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How to Use Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane at Disneyland

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Disney Genie is now available at Disneyland Resort. The itinerary-building service is free for all Disneyland and Disney California Adventure visitors, but available along side it is a selection of optional services with similar and confusing names; Disney Genie+, Lightning Lane, and Individual Lightning Lane. In this post we’ll show you how to use Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane at Disneyland, but first a quick primer.

Updated: 10/25/23

What’s the difference between Genie, Genie+, Lightning Lane, and Individual Lightning Lane purchases?

  • Disney Genie is Disney’s itinerary-building app.
  • Genie+ is a paid ride-reservation system that allows you to avoid the regular standby line on certain popular rides. Think of it as the modern FASTPASS. Also, Genie+ does not include access to the most popular attractions in each park.
  • Individual Lightning Lane is a separate, paid ride-reservation system that covers just the most popular attractions in each park (Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Disneyland, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, and Radiator Springs Racers in Disney California Adventure).

How much does Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ cost?

Disney Genie is free. Disney Genie+ starts at $30 per-a-person, per-a-day. But prices vary by date.

What is Lightning Lane?

Lightning Lane is the term Disney uses for a faster, priority queue available at select attractions as of December 8, 2021. (For those familiar with the past, think of Lightning Lane as a new name for the “FASTPASS” queue.) It is an alternative to the “stand-by queue,” which is what people enter when the simply walk up to the attraction, get in line, and wait for their turn to ride.

How much does Lightning Lane cost?

The $30+ per-a-person-per-a-day Genie+ add-on grants the user the ability to make FASTPASS-style reservations on their phone, as well as access to PhotoPass downloads taken by Disney photographers or on select rides.

How much does Individual Lightning Lane cost?


Disney California Adventure:

*Prices may vary by date.

Which rides offer Lightning Lane?


Autopia Tomorrowland
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Frontierland
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters Tomorrowland
Haunted Mansion New Orleans Square
Indiana Jones Adventure Adventureland
“it’s a small world” Fantasyland
Matterhorn Bobsleds Fantasyland
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Mickey’s Toontown
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin Mickey’s Toontown
Space Mountain Tomorrowland
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue Tomorrowland

Disney California Adventure:

Goofy’s Sky School Paradise Gardens Park
Grizzly River Run Grizzly Peak
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Avengers Campus
Incredicoaster Pixar Pier
The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
Paradise Gardens Park
Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! Hollywood Land
Soarin’ Around the World Grizzly Peak
Toy Story Midway Mania! Pixar Pier
WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure Pixar Pier

How to set up and buy Disney Genie+

When you open up Disneyland’s official app you will see an option labeled “Get Started” in the Upcoming Plans section of the app’s main page. If you do not see this option then there’s a chance your app is out of date. It’s a good idea to update the app before you leave home, just in case cellphone coverage isn’t great when you get to the parks. Also remember to have your Disney account created and your ticket or Magic Key linked in the app. Also make sure you have the tickets scanned in to the Disneyland app for everyone else in your party.

Several screens to scroll through and read about that various Disney Genie offerings will now appear.

Progress through the pages until you see this screen prompting you to start the process of setting up Genie. Press “Start Now.” You’ll then select the date and and all the members of your party.

Next you’ll be presented with a list of attractions, entertainment and dining. You’ll want to make your top selections of what you want to see during your day in the park.

Select more than 9 and you’ll be given a “Wish Overload” message.

Next you’re given the option to select your interests. Categories include Star Wars, Park Classics, Experiences for Little Ones, and many more.

Now comes the upsell. You’re given the option to purchase the $20 per-a-person Genie+ add-on which gives you the ability to make Lightning Lane reservations.


Genie+ can only be purchased after your ticket has been scanned and you are inside Disneyland or DCA. The continue button will be greyed out if you try to do it before you’ve entered the park

If you’re in the park the price will be displayed and you can press continue.

You’re now given the option to pay with credit card or Apple Pay.

A confirmation screen will be displayed and a receipt will be emailed to you. You may want to screen capture this confirmation, just in case.

