

 

A.) I've traveled a lot so seeing the little hamlets didn't really impress me since I've been to a lot of the actual countries.

B.) Although there are more countries in the showcase, I wish they were a little bit bigger ala Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

C.) Japan was lackluster. Japan was one of the countries I haven't been to (One day soon) but I was looking forward to seeing some of the cultural exhibit. Instead I got a giant store selling Japan products.

 

Anyway, I drank and ate around the world and I had a wonderful day at Epcot. It was just my least favorite Disney Park is all.

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Everyone knows this view.

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Literally the only reason to ride "The Seas" is too see the greatest creature on earth...Manatees.

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Look at this magnificent beast.

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The Grapefruit Hefeweizen (although only 2% alcohol) is very tasty and refreshing.

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We'll end Epcot with a picture of some awesome pizza from Napoli Restorante. My ancestors would be proud.

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Zoom Zoom (Please don't sue me Mazda.

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Okay for the uncultured ones on here (just kidding) This is a Michilada. It is nothing more than a beer Bloody Mary. I have to say the one I had here was better than the ones I had in actual Mexico.

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Look at it while it viciously attacks this piece of lettuce!

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Started off with China.

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I'm showing you a picture of the pastry I had in France because it was better than the beer there.

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I enjoyed Soarin'. I enjoyed waiting only 30 minutes for it eve more.

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Disappointing Japan...At least I had a Sapporo when I was there.

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Test Track was fun, I liked the older version better though. Whoops.

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Nice reports!

 

I do enjoy Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as well, but I'm still amazed it's pulling the longest line at Magic Kingdom. For that reason, I rarely ride it unless I'm at the resort for a full week and have a chance to snag a Fastpass.

 

I think I slightly prefer the new Test Track because of the added music and brighter lighting, but I really liked both versions.

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Nice reports!

 

I do enjoy Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as well, but I'm still amazed it's pulling the longest line at Magic Kingdom. For that reason, I rarely ride it unless I'm at the resort for a full week and have a chance to snag a Fastpass.

 

I think I slightly prefer the new Test Track because of the added music and brighter lighting, but I really liked both versions.

 

Test track is still a great ride, I could just do without the entire “build your own car” bit.

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