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Points of Interest

Land of Oz

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2669 South Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, North Carolina 28604 USA (828) 387-2000

  • Offbeat Attraction

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Rated 1.0 October 5, 2014 Top Review!

For something that has been featured in news outlets such as Huffington Post and others, I expected the attraction to be a sight worth seeing. My husband and I bought our tickets months in advance with anticipation and excitement, deciding to make this our wedding anniversary get-away. The tickets were $35 each, but it was something unique so we weren't concerned about spending $70 for a special occasion.

Wow, how I wish I had that $70 back; I'd go to Target instead, it would be more entertaining and a lot warmer.

Our time slot was 2-4pm, we arrived around 1:45 to allot for time to check in. Upon arrival, everything seems fairly normal, a little disorganized as they had no one directing the herd of people on where to go or what line to be in. "Is this the line for the waiver sheets?" "Is this the line for the ski lift?" "Where do I go to get in line for the bus, if I don't want to ride the ski lift?" - incase you haven't picked up on it yet, the word "line" comes up a lot. Because, that's all this "attraction" was...a lot of standing around in lines waiting to see something, anything...which unfortunately never really happened. By the time we got on the ski lift and arrived at the "Land of Oz" it was 3:15. Okay, over an hour into our time slot and I've yet to see anything besides some port-a-potties and a few booths selling Swiss Miss hot chocolate and day old popcorn. But, I'm still hopeful....

Once we arrived at the top, ready to venture into Oz, all you see are a few tents set up, selling things like BBQ and Apple Cider. Ah! Then we realized where to go because we found a hand written sign with an arrow pointing us in the right direction. I have to assume that when the crew in charge of this event started planning and organizing, the entire marketing department was out of the office.

Once we found our way, we waited in line for another 15-20 minutes to take a picture with Dorothy before entering the fair grounds. Upon entrance of said fair ground, you are given a ticket number and told that they would call out for your number by groups of ten...as in "120 and under" then "130 and under". Fair enough, ours was 566.....at that time they were calling for "360 and under". Excellent. So, we looked around the SMALL grounds, including a face painting station, a booth for sweatshirts, more popcorn, and a "petting zoo" consisting of two donkeys, a goat and a sheep. So, we hopped in line for what we assumed was the museum, I say assume because we were given no direction. By the time we got to the entrance of the museum it was 4:10. The museum was actually just a Judy Garland stalker's collection of all things Oz that had been donated to the park....at least, that's what it looked and felt like, considering the museum was no larger than a 14 x 16 ft room with nick-nacks like "The Wizard of Oz" PEZ dispensers....or the "original copies of photos from the filming of the movie". Original copies, you say? Tell me more.

Approximately 8 minutes later, I was sufficiently uncomfortable and decided we should go see what group number they were on....480....it's now 4:30....we've been here for two and a half hours and all we've seen at this point were piles of donkey shit and a bunch of little kids with their faces painted like fairies. To the person doing the painting....have you seen the movie? Maybe I missed the fairies.

Then, we are informed that the ski lift shuts down at 5:30 and the bus routes down the mountain stop at 6. Oh, okay. Guess we're walking down? Nope. This wife was channeling her inner Wicked Witch of the West and found a manager "kind enough" to extend the bus routes until 8. Thank you for not abandoning the hundreds of people on the top of Beech Mountain, your graciousness was noted.

Fast forward to 5:00ish...our group is called...so we wait in line to tour a house that had a room decorated like Dorothy's. No, you don't need to read that sentence again, it really does say "a room decorated like Dorothy's"....no other connection to the movie except for the hokey dolls sitting in a rocking chair in Dorothy's room, though I doubt Dorothy had a doll of herself. Never the less, we soldiered on. (In a line, at a colossal pace, of course.) Twenty minutes, a creepy Jigsaw look-a-like on a bike, and some black lights later, we had made it through the twister and were about to enter Oz.

Oz did in fact have a yellow brick road, and a munchkin land and some good photo-ops. Beyond that, the reality of the devastating situation my husband and I found ourselves in, was that we were simply walking (still in line formation) on a yellow brick road trudging from one character to the next to get a picture. Then, you were at the end. No, seriously, that's the end, and you find yourself questioning why you just spent $70 to stand in several different lines for over four hours in near freezing temperatures. Then you realize it's because you didn't yet know that Autumn At Oz was more disappointing than going through a drive-thru and finding out your order is wrong AFTER YOU'RE HOME....it's that disappointing.