How to use your Disney Genie Itinerary

Your Disney Genie itinerary will now appear with and show you where to go. We found this feature to be beyond worthless. As you can see in the image above, Genie wanted us to go to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and Pirate’s Lair as our first two attractions. These are undoubtedly  great attractions, but they’re not things that should be done in the first hour the park is open when most headliners have the shortest wait times they’ll have all day.

If you’re not interested in a ride, or you’ve already experienced it, you can press the three dots in the corner of the attraction and swap or remove it from the list.

Here you can see Genie offering several different attractions to swap.

How to make a Lightning Lane reservation

Now we will make a Lightning Lane reservation. Press the “Tip Board” tab near the top of the screen and you’ll be shown wait times and Lightning Lane return times for every ride in the park.

Press the Lightning Lane button for your selected attraction and then press continue to confirm your selection.

Your Tip Board will show your Lightning Lane reservations as “Booked” with a green checkmark, as well as your return time. It’s important to note that Lightning Lane reservations can only be made for attractions a single time each day. Meaning if you ride Space Mountain with a Lightning Lane reservation in the morning when the park is empty, you can’t make another for it when the park is busier later in the day.

You can book one Lightning Lane reservation at a time, and can either make another selection after one hour, or once you use your previous Lightning Lane selection, whichever comes first. For example, If I have a Haunted Mansion reservation for 8:05 AM, I can make another reservation at 9:05 AM. But if I arrive at Haunted Mansion at 8:30 AM, I can immediately make another Lightning Lane reservation after I scan my ticket at the entrance of the ride. When it’s time to ride simply scan your park ticket (or barcode inside the Disneyland app) at the ride’s Lightning Lane entrance. If your Lightning Lane reservation is further than 2 hours away you must wait 2 hours until you can make another reservation.

Lightning Lane entrances are clearly marked at rides that offer them.

One line will be dedicated to the stand-by queue, and another will be for the Lightning Lane. This is the same way the old FASTPASS system worked.

Don’t look down at your phone the whole time!

It’s easy to keep your eyes glued to your screen and not realize that you are doing so. When I was fiddling with Genie during my visit I didn’t even realize I walked by some charming live entertainment happening a few feet away from me. Don’t let this happen to you. It’s still important to stop and enjoy the smaller forms of entertainment in Disneyland.

You’re in one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world. Be sure to stop and soak it all in every once in a while.

Tips and advice for using Genie+

The number of Lightning Lane reservations available is limited, so Lightning Lane doesn’t eliminate the need to arrive early. In the old and free FASTPASS system, Disney would normally allocate 75%–80% of a ride’s hourly capacity to FASTPASS riders. In practice, that meant Disney put three or four people from the FASTPASS line on the ride for every one person it took from the stand-by line. But even with a separate line for FASTPASS riders, people often waited 30 minutes or more in the FASTPASS line once they returned to ride.

  • Disney hasn’t said how much of each ride’s capacity is now for sale. But because using a Lightning Lane costs real money, we believe Disney will want to set an upper limit on how long people will wait in the Lightning Lane—for example, something like 25%–35% of the posted wait for the Standby Line.
  • You are allowed to cancel a Genie+ Lightning Lane assignment and book a different one (something that cannot be done for Individual Lightning Lane), so keep checking for a better attraction or sooner time window.
  • Don’t use Lightning Lane unless it can save you 30 minutes or more at an attraction or if the ride is distributing immediate return times.
  • If you arrive after a park opens, obtain a return time for your preferred Lightning Lane attraction first thing.
  • Always check the Lightning Lane return period before obtaining your reservation. Keep an eye out for attractions whose Lightning Lane return time is immediate, or at least sooner than the standby wait.
  • Don’t depend on Lightning Lane being available after noon during busier times of the year.
  • Make sure each ticketed person in your party has a Lightning Lane return time. Reservations are tied to each individual admission pass and may not be transferred.
  • With Genie+, maximize efficiency by always obtaining a new Lightning Lane return time for the next attraction while waiting to board the previous one.
  • Attractions may not dispense Lightning Lane reservations while they are closed for technical difficulties or special events.

