New Girl Louise Talks About Her Favourite Theme Park

Hi Thrill Seekers,

Louise here! This is my first month at Orlando Attraction Tickets, I’ve had fun learning about all the different tickets we offer and chatting to customers about their holidays. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Orlando twice already and I get to go again in September 2015. Yay! The first time I visited in 2009 I was only 14. Being just 14, everything was very overwhelming and I probably couldn’t tell you much about my visit as it was all just a big blur of excitement! Then I got to go again in 2013 when I was 18 which was a totally different experience! My second trip was much more memorable. I have always loved roller coasters but I have to say the older you get the more exciting it all becomes! My favourite park has got to be Busch Gardens. I absolutely love the big rollercoasters and I love animals. Busch Gardens offers plenty of both of these.What more could I want? So for my first ever Orlando Attraction Tickets blog I thought I’d write about my top 3 rides there.

1) SheiKra

It’s hard to pick a favourite ride as I love them all but if pushed I’d have to say my favourite is SheiKra. I love the suspense when you’re left hanging at the top for any amount of time between 1 and 6 seconds before getting whooshed down that almighty 200 ft drop at a 90 degree angle at a speeds as fast as 70 mph!! Being dropped at a 90 degree angle means that you get so much more adrenaline pumped through you especially if you sit on the front row (it also makes your cheeks wobble more)! Sheikra is a must when visiting Busch Gardens!

Sheikra Roller Coaster

 2) Cheetah Hunt

Cheetah Hunt is also an amazing ride! It’s sooo quick! I felt like I was a Cheetah running through the Serengeti when I was on it.

At 60mph its up there with the fast coasters! It has a huge drop of 130 feet while you’re riding it which lifts you out of your seat. Lasting 3 and a half minutes, this is one of the longest coasters I have ever ridden!  Considering most rides are over and done in under 2 minutes! No wonder so many people don’t mind queuing for this one! I am very much looking forward to riding Cheetah Hunt again!

cheetah hunt fam trip

3) Montu

Number 3 on my list of favourite rides at Busch Gardens is Montu. If you’re one for quick twists and turns, this ride is perfect for you! At 60mph it’s another of the quicker roller coasters (as you can tell, I love the speedy ones!) It keeps it’s speed throughout the whole ride which is pretty impressive considering the fact that it’s almost 4,000 feet long! Montu lasts approximately 3 minutes so this is another one well worth waiting for!

montu

Now, a new ride I can’t wait to try….Falcon’s Fury! I am so excited to ride this! I have been waiting for what feels like an age for it to open and now it has, and it will be there waiting for me in 2015. I can almost hear it calling my name already!

When I first heard about Falcon’s Fury I just knew I had to ride it! I read on this blog that they were looking to open it in May 2014 and then had to change the date due to some manufacturing issues. I was gutted!

Then I heard it had opened! That’s right! As of 2nd September 2014 Falcon’s Fury was officially open to the public! Now that it’s open I am even more excited than ever!  At 335 feet high this is one of the tallest rides I think I will ever go on! In fact it is THE tallest free-standing drop tower in the whole of North America! Not knowing when you’re going to drop either? Now that’s exciting! I just cannot wait to get there now to ride it so I can come back and tell you all about it! Check out this great video of Tom Daley taking the plunge!

Smiles included…

Louise

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Why I Can’t Wait To Ride Falcon’s Fury At Busch Gardens Tampa

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I don’t know if its because I’m not a massive fan of Harry Potter (don’t tell anyone) or its that I just love a good thrill ride but for me this year I’ve most been looking forward to the launch of Busch Gardens Falcon’s Fury.

When I first heard Busch Gardens were going to add a new attraction to their safari based theme park I thought they were mental! The idea of launching something in the same year as Universal opened Diagon Alley made no sense to me, all the spot light would be squarely on Harry Potter surely!?

When I then heard it was a drop ride I was pretty underwhelmed. Then bits of news started to leak… Its 335 ft tall, impressive… it has a delayed start, so you won’t know when you’re going to drop, ok interesting… You’ll feel about 5 seconds of weightlessness, cool…. You’ll fall at a 90 degree angle… WHAT!!!! Yep you’ll fall facing the ground!

A fresh take on the drop ride, I was immediately on board and the more I told people about it via our facebook page the more excited I got. Here’s the low down…

Due to open in May I was excited to watch the build up via Busch Gardens really good webcast series. Just as we reached the announced opening date, disaster struck! I may have slightly over exaggerated that, more of an inconvenience to me than a disaster, Busch Gardens had to announce that they were  postponing the release date due to manufacturing issues. In layman terms they weren’t able to get hold of major parts they required to assure the smooth running of Falcon’s Fury.

