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Good Bye Home Town Square

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Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby jimmy gimbels » Mon May 06, 2013 9:30 am

Another bit of Marriott has disappeared. In order to make way for the new IGNIGHT (SFGA spelling, not mine), those fine folks at SFGA have turned Hometown Square into a giant concrete expanse. Gone is the music stand, trees, landscaping and benches. I hope they still do more to make the area a bit more attractive. But as is on May 5, it looks like a parking lot. Sad. It was one of the few places a person could sit in a bit of shade....free of advertising blasting out of speakers.
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Re: Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby marcos » Wed May 08, 2013 10:55 am

The park management/staff stated in January at No Coaster Con that all changes to Hometown Square are reversible, whenever igNight has run its course. They also claimed to be passionate about park preservation...so, we'll see. The changes were necessary due to pyrotechnics and other special effects being used for igNight.

A week before opening, the Gazebo was still there, believe it or not!


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Re: Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby RLAiello » Mon May 13, 2013 11:47 am

Can they fix Yukon Territory and get rid of that awful go-kart thing? They ruined that area.
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Re: Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby RepeatPMWaterRides » Mon May 20, 2013 6:23 pm

Marcos (above) says that at mid-Winter no-coaster con, SFGA claimed that the changes to Hometown Square would all be 'reversible'. I noticed that about 8 to 10 mature (approx 40 years old) Crimson Maple trees were cut-down to make way for IGNITE....... that does not seem reversible.
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Re: Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby marcos » Thu May 23, 2013 11:11 am

RLAiello wrote:Can they fix Yukon Territory and get rid of that awful go-kart thing? They ruined that area.

Agreed!

I have received several park surveys since the gutting and removal of Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes National Park before the 2011 season. I complain about that eyesore (and "earsore") every time, and refer to it as "Go-Kart Territory."

Supposedly, this was an experiment, and if unsuccessful, it could be removed. Well, we're on season three with Go-Kart Territory, so they must be making money on it. It's truly a shame how it's right in the middle of the park, in what used to be a nicely landscaped area. I *still* don't get how parents give their kids extra money to ride those stupid things, when there are plenty of other go-kart places in the Chicago area, some much better than what is at the park. It's certainly not unique like riding a coaster.

I'm not sure who has hacked up Yukon worse now, Gurnee, or Santa Clara. Both are pretty bad.


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Re: Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby marcos » Thu May 23, 2013 11:21 am

RepeatPMWaterRides wrote:Marcos (above) says that at mid-Winter no-coaster con, SFGA claimed that the changes to Hometown Square would all be 'reversible'. I noticed that about 8 to 10 mature (approx 40 years old) Crimson Maple trees were cut-down to make way for IGNITE....... that does not seem reversible.

I guess I didn't catch the old (original?) mature trees. In my mind they were younger/smaller. That stinks. Their replacements certainly won't be nearly as lush and nice looking.


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Re: Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby RandyV » Sun May 26, 2013 6:35 am

I've been watching this whole igNite thing (or whatever they're calling it) unfold though pictures online. I can't believe they're tearing up Hometown Square like that and turning it in to a concrete jungle. Ugh. It'll be interesting to see how well this production does with the public.

The park really seems to have lost its way. Between this and the whole "ride backwards" gimmick, they seem to be scraping for ways to keep people entertained. You'd think they'd just look at how it was done in the past (which seemed to work fine for years) but I guess the public is a lot more fickle with a lot shorter attention/appreciation span ...

Instead of spending a boat load of money on concrete, you'd think they'd spend a little on paint for the American Eagle.
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Re: Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby OldSchoolGAFan » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:38 am

Whenever I see pictures online it makes me sad to see the park I loved as a child and high school adolescent become more and more generic. I know they are in the entertainment business and change is inevitable, but not at the cost of what made Great America unique to begin with.
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Re: Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby txcrew » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:10 am

I've also been watching the construction updates for the igNight show and I just don't understand what they're doing with it. This thread hit the nail right on the head. To be honest, the whole set they have erected for it looks awful. I don't care how many explosions, lasers and dancers there are going to be, a stage like that doesn't fit in the park.

Theme parks are called that because of their diverse, intricately detailed and submersive themed areas they typically have. When you start adding elements to a themed area that clearly don't belong, like big blocks of cement (igNight or GoKarts), the theme park starts to lose some of it's visual appeal and more importantly, it's soul.

Disappointing to say the least.
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Re: Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby jimmy gimbels » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:08 pm

Well that didn't last long.

Sources tell me that the IGNITE show will not be back for 2014. So Hometown Square was raped of trees and bushes for nothing. I guess the show failed to create the excitement...if you saw the show, you would have to agree it wasn't the most entertaining show. I always thought the references to the Great Chicago Fire were in questionable taste.

For 2014, look for the parade to return...much less expensive to operate.

So let us see if SF will retunr Hometown Square to its past glory. I hope so.
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Re: Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby jimmy gimbels » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:53 pm

IGNITE is definitely cancelled for the 2014 season. Instead, SFGA will do an evening parade. Anyone have details on it? I doubt if Home Town Square will be restored....just a big expanse of concrete.
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Re: Good Bye Home Town Square

Postby NightRider785 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:05 pm

I saw the stairs in the Hometown train station. Or what used to be the stairs to go to/from the station. They cut through the stairs with that steel wall stuff that they slam into the ground to stop erosion, and added temp rickety stage steps for actors. The main big entrance for Hometown Station will most likely remain a small stage, forcing guests to walk up through the woods to reach the train. Looks like they made this iGnite stage with the thought of keeping it around for a long time.
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