Which are the most popular Lightning Lane rides?

The most in-demand in terms of Lightning Lane reservations:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Space Mountain
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Toy Story Mania

You should prioritize Lightning Lane reservations for these attractions to avoid long wait times until your reservation time arrives. Also, these attractions are the most likely to “sell out” on busy days, but so far we’ve only seen this on days with the highest crowd levels.

Any questions?

We’ll be monitoring the comments of this post and try to answer any questions you may have. Also, we’ll update the post as necessary in the coming months.

Genie doesn’t have all the answers! Be sure to check out our Disneyland Crowd Calendar, which rates every day of the year on a scale of 1 to 10 so you can see how busy Disneyland and DCA will be during your visit. Also check out our Disneyland Touring Plans. These itineraries can show you how to beat the crowds and spend less time in line at your favorite rides. Our Touring Plans can also be personalized! All of our tools are used by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and are constantly being updated by our in-park team of researchers and data scientists.

Have you used Disney Genie yet? Are you planning on using it during your next visit? Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments. 

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Guy Selga Jr.

Disneyland writer for TouringPlans.com and co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. Also a Disneyland local and appreciator of Disney theme park history. Twitter and Instagram: @guyselga

63 thoughts on “How to Use Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane at Disneyland

  • Hello there! Thank you for the article! I have two questions: I’ll be going to Disneyland / California Adventure in a couple weeks at a very busy time. My two questions are… is it true that it’s only worth it to really purchase Genie Plus as long as you’re in the parks no later than say… like 11:00 a.m.? And, on that note, can I reserve, if… while I’m over in California Adventure in the first part of the day, a lightning lane for an attraction over at Disneyland? ( or do I actually have to be over at Disneyland to reserve a lightning Lane over there?)
    Thanks! – Matt

  • Just returned today from our first DL trip. As everything was so new to us we used your personalized TP to a great extent and they were a huge help – THANK YOU!!

    One thing I tried to do but could not figure out how, was try to indicate in my touring plan shich attractions I’d obtained a LL for and what time that reservation was for so that the plan could take it into consideration.

    I posted this question on the blog and someone recommended I indicate a 20 min break each time I had a LL booked. This worked but the ability to record a LL would have been helpful. Is this functionality something that may be added in the future?

    Thanks so much for the service you provide! You helped make a great trip even better!

    • Thank you! Yes we are working hard to have this feature up and running in the next few weeks.

  • Just booked a DLR trip for January. After years of planning a WDW trip that happened April 2022, I need all the DLR secrets!

  • Hi, I appreciate the article, but a lot has changed in six months, any possibility of doing an updated article, especially about how to time getting Lighting Lanes for optimum touring? The pre-set plans and the personalized plans in the subscription don’t provide any guidance on this, other than having to guess when LL will be available and estimating time until eligible for next LL. Also, nothing on wait times if an LL used instead of standby lane.

  • Thank you for this article…very helpful. I’m a bit confused from the comments as far as waiting to book the next LL. If I book one at 11:00 for Soarin’ and the return time is 6-7 p.m., can I book another LL after 1 p.m.? Or do I have to wait until 6 p.m.?

  • Hi so I’ll be the planner for a Disneyland trip coming up and I am NOT a key holder but a family member that is a key holder is joining us. So can I add the key holders ticket into my Disneyland app?

    • Yes you can.

  • Hi there. This is the best article around explaining Genie+. I have a fairly stupid question, but its bugging me that i cant find out. Im travelling as a party of 4. I understand how to make reservations etc. But when it comes to physically scanning into the lightning lane, will i have a code for all 4 people? Or will i have to scan each ticket individually? Im travelling with some older technophobes, so ill be doing all the genie stuff on my phone, invludong holding the tickets. Thank you

    • In the Disneyland app, after you have all of your party’s tickets scanned in, in the “Tickets and Passes” section of the app you’ll see barcodes for each person’s ticket. When it’s time to redeem a LL, you go up to the scanners at the attraction and scroll through each ticket barcode and scan each one. It’s pretty quick and easy.