I was immediately on the phone to my Busch Garden contacts trying to find out the proposed new launch date… they weren’t saying anything, just sometime this Summer!! Aaaagh!!!

So now I had to wait even longer, and the anticipation just build. Then late one night I got an email from Busch Gardens letting me know that some of their staff had ridden the beast.

Pretty quickly after that Busch Gardens started a soft launch phase open to some lucky members of the public and quickly my facebook and twitter timelines were full of people pulling faces of pure terror that quickly changed to huge beaming smiles… and my jealousy reached maximum capacity.

On the 2nd September Busch Gardens announced that Falcon’s Fury was now officially open to the public…. yep that means everyone can now scream at 335 feet! I still can’t wait to ride Falcon’s Fury but it looks like I’m going to have too…

You can purchase Busch Gardens tickets at Orlando Attraction Tickets all of our tickets that include Busch Gardens admission also include free transport to and from Tampa, so you’ve got no excuse now 🙂 Get yourself down to Busch Gardens and tell me what you thought of Falcons Fury.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Jack Hanna Returns To Busch Gardens Tampa

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Join “Jungle Jack” Hanna at Busch Gardens® Tampa on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14 for Wildjackhanna Days, a weekend of wild animal shows, autograph signings and special meet and greets. The internationally-known animal expert will share animal facts and his travel tales during animal shows in Stanleyville Theater, as well as make special appearances at a family sleepover that on Saturday night.

Hanna’s hands-on approach has won him widespread acclaim as a conservationist, author, television personality and lifelong adventurer. He is best known as the star of the Emmy® Award-winning television series “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild,” where audiences are invited to join him on expeditions around the globe.

Jack Hanna’s Wild Days in Stanleyville Theater
Saturday, Sept. 13 and Sunday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Hanna returns with his most popular show at Busch Gardens, featuring fan-favorite animals and even some adorable babies! Hanna will share his world travels and educate animal lovers of all ages about the importance of wildlife conservation during shows in Stanleyville Theater. All shows are included with any annual pass, Fun Card or paid admission.

Jack Hanna Family Fun Sleepover
Saturday, Sept. 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Guests will spend the night at Busch Gardens in one of the park’s secure on-site venues and enjoy a night of family fun, interactive activities and an animal adventure hosted by Jack Hanna. Dinner, a continental breakfast and commemorative gifts are also included. The sleepover is designed for families with children in grade 3 or higher; the cost is $78 per person, with discounts available for Pass Members. Busch Gardens admission is not required or included. Registration is required.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Busch Gardens Falcon’s Fury Opening Delayed Until Summer

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Hey Thrill Seekers,

Busch Gardens today confirmed that’s it’s highly anticipated new attraction Falcons Fury will now not be opening until the summer! No official date has been given.

The reason behind the delay was outlined via twitter, Facebook and Busch Gardens own blog, here’s what it said;

Busch Gardens’ new thrill ride Falcon’s Fury includes first-of-its kind design elements, systems and parts. Due to a delay in the fabrication of key component parts, neither the manufacturer nor Busch Gardens are able to complete the lengthy testing processes needed to open the ride to the public. The safety of our guests and team members remains Busch Gardens’ top priority and none of these delays involve safety systems. The ride has been safely operated in the initial stages of the testing process, and all other elements of the park’s newest re-imagined land Pantopia are now open to guests. Busch Gardens will provide updates on the ride opening as events warrant. We are committed to delivering world-class thrills and the best possible ride experience, and we look forward to the launch of Falcon’s Fury, North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower, later this summer.

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A nightmare scenario then for Busch Gardens as universal gear up for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagonal Alley opening only Falcons Fury was perceived to have any chance of competing for column inches.

However Busch Gardens must be applauded for taking guests safety over dollar bills. Hugely disappointing but obviously the correct decision.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Busch Gardens Releases POV Falcons Fury Video

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Hey Thrill Seekers,

Hold on to your seat and prepare to scream. Busch Gardens has just released this first person video of Falcons Fury, the 335ft drop ride is one of Florida’s most anticipated rides.