Suffice it to say, this event is nothing but a money making scheme for people who like to dress up in costumes and pose for pictures with total strangers.

Take my advice, go to Target instead.

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operationalley in reply to on September 18, 2016

Unfortunately I wish I had read your review before I went. I wanted to keep it a mystery though and decided to go. We had the exact same experience you describe completely. I think we got there at 12:50 p.m. and finally got back in our car at 5:30 p.m. 5 minutes of Dorothy's house and the rest was just waiting in line. It was a tiresome experience. I just can't see how people rate it so high and I am never critical. Ever. Sorry Oz. Lines like that are terrible. Not fun. :(


GREGORYHUGHLENG in reply to on August 19, 2016

It's quite amusing how someone expects what is widely publicized as a defunct amusement park to be like Disney World. First it is not defunct. Second, the park until this June had opened only 1 week-end per year in the Fall for those that demanded this. Very little money is made and what is profit, goes into restoration of one of America's most beloved theme parks. If Target is considered to be such a thrill to waste money at, then the Land of Oz park should be something memorable and fun if you do not have unreal expectations. I will state the people that enjoy it most are those that went as children and the people that take their children now to see Oz. This being said, fans will always love the park and those that love Target, well?

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Your rating:
Rated 5.0 October 4, 2013

Because this event has gotten so popular, you need to order tickets ahead of time. They give you a ticket which allows you to enter at a certain time. If you just show up, you might not be able to get in. If you are a Wizard of Oz fan, this is a neat experience! Sometimes the weather is beautiful, and sometime it is foggy and freezing.

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September 29, 2013

When the park was new, my parents took all 6 of the kids. I was next to the youngest. I remember the old ski lift chairs that took you above the park. I also remember Dorothy's house and feeling the tornado. I remember the fun we all had. Mom and dad also had friends that worked there for a time. Awesome trip and now that I know about Autumn at Oz I will try to bring my family in the future.

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Rated 5.0 July 26, 2014

The park is not abandoned, just closed. Much of it is still there and you can even spend the night in Dorothy's house! Contact Cindy Keller at Emeral Mountain Realty for more information. The munckins spent the night in the house when they signed autographs and were guests of honor. I also did so on the 40th Anniversary of the park in 2010. Some of my items are in the museum which is a great honor thanks to Cindy! A lot of the park including the Yellow Brick Road is there. You can also get married there or have a party at the park. Contact Cindy in advance if you wish to do so. I also recommend you spend the night or week at the house in the summer, for good reason! People are stil stealing items for the park. PLEASE do not do this or #1 you go to jail and #2 you will destroy what a lot of volunteers have tried to restore for Autumn at Oz days each fall. Perserve the park so what you enjoy, your children and grandchildren can as well. This park was one of the greatest idea's for a theme park in America thanks to Jack Pentes!

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July 22, 2014

I would love to see this!! I have been a Wizard of Oz fan since I was a little girl!! It should be re-opened!!

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August 20, 2013

Here's a website to the realty group http://www.emeraldmtn.com/index.html.

But, there's a festival every autumn at the Land of Oz. Here's a link to that http://www.autumnatoz.com.

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May 1, 2014

Was neat to see once you can walk through see characters from the wizard of oz movie take a light jacket

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Rated 5.0 July 26, 2014

There is no way a park like this could exist today and for one reason INSURANCE! I am a licensed insurance agent, ugh in NC. The risks are just too great with a slippery road. Many times Dorothy used to ask guests to take off their shoes when walking down the Yellow Brick Road. This proves how dangerous it is. My advice is to get something you can attach to your shoes that will prevent you from falling. I cannot remember the name of the product but it is on line and will also help you from falling in ice and snow. GREAT PRODUCT to keep you safe and you need this on your shows if you are going to walk down the Yellow Brick Road when it is misty or wet!

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July 8, 2014

Mick.hawley.3, the house got moved by a tornado, it's not in Kansas anymore!!!