  • We’re going to DL on a day where the crowd is expected to be a 7. If we arrive early enough to be at rope drop, and walk quickly to Rise of the Resistance, do you think the standby wait will be reasonable? I’d love to avoid paying for ILL for all 5 of us.

    • If you arrive early enough and are at the head of the pack you should get on ROTR with minimal wait.

  • I also have that question. I’m taking all 4 my kids . How do I make reservations for all of them using only the one phone ??

    • You can scan everyone’s tickets in to the Disneyland app and then control the LL reservations on one phone.

  • Can kids use the Lightning Lane if they don’t have a mobile phone? Like if I make an LL reservation for them but not for me, can get scan a printed pass of some kind in order to use the LL?

    • Yes, you can make reservations for them on your phone. All you have to do is select the ride you want, and then it will ask you to select which party members you want for the LL reservation. You can select any members of your party that you want.

  • Thank you – that’s good to know. Does having an ILL (paid individual Lightning Lane) reservation impact the ability to choose LL (Genie+) rides?

  • I have the same question as poster Tracy:

    I understand that you can only have one LL reservation at a time, but what about the paid individual LL (like for Rise of the Resistance)? Because they are a little different (Genie+ & paid individual LL), can you have one of each? I was wondering because on some of the videos I was watching the return time for the paid ones were further out so I hate to tie up my LL ability. Thanks for any info.

    • Yes, you can have one LL and one ILL.

  • At what point on the crowd calendar does it make sense to purchase Genie+? If the crowds are predicted to be a 5 does it make sense. Or a 6 or a 2? This seems like it would be something Touring Plans might investigate.

    • Great question! Following….

    • We’re still collecting data and looking at the numbers for this. One thing so far is crystal clear, not nearly as many Disneyland visitors use Genie+/Lightning Lane as they do in Walt Disney World. Lightning Lane reservations rarely “sell out.”

      Since we’re still collecting data this is just an anecdotal guess based on me eyeballing wait times every day, I’d personally pay for Genie+ on days that are 5 or above. There was a 5 day where I was using Genie+ and was able to go on everything in Disneyland and have time to spare.

      • I agree that the Disneyland Lighting Lane reservations rarely sell out, but we found several times that the window was up to 6 hours ahead, so we were then blocked from using the Genie + on anything else for all that time.

  • Just got back form Disneyland and California Adventure. Our biggest issue with the Genie+ we purchased, is that you can only have one LL reservation at a time. We ended up missing some rides becuase of this. For example, we really wanted to see Soaring Across America, but when we checked the available reservation times at 11am, the LL reservation window was at 6PM! So if we had chosen that, we wouldn’t be able to use the Genie+ for the majority of the day. That happened with a few different rides. A couple of times it was actually better to just wait in the normal standby lane, if we caught it at a reasonable time, rather than use the Genie+. We never did get to see Soaring, and it’s not likely I’ll be back for several years due to the high cost, so that was a bummer. 🙁 I think for both days, we ended up actually using the Genie+ only three or four times.

    • Right. I added this section to the post today:

      Which are the most popular Lightning Lane rides?
      We’re still collecting data but so far the following attractions are the most in-demand in terms of Lightning Lane reservations (updated 1/26/22):

      Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
      Haunted Mansion
      Indiana Jones Adventure
      Space Mountain
      Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT!
      Toy Story Mania
      You should prioritize Lightning Lane reservations for these attractions to avoid long wait times until your reservation time arrives. Also, these attractions are the most likely to “sell out” on busy days, but so far we’ve only seen this on days with the highest crowd levels.

  • We have not been able to make a new LL reservation until 2 hours have passed. I make one @ 7 am and then also have to wait for 2 hours after that park opens to make the next. So usually 11 am.
    Then we cannot make another for 2 more hours.
    Also, I have not been able to make a new LL reservation after using my first one. This thing really sucks. Totally frustrating.

  • Really interested in seeing/reading about real-life genie+ testing in Disneyland…and having this incorporated into Touring Plans system. Would also love to see touring plans that involve park hopping and genie+ 🙂

    • Same here! Would love to see a park hopper and genie + plan!