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Recently Busch Gardens had to amend it’s proposed opening date from the 1st May to a yet unconfirmed date. It’s left a few of us adrenaline junkies disappointed, so what’s the best way to cheer us up…

Check out this belly turning video,

Now if this doesn’t wet your whistle I don’t know what will…

Get ready to hang on and scream “aaaaaaagh”

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Which Florida Theme Park Is Best For My Teenager?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Its hard to believe but yes, once, many moons ago I was a teenager. You know teenages they’re the moody, hoody, phones attached to their hands creatures that skulk around the house eating all the food. Well today I was chatting to a customer who asked my opinion on which parks best suited teenagers.

Here are the parks I picked;

Universal Studios

Universal Studios is perfect for teenagers, it has an uncanny knack of producing products that are on trend. Don’t let the exciting addition of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley distract you this park is much more than Potter.

For the Thrill Riding Teenager Universal Studios offers the brilliant Rip Ride Rockit a ferocious mix of music and adrenaline. Hugely popular this ride allows you to pick a music track to accompany you on the 167 feet high, 3,800 feet long , 65 miles per hour beast.

For the child in us all, Universal Studios is home the the widely popular Minions from Despicable me! I defy any teenager not to enjoy Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride, at the moment its rated our most popular ride at Universal Studios.

Plus you’ve got  TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D, The Simpsons Ride™ and the Revenge of the Mummy® ride! Whats not to like!

ÒTransformers:  The Ride-3DÓ OPENING

Busch Gardens

Probably my favourite of all the Florida theme parks, Busch Gardens Tampa blends big Thrill Rides with the grace and beauty of some of the worlds most fascinating animals.

Thrill Rides such as Montu, SheiKra, Kumba and Cheetah Hunt make this park a rival for any park in the World and the addition of Falcon’s Fury the 335ft face first drop ride should make any teenager put down their phone and take note!

For those teenagers who aren’t particularly into Thrills and Spills Busch Gardens offers the chance to view animals up close, lions, rhinos and the very popular giraffes are fantastic to see and photo. The Serengeti Safari tour gives guests the perfect up close encounter including the chance to feed the giraffes.

busch animalsUniversal’s Islands of Adventure

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is the original home of Harry Potter. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade opened in 2010 and has been so popular that they’ve not only decided to expand the Orlando one but also to build them at all their parks. The attention to detail plus the flagship ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey makes Islands of Adventure a must do park.

But its not all about Mr Potter, Islands of Adventure also boasts 4 other separate lands including their dedicated Marvel Super Hero Islands which includes the crazy Incredible Hulk Coaster® and the stomach turning drop ride Doctor Doom’s Fearfall®. Islands of Adventure has 4 coasters and 3 water rides.

Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges

 

So there we have it, my top picks for the best Orlando theme parks for teenagers… If you have teenagers and have visited any of these parks let me know if they enjoyed them.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Need To Recharge At Busch Gardens?

Hi Thrill Seekers,

Not only is Busch Gardens Tampa one of the best theme parks in Florida its (apparently) also the place to go to recharge and relax. Now before you get excited and think that you’ll be getting a foot massage and a cup of herbal tea…its actually a new Relax and recharge stations just opened in association with Southwest Airlines.

chargingstation

The Recharge and Relax stations offer customer the chance to sit down, get out of the sun, relax and plug in and recharge their cell/mobile phones free of charge.  However, you will need to supply your own phone charger.

The Relax and recharge stations are located outside the Desert Grill. Next time you are there give them a try…that is assuming you can get a space as I imagine having the option to charge your mobile device free of charge will be pretty popular.

Cheers

Karl

#smilesincluded

 

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How to get a Busch Gardens Ticket:

Busch Gardens Tickets are currently available as part of a 3 for the price of 2 park SeaWorld, Aquatica & Busch Gardens Ticket at Orlando Attraction Tickets.

Travel Info

If you are based in Orlando for your holiday and dont fancy driving down to Tampa you’ll be please to hear that free transportation if included within the 3 for 2 SeaWorld, Aquatica & Busch gardens ticket – click here for details

 

10 Coasters To Ride In Orlando Before You Die

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I love roller coasters… no really, I love ’em. I’d gladly (and have) ride them until I felt sick. I know I’m not alone on this one as I get to speak to customers everyday who also share the love of a good coaster.

I’ve been pretty privileged to have ridden almost all of the coasters available to ride in Florida so I thought I’d take the time to name the 10 Coasters you have to ride before you die.

Just a little disclaimer,

  • The 10 aren’t listed in preference order.
  • I can, and will include coasters I haven’t ridden or haven’t been built yet!
  • By coaster, I’m including all attraction types, Dark Rides, Drop rides, 3D rides…everything (its my post my rules) 🙂
  • I suffer from terrible motion sickness, so Forbidden Journey, Spider-Man and the like, will not be included this doesn’t mean they aren’t great rides.