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Rated 5.0 April 1, 2015

The Land of Oz park is NOT abandoned. I wish this site and others would remove that term. Land of Oz is available for partial rental of the park for parties, weddings or other events. There are homes on the property. You can rent Dorothy's house for the weekend or even an entire week. The first weekend in October the park has Autumn at Oz. Also this summer the park *might be open on Fridays in June!! Land of Oz is a special place. It is not abandoned, vacant or creepy!! :)

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Rated 5.0 January 8, 2015

My color book on "The Land of Oz at Beech Mountain, North Carolina, is the only hardcover color photography book on the history of the largest amusement attraction in NC during the 1970's-1980's is still avaiable one eBay or contact me at gregoryleng#aol.com. I accept all credit cards and paypal. Autographed and numbered for each buyer! This is the biggest selling book i have ever produced and I have written 5 books in 4 years! ANSEL ADAMS owned the cover to my book and encouraged me to become a professional photographer! You can search GREGORY HUGH LENG on the Internet to see my work or search eBay. Thanks, Gregory Hugh Leng

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Rated 1.0 October 7, 2014

Way too many tickets sold. The entire adventure from 1:45pm to 5:45 was no more than thousands of confused, cold and corralled patrons shuffling from one holding pen to another before finally traveling down the yellow brick road at a pace slower than airport security. If we had wanted to get a picture or short video of us skipping down the yellow brick road it would have been impossible for the press of people trudging from one photo op to the next. See the review from Ashley.b.neely for a detailed description of a day at Oz

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Rated 4.0 July 29, 2014

My adventurous daughter is ready to go. She asked if we were going to be swooped away like in the movies. #kids

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October 1, 2013

My family and I went one of the first couple of years this was open. I remember it was misting that day and no long lines anywhere. Loved it!

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October 1, 2013

I remember going their with my Mom and brother when I was around 9 or 10 and loved it. Really made you feel like you was in OZ.

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September 30, 2013

Anyone read Jean Houston's book "The Wizard of Us" or done any Wizard of Oz work with Jean? Love to hear from you :)

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September 29, 2013

Go to the website ALL the info is there it happens the 5th and 6th of this year. 30$ a ticket.

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The Land of Oz is a mostly now-defunct theme park located in the resort town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina. It was opened in 1970 by Grover Robbins, who had been successful with Tweetsie Railroad, and was fully operational until 1980. The park was based on the book rather than the film.

In fact, during the designing phase employees were told not to watch the movie but rather read the book. The costumes of the actors were in fact based more on the book descriptions until later on in the park's history when they were changed to look more like the film.

Visitors could take a walk down the Yellow Brick Road, "experience" the cyclone which struck Dorothy's house, and visit with the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, and the Wicked Witch of the West. The Yellow Brick Road led to a show at the Emerald City where the characters met with the Wizard.

An artificial balloon ride, a specially modified ski lift installed by Goforth Brothers, allowed visitors to get a bird's-eye view of the park and mountain scenery before leaving Oz. A small museum showcased props and costumes from the film. These were jointly bought by the park and Debbie Reynolds from MGM.

Land of Oz opened in 1970 with the intention of extending the ski resort to be a 'year-round' attraction by offering an attraction at the pinnacle of Beech Mountain. A ski lift was specially designed to become the hot air balloon ride which has since been redeployed to be a ski lift on the back bowl, now Oz run, of Ski Beech. In later years, characters from the story conducted tours, but the original design was for the visitor to assume the role of Dorothy - experiencing everything from Kansas to tornado to the meeting the characters on the yellow brick road to Oz. The visit culminated in Emerald City, where Dorothy appeared with her friends to meet the Wizard.

The park was the top attraction in the southeast the first year. Its opening day in 1970 attracted 20,000 visitors. Dampened by the death of owner Grover Robbins a few months before the park opened, the driving force to keep the park as a special experience gave way to commercial necessities foisted on Carolina Caribbean Corp by the downturn in real estate sales. Emerald City burned on Sunday, December 28, 1975, destroying some artifacts, including the dress worn by Dorothy in the movie. There is some speculation that the fires were set by disgruntled employees who were angered at having been dismissed for legitimate reasons. Land of Oz finally closed in 1980.

After the park was closed much of it fell into disrepair. Props were vandalized, stolen, or left to exposed to the elements. Some of the park was saved, including as parts of the yellow brick road, a few munchkin houses, some of the later costumes, and sections of the witch's castle were preserved.

The owner of the land restored the park about ten years later. In the late nineties, former employees started the Autumn at Oz event as a reunion. Later this became an annual event, and in 2009 the festival had 8500 attending. In 2010 more of the park's original characters returned, the Fountain of Youth had green water, and vendors and face painters were added to the event. Gregory Hugh Leng was guest of honor. A museum now shows costumes from the movie and other memorabilia. The Yellow Brick Road has a few of its 44,000 bricks missing but once again takes visitors through the Enchanted Forest and Poppy Field. Dorothy's house, which can be rented for events, includes a basement intended to make visitors feel the experience of a tornado; the Wicked Witch's legs stick out from under the house. In 2011, the park hosted the International Wizard of Oz Club and some of the original 1970 cast returned to share photos and tales from the original inspiration of Jack Pentes.