  • If I buy my 5 day disney park hopper ticket and add genie +, will I be required to enter the park to start making reservations? Or can I start booking them at 7am.

    • You have to be in the park to make reservations.

  • I understand that you can only have one LL reservation at a time, but what about the paid individual LL (like for Rise of the Resistance)? Because they are a little different (Genie+ & paid individual LL), can you have one of each? I was wondering because on some of the videos I was watching the return time for the paid ones were further out so I hate to tie up my LL ability. Thanks for any info.

    • I was wondering the same thing. Would really suck if I purchased Genie+ $20 @ 8am & spent an additional $20 to LL Rise of the Resistance (let’s say 11:00-12pm). Does that mean I can’t use Genie+ until after 12?

  • Thank you for publishing the prices for each pass system (though, understandably, prices may change by the time my family and I go in April) and clearly defining what they’re for. This makes planning (and dreaming) that much more fun.

    • Unfortunately, the prices for Individual Lighting Lanes have already started to fluctuate. Radiator Springs Racers and Web Slingers have raised to $18 on some days.

  • We bought 5 day Canadian resident tickets with maxpass for our family in 2019–those have been extended to the end of 2022, so we’re hoping to use them next year. Any word whether the maxpass will automatically be converted to genie+?

    • I’m sorry, I’ve tried to look up information about this but I can’t seem to find anything.

      • We messaged via the app, was directed to email (which Disney doesn’t seem to be answering), so ended up calling. The CM said the only option was to get a refund on the maxpass (would come back as a gift card, which is fine with us). The CM thought we could request a refund via their website email page, but that wasn’t working for us (Canadians automatically get redirected to a slightly different webpage)–the CM said they could submit the request for us, but said it’d take 6-8 weeks, and that from the feedback they’d gotten it was best to request the refund at the ticket booth at the park, so that’s what we’ll do.

      • How do you use your lightning Lane pass. Is there a magic band? Similar to Walt Disney World?

      • You scan your park ticket or your ticket barcode in the Disneyland app. Disney has confirmed Magic Bands will arrive at some point but they have not given a date yet.

  • Thanks so much for this article! I do have a question, though. I purchased tickets with Genie+ added for our trip in January. All three tickets are showing in the app on my phone. For my two daughters, do they also download the app, and we all use the Genie+ reservation indivdually, or do I do it for all three tickets on my app? How do I transfer the ticket info from my account to each of theirs? We may not ride all rides together, as we are also meeting friends there and may split up for a while. Thanks!

    • All you have to do to transfer tickets from one account to another is have the other members of your party have the Disneyland app installed. Then everyone can scan in each other’s tickets and make reservations on their own.

  • If I purchase the paid experience of genie+ do I still have to purchase individual lightning lanes for rise, cars and web slingers as a separate charge or are those included after the genie+ purchase?

  • Thank you for the info! I loved MaxPass! Wish this was the same, but knowing you can only get one reservation per ride a day is so laaame. I’ll save the $ and just take our chances. I don’t want to frustrate myself & family trying schedule the perfect day. This feels like a great way to ruin the Disneyland experience. Probably our last time in the park for a long time. It’s sad.

  • What do you recommend for a family that wants to split up? Currently I’ve got 6 people on the same reservation. If we split up then anyone not with me (the planner with the phone/app/tickets/reservation) won’t be able to manage their genie+ LL. Is there a way to split the reservation and have 2 group managers?

    • When you make a LL reservation you’re given the option to select which party members you want to be on each one. So if you had a party of 6, for example, you could make one reservation for 3 people, and then a different reservation for another. Each member of the party can of the Disneyland app on their phones with everyone’s tickets scanned in and they can manage their own reservations as well.

  • Hey Guy. If a regular Genie Plus reservation turns into a multiple experiences pass due to attraction downtime, then you use that pass at a different ride, can you make a new reservation at the original ride if it’s still available? As in will it bump into the issue of only one reservation per ride per day? Thank you!