1) Manta at SeaWorld

Manta at SeaWorld is a very special coaster, there isn’t another ride in Florida that offers the same experience, its the closest you’ll ever get to being Superman!

i love manta

Riders are taken on a 3,359ft long thrill ride above the park, reaching a top speed of 56 miles per hour while tackling four inversions. But its the unique rider position that gets Manta on my list, on a typical coaster the occupant is sat in a seated upright position, on Manta the ride is in a prone position facing the ground!

The experience is totally different and I defy anyone not to love this coaster…

Ride it like you’re Superman

2) The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Ask anyone who’s ridden this beast of a coaster what they remember most about the ride and 9 times out of 10 they’ll mention the start! Like many coasters The Hulk starts at the bottom of a launch hill, on “normal” coasters you’ll climb this hill slowly until you reach the top and then the ride begins… Not The Hulk though! The launch hill is used to catapult the rider from 0 to 40 mph in approximately two seconds, it creates an amazing rush that in my opinion should be crammed in to every coaster ever made. 😉

The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is 3,700-foot-long and features a top speed of 67 miles per hour.

Ride it before you’re 40

3) Sheikra at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens is packed with great coasters but the ride that gets the most “oooh thats amazing” has to be Sheikra!

SheiKra reaches a maximum speed of 70 miles per hour  and has a total track length of 3,188 feet which is all very impressive but its the 200 foot drop that’s the real star of this ride!

Sheikra-initial-drop

Once the train reaches the top of the 200 ft hill climb it turns right and  moves over the first drop, it then stops for about four seconds (seems a lot longer) and then descends the 90-degree drop hitting speeds of 70 miles per hour! Looking straight down before you drop if a special experience and one that really gets the blood pumping…. love it!

Ride it before you’re too scared to.

4) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Imagine The Incredible Hulk Coaster but indoors!!! That’s pretty much what Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is… and I love it!!!

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starts with a whiplash inducing 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds burst as riders experience 4.5 G’s as they enter the first inversion, to put this in perspective, it’s more G’s than an astronaut feels on a space shuttle launch!

Setting the coaster inside is a really unique experience as it’s only lit by the fluorescent signposts darted around the track I found I lost all bearings and didn’t know if I was going to go left, right, up or down…

Ride it like you’re Steven Tyler

5) Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts Bank at Universal Studios

Yes, yes, yes I know its not even out yet… and Universal have been very short with the details they’ve released but as per my rules at the start of the post… I can add whatever I like! 🙂

Also I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a detailed video (which I can’t share with you I’m afraid) of exactly what the coaster will be like. Set inside the Goblin run bank, Gringotts at Diagon Alley, the coaster is an indoor ride with some unique “breakaway” track sections and incorporates the use of visual 3D elements. Riding position appears to be the seated position but unlike traditional coasters I believe this one will go forwards, backwards and even sideways!

Ride this as soon as you can!

6) Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa

Another entry for Busch Gardens but well deserved Montu is the first coaster you see when you pull into the car park and all thrill riders will instantly say “I’m riding that”…

montu

An unsung hero of coasters Montu stands 150 feet tall. With a top speed of 60 miles per hour, the ride features seven inversions including two vertical loops measuring 104 and 60 feet, respectively, an Immelmann loop, a zero-g roll, a batwing and a corkscrew. In other words its a Beast of a Coaster! Riders experience up to 3.8 times the force of gravity on the 3 minute ride.

Ride it first!

7) Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios

The most temperamental coaster on our list, it feels like every six months or so we hear a report of it breaking down (safely)… but that’s the attraction.

Rip Ride Rockit is an amazing coaster experience, its unique selling point isn’t the massive 167 ft drop you encounter almost immediately, its not even the 65 mph top speed you hit… its MUSIC!

Before your train leaves the station you’re given the opportunity to select a song to listen too, there are over 30 songs available covering all genres, you have to be quick though or your choice will be selected for you at random. The design of the seats means that you can only ever hear your selection… one thing to remember is that you’re being filmed during the ride! You don’t want to be that person caught on camera singing to Britney Spears like no tomorrow…like some… 😉

Ride it like a rock star.

8) Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens Tampa

Yeah like I said read my small print 🙂 Falcon’s Fury hasn’t even got an official release date yet but this is one ride I cannot wait to experience. For those who don’t know Falcon’s Fury is a drop ride measuring 335 feet in height, the height alone is pretty impressive and will make it North America’s tallest free standing drop ride… but this isn’t the best part… the best part is the unique riding position… FACE FIRST!!!

