^My experience is that very little about this economy makes any sense. I've never visited Wild Waters, but it's still sad to see it removed; however, as Robb and Bob said, if it was making money, it would still be operating.
Wow, it is sad to see a water park, or any park go (especially at the hands of the great folks over at Irvine Co.--not that I'm still bitter about how treated one of our properties lol)
Even if the park were profitable and raking it in, now that Irvine Co's plans are completed and approved for the apartment complex, they would have found a way to kick them off that piece of land regardless. A housing development is simply worth more and they would have jacked up the lease rate to compensate, which would have shut the park down anyway.
I just found out that my friend's company are the ones stripping the site. His work bid and bought all of the ticketing room equipment, swim store stuff, stainless steel equipment, and a ton of other park stuff. None of the slides were being saved, but the pumps were being sold though.
Wow ... absolutely surreal. To think it was only few months ago that I was there enjoying all those slides from my youth.
I knew the park was going away, but not in this fashion ... not this quick. I really thought that some of the rides would be saved. At least The Abyss. And the other really disappointing thing is knowing that all the original structures from Lion Country will be demolished as well. To me, that's a part of the (very little) history that Irvine has.
All this so they can build apartments next to a concert venue. And then, of course Verizon will make way for more homes as well. This really sucks for the residents of South OC. There really won't be anything left to do. Hopefully they are granted land for a new park in Irvine.
robbalvey wrote:^ To be honest, though, I don't blame them. I hadn't been to this park since 2004, and a lot of the slides were looking dated even then. I can't imagine there was a single slide newer than 10 years in that park. And when you walk around IAAPA and see all the new and really impressive looking water park technology being introduced, why would a park want something a decade old as their "new" attraction?
While I completely agree that new water park and slide technology is awesome and amazing, I always had a soft spot for some of these "old school" unique waterpark attractions that feel like they were literally carved out of the side of a hill or built out of plywood and concrete. New slides these days, again while a lot of fun, all seem kind of the same. I mean if you've been on one tornado slide you been on them all, one mat racer you've been on them all. As unique and innovative as new slides are there are so many of them out there that none of them seem very unique (with the exception of the hydromagnetic rocket slides). That's the real reason I hate to see a park like this go, I don't think we're ever going to see really unique, one of a kind, waterslides like these ever again. Atleast not until Wild Bill decides to open a World of Waterpark Nostalgia somewhere.....
It's really sad to see a place I've visited nearly every summer for fifteen years disappear. I remember my visit in September two weeks before closing and thinking, "This place may not be the best, but it is one of the most unique. It's too bad nobody else will get to experience it." Looks like I was right. When I last drove by this place in late October/early November, it was still standing and looked pretty much like a normal offseason. Wow, it came down quick.
As far as slide relocations go, Bazooka Bowls opened in 2002 and Patriot was 1998 (I remember going opening year for both of those). Those two slides, as well as Chaos (a early/mid 1990's slide) were the only ones I could see potentially being relocated, as they were built on flat ground instead of integrated into the mountain. I've always expected all the concrete and foam slides (Congo River Rapids, Bombay Blasters, Sweitzer Falls, Serengeti Surf Hill, etc), would probably be lost for good.
I really hope Wild Rivers reopens as a new park, and I hope that they will try to build more unique attractions (at least for this area). Until then, I'm stuck with Knott's Soak City (probably a better waterpark, but Wild Rivers was 1/3 the distance from where I live).
Top 5 Steel: Bizarro (SFNE), Nitro, Apollo's Chariot, Maverick, Banshee Top 5 Wood: Boulder Dash, El Toro, Thunderhead, Gold Striker, Lightning Racer Top 3 Parks: Holiday World, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Cedar Point TPR Trips: IntimidaTour 2010, North East Trip 2011, LeviaTHON 2012, Mini Tours 2014 (New Hotness & East Coast)
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