    • That’s a good question. Next time I find myself in this situation I’ll try it out and see what happens and update the post. Thanks

  • Once you get a chance to do some testing in the field would love some info on which LL we should prioritize at DL and DCA, as well as when various rides tend to sell out of LL at different crowd levels. The articles from the WDW Genie+ testing have been very helpful in planning our next WDW trip, would love something similar for Disneyland. Though I’m not sure how much help you have over there on the west coast.

    • We’re collecting the data and will have something soon. Thanks

  • Very nice article – makes it all very clear. I’m disappointed you only get to use the Genie+ for each ride one time. I love certain rides and with MaxPass would ride 4 or 5 times. If you had all the money in the world could you circumvent this limitation by buying yourself multiple park tickets?

    • Yeah that is a disappointing change from before. I assume your multiple ticket trick would work because when you make a LL reservation you’re able to select the members of the party you want on the reservation.

  • We purchased park tickets back in August for our upcoming February trip, and Genie+ was not being offered yet as an add-on. Now that the service has rolled out for Disneyland, you can buy new tickets that include Genie+, but there’s not an obvious way to add Genie+ to our existing tickets. We have a question in to Disney customer service about this, since it seems like something that ought to be offered. It sounds like it would be a real time waster to have to go through all the steps of buying Genie+ every day before being able to start reserving LL times.

    One question I haven’t seen answered: for guests staying on-site, is it possible to join a virtual queue, book an ILL, or buy Genie+ for the day from the hotel? From my reading, it seems like on-site guests at WDW can do some things at 7am on a given day without entering a park first, but I have not heard anything similar for DL.

    I’m quite stressed about the whole new system! With the help of Touring Plans, we have had DL touring down to a science for the last 10 years. We went to WDW for a week right before the pandemic and never did get to ride ROTR despite 4 mornings of trying for the virtual queue, so it would be really disappointing if we have problems with the LL system on this trip.

    • You’re right, as of now you can’t add on Genie+ to tickets you’ve already purchased. Four your other question, Disneyland has not announced anything like that for their resort hotel guests.

  • Thank you very much for this article! So does this mean that you can only purchase Genie plus after you arrive at the parks? I thought I read you could purchase it as an add on to your tickets when you purchase them start making reservations at 7am the morning of, but maybe that was Disney World. Thank you!

    • AS of right now you can buy tickets with Genie+ added on, but you can not add them to tickets or Magic Keys you already have.

      • Thanks for the info – I used MaxPass when that was a thing and I thought it was awesome. Maybe a stupid question related to the above comment, but as a Magic Key holder can I still purchase Genie+ at the park when I get there? Or on the app before I go? I’m not clear on “you can not add them to tickets or Magic Keys you already have.” Thanks!

  • Also, I noticed that you said you can book a new LL reservation after 1 hour, instead of 2 hours at WDW. Is that how it’s going to continue to function going forward? Because that makes a huge difference in how many LL reservation we’ll likely use in a day and therefore whether or not it’s worth it to purchase it.

    And any word on if they fixed the issues from opening day? Heard it was a bit of a technical disaster.

    • The 1 hour was because the window was complete. Another LL can be booked at the end of your return window. If the window is further out, you have to wait a max of 2 hours, just like WDW.

    • We have Genie + for our upcoming Disneyland trip. We are used to magicbands and as of now DL doesn’t use them. Everyone is linked to my account on my phone. They don’t have the app and children aren’t allowed to create an app profile. So how do we redeem our lightening lane reservations without magic bands? Will everyone’s LL show on my phone? We bought a hotel/ticket package, so we don’t have a physical ticket.

      • Yes, everyone’s tickets and lightning lanes will appear on your account. You can scan everyone’s tickets when its your time to ride.

  • I appreciate this article. It really helps me get an idea of what it’s like to use Genie+ In the parks. We’ve got a trip coming up to DL, so I also really appreciate that touring plans is in the process of enabling LL return times to be incorporated into the WDW and DLR personalized plans. Helps me navigate the parks with our family of 5.

    • We’re glad we can help. Have a great trip.


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