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April 15, 2016

Thank you for these reviews. I will be driving by in a few weeks. Is there any of the yellow brick road visible from outside? My little girl would LOVE to see it!!

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April 7, 2016

This person clearly never went as a child as I did and know it to really be a great place! Yes, it's much, much different than it used to be but it's really only for the diehard fans or the "let's go once & say we did it" people.

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November 8, 2015

when do they give out tickets. when is it open i would love to go

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May 19, 2015

Oz enthusiasts! We are hosting the Midwest Wizard of Oz festival in September! Come check us out!


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January 10, 2015

For decades, I have talked about this place, leaving such an impression on me as a young kid of maybe 8 or 9. We came up on the sky tram, which was VERY SCARY to all of us in my family. I don't recall any buses at the time. I do however recall a terrible lightening storm. I had been so mesmerized I can't even recall where we must have sheltered during it.

For many years I heard no mention of it or any references in books, but I am thrilled to be able to prove now that it was NOT just my imagination. No matter the crowds, or lack of organization, it is surely on my bucket list!

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Turtlepg in reply to Pat Martin Gettys on September 14, 2016

Your memory is "Spot On"! In the 70's when it was originally built/open there was no other way in or out of the park but by the Balloon Tram Ride which is now a sky lift. For those of us who went as children it is just as magical now because of the memories it brings back and holds dearly. What these people are trying to keep alive is truly a miracle and anyone who wants to belittle that should be ashamed of themselves and should not go. You should definitely keep this on your bucket list, I stood in freezing rain for hours just to walk through and the memories that returned of family members who took me and have passed, which I had forgotten was well worth the pain and any discomfort!

Rated 5.0 January 8, 2015

My color book on "The Land of Oz at Beech Mountain, North Carolina, is the only hardcover color photography book on the history of the largest amusement attraction in NC during the 1970's-1980's is still avaiable one eBay or contact me at gregoryleng@aol.com. I accept all credit cards and paypal. Autographed and numbered for each buyer! This is the biggest selling book i have ever produced and I have written 5 books in 4 years! ANSEL ADAMS owned the cover to my book and encouraged me to become a professional photographer! You can search GREGORY HUGH LENG on the Internet to see my work or search eBay. Thanks, Gregory Hugh Leng

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Rated 5.0 November 28, 2014

I went with my family when I was a child. We really enjoyed it. This was when the park was open. I took my family for a private tour with Cindy the realtor from Emerald Mountain Realty, "The Caretaker of Oz". It was well worth it. She gave my daughter Logan a small basket with a stuffed Toto in it and for the time we were there Logan was Dorothy. Great family memory. Even brought home some chips from the yellow brick road.

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Rated 1.0 September 18, 2016

I went this year after several years of wanting to go but the tickets would be sold out by the time I remembered. I am a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz and I was very much looking forward to seeing what sounded like a fun theme park brought back to life for a weekend. I kept my expectations low as I knew it would be costly with just doing it one weekend and being a privately owned place. I was curious and looked forward to seeing what they might pull together. I was hopeful to be surprised in some way. I didn't read anything about the park prior to going to keep the mystery alive and let my experience be real without others in my head.

We went on Friday. It was 1 p.m.

I came away with the following - I will start with the positives.

The Good:
- Dorothy's house was worth seeing.

The Bad:
- Dorothy's house was literally 5 minutes.
- I stood in line all afternoon. Both my girls said it felt worse than Disney World on a hot day waiting. That's is literally all we did. Stood in line.
- Stood in line for what amounted to nothing. Yes, there were photo ops (you can take a photo with each character). If you have a little kid who loves Oz, then this is for you. Maybe. I'd really say it was difficult to warrant any parent standing in a line for literally hours for a picture. That's about it.

Would I go again? No. Am I glad I went? Maybe. Dorothy's house was neat but not worth all that pain of lines and waiting and the high ticket price .... So, I am fine. Would I recommend? No.

I found the original photos of the way the park used to be back when quite interesting and what they did but nothing is the same so to a person who had never been before, it isn't like the park is anything like it was. There used to be a stage show, puppets, etc but none of that exists. I think Dorothy's house is all that is left. I didn't like how it felt so crammed with people. I guess people have in their minds how it used to be and come back to see it again through their mind's eye because it doesn't look like the photos now.