Yup for those brave enough you’ll be taken 335 feet up in the air, turned so you’re looking at the floor then dropped at speeds up to 60 mph creating a G-Force of 3.5!!!

Ride as soon as its open 

pantopia

9) Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios

The Revenge of the Mummy ride at Universal Studios as the name suggests, is based on the movie franchise. It makes my top 10 based heavily on how I felt when I first rode it.

The coaster is set indoors and has a great knack of telling a story at the same time as thrilling the rider. Unlike other coasters it also has an element of 4D by blasting the rider with a heat blast that fells so real you naturally recoil.

Ride with your Mummy

10) Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa

I was very lucky to be one of the first people to ride Cheetah Hunt when it originally opened and I’ve loved it ever since. The 3 launch coaster is like nothing else in Florida and for me is the coaster that represents its theme the most.

The idea behind Cheetah Hunt is that the rider gets to experience the thrill of the hunt from the point of view of a Cheetah, the ride has three launch areas throughout the ride which gives the rider a boost which literally removes you from your seat 🙂

Ride when your feeling animal like

cheetah hunt fam trip

So there we have it my 10 Coasters you must ride before you die…

Which rides would your list include?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Interview With Nichola Parr – SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Good morning Thrill Seekers,

Today’s post continues our series of interviews with members of theBusch_Gardens_Tampa_logo theme park industry, to date we’ve posted interviews with Kelly Morris and Gavin Boswell both from Orlando Attraction Tickets and Nigel McShine-Jones of LEGOLAND Florida.

Nichola Parr, Sales Manager at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment came down to our offices last week and I managed to grab a bit of time with her to talk about 2013 and 2014. Nichola is one of our favourites in the theme park industry, bubbly, friendly and knowledgeable it was a real pleasure to sit down and speak with her, especially as her time is very scarce, straight after the interview she was off to Dublin for a trade show.

Name: Nichola Parr

Who do you work for?: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

What was 2013 like?: 2013 was a good year for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. We have seen strong performance for the Florida parks out of the UK and just recently the US reported record 4th quarter attendance across all of all parks. We opened Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin back in May and in June we released details of Falcons Fury at Busch Gardens and then just recently in November we confirmed the new ride set to open at Aquatica this spring – Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. So yeah there’s been a lot going on this year.

Your highlight of 2013?: Getting to see Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin when I escorted a trip for travel agents to Orlando in December. There were a lot of Orlando first timers on that trip too and it’s always great to see people react to our parks and the attractions for the first time. Makes you very proud!

Your Best Park 2013?: Busch Gardens has always been one of my favourite parks as I’m a big coaster and thrill ride fan. Also because it’s such a huge park, every time you go you tend to find something new to experience which has always been there, but you just haven’t seen or done it before.

Your Best Attraction 2013?: Being a coaster fan I’d have to say Manta at SeaWorld because there’s nothing else quite like it in Florida. And then SheiKra at Busch Gardens. Front row far left seat…..try it and you’ll know why.

In regards to Theme Parks, what are you most looking forward to in 2014?: There’s so much happening in Florida next year across all the theme parks but I think the most extreme will be the new drop tower at Busch Gardens – Falcon’s Fury, even the construction photos are terrifying!

Make a 2014 prediction…: 2014 will be the year of heights and lots of celebrations for the parks, with Busch Gardens and Aquatica set to open new big attractions and with SeaWorld’s 50th anniversary, so we are expecting to see another strong year. We have a great ticket offer available too, our 3-Park ticket is the same price as our 2-Park ticket throughout 2014 so it makes sense for anyone travelling out to Florida to go see all our parks. With the 50th Anniversary celebrations kicking off this Spring at SeaWorld there is going to be something new to see at all the parks included within that ticket.

I’d like to thank Nichola for taking the time to answer my questions. Reading back through I thought it was a great interview with some excellent and full answers.

I can wait to visit Busch Gardens Tampa and ride Falcon’s Fury, like Nic said “even the construction photos are terrifying!”

Smiles included…

Jamie

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What’s Busch Gardens Falcons Fury Going To Be Like?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

On Saturday I posted a photo on our facebook page showing what a 300 foot drop looks like to symbolise Busch Gardens Falcons Fury ride due to open this year.

Well today Busch Gardens have bested me by releasing this video…

How mental does this look?

Just to remind you Falcons Fury is a 300 ft plus drop ride that positions the rider at a 90 degree angle, meaning you fall face first looking at the ground!!!

Smiles included…

Jamie

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