I was told you can rent Dorothy's house ... that might be a better option to see the house. Will I go back? No. I'm ok.

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September 14, 2016

Yes 2014 was a very cold and miserable weekend (I still had a blast)!

Before you assume that it's a money making scheme, the vast majority of the characters and workers are volunteers and those who are paid it is not as much as you would think I believe the max is $125 per day. Keeping in mind this park is only open this one weekend per year and before you say the owners are getting rich, they are not. The proceeds from the event is used for the upkeep of the property (through out the year) and allows the town to keep this small dream alive for children of all ages.

I am so sorry that any of you may have had a bad experience, but for those of us who went as children it is just as magical now because of the memories it holds dearly and brings back to us as we walk through. What these people are trying to keep alive is a miracle and anyone who wants to belittle that should be ashamed of themselves and yes should not go. No not everyone is going to enjoy it, expectations may not be exceeded but if you truly look at the reason it is there and even if you didn't go as a child if you think back to the simplicity of how life was then and SHOULD BE now you will get it and you will LOVE IT! Look around as you walk through, truly look at the children around you, your children and how their eyes are so wide with a twinkle and their imaginations are alive, then open your eyes and let your own imagination run wild with them and if just for these few hours you do that I promise you will get it and you will enjoy it.

Yes it's "Cheesy" but with a purpose! The thing is, when I'm there I see just as many children (who of course we're not alive in the 70's) who are literally enjoying it in such a way that today is truly unbelievable! To recreate something that can hold a child's imagination, spirit and enthusiasm which does not require hours of TV or a huge movie screen with 3D and major sound affects with NO rides is exceptional and should be praised by all because that's something that is unheard of in today's society.

Don't shut the door before you have even opened it!

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Rated 5.0 August 19, 2016

The Land of Oz celebrates "Autumn at Oz" Sept. 10 & 11, 2016. If you loved the movie or visited the park when you were little, it is an awesome trip to take once again. And yes, STACIEANDI, my color book on the history of "The Land of Oz" at Beech mountain, North Carolina is still available on eBay. It sold out in stores. The cover shot shows that contrary to what someone else wrote above you could skip down the Yellow Brick Road during the 1970's or take pictures without other's anywhere near you! Oz was meant to be a fun place and those that love it, REALLY love it! To be so mean spirited or to write things which are demeaning is not necessary here. I am sure if you love Oz or the park, you will not worry about the cost to get in today. If you want to enjoy The Land of Oz alone, rent Dorothy's house for a couple of nights like I suggest many people to do that contact me for more information. If you do this, you can stay in the original house which has been remodeled for overnight guests. You can sleep in the same bed that some of the original Munchkins slept in while staying there. You can have private access to the entire park throughout your visit! You can play with the sound machine in the basement and listen to a roaring tornado. You can walk sideways in the house after coming back up from the basement until you are so dizzy you have to get out. Maybe if you are nice, Cindy will show you the Oz museum and original items from The Wizard of Oz movie. Just remember that very few people are naysayers or Wicked Witch personalities! As the "Photographer of Oz" I recommend even those people to head to the park and maybe they will be given a "heart" to help make life more full when they leave Oz! ;)

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Rated 1.0 June 16, 2016

Thanks Gregory for promoting your book...haha...I've heard the sale story about how pathetic this park is...especially for the $70 entrance fee! There's nothing to it! It's a rip off. I also love all your "used to be" past tense comments!!! Laughable! Who cares who visited the park?....unless they all have rave reviews to share...pointing out what famous person has been there at one time or another is meaningless. Used to be...once was....etc. Exactly!....it's not all that and a bag of chips any longer and people getting ripped off after paying the high entrance ticket price!
Again...thanks for promoting your book...hilariou!!!

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GREGORYHUGHLENG in reply to on August 19, 2016

The "Scarecrow" had more brains hanging in the cornfield than the ignorance you have displayed here. I believe I promote the history of North Carolina's most visited theme park in the 1970's and sure if my book tells the story you do not know, GREAT for Oz fans! Case closed. Gregory Hugh Leng 8/19/16


GREGORYHUGHLENG in reply to on August 19, 2016

The "Scarecrow" had more brains hanging in the cornfield than the ignorance you have displayed here. I believe I promote the history of North Carolina's most visited theme park in the 1970's and sure if my book tells the story you do not know, GREAT for Oz fans! Case closed. Gregory Hugh Leng 8/19/16

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