^ As of two weekends ago, nothing was left. Just some trees and busted up concrete where the lazy river was. I'm sure with how fast things are going, there is nothing left at this point. On Christmas weekend everything to the right of the park entrance was gone. Half of the hill remained. The following weekend the hills was gone and was a giant hole. Everything to the left of the entrance looks almost the same (except the summer camp was totally gone). Two weeks later, everything was how I described it earlier.
I have a lot of pictures that I've been meaning to post here. I'll get around to it shortly.
I had never been to Wild Rivers, I even went to UC Irvine from 1997-2002. I didn't even realize they were still open. I always remember in the 80's seeing their commercials though. Now I wish I had gone there before. It seemed so cool to the the commercial with the tubes coming out of the ground and shooting people into the pool.
Also on another note, it's been a long time since I have been to Raging Waters, and I can't believe Raging Rivers is gone. That was the best water ride ever. That multi path and being almost like a lazy river was so fun.
I am a Civil Engineer and had sort of lectures from people at the Irvine Company, and those people seemed so evil. I remember I wasn't the only one in the classes who thought so. No idea what anyone is thinking building out in that area right now, as there is a lot of other vacant land ready to go, I think at least a 5000+ unit development, that has been on hold since the depression started.
Wild Rivers Waterpark is on track to reopen in two years on county-owned land next to Irvine's planned Great Park. The water-ride amusement park was forced to close down after 27 years at its previous location in Irvine to make way for housing development. But after several months of discussions and planning, the county and Wild Rivers Irvine LLC are closing in on a final agreement, public records show. The county Board of Supervisors last month gave government staff the authority to negotiate a lease agreement.
"We are negotiating terms and hope to bring a lease to the board for approval next month," said James Campbell, manager of land development with the county. The park would be on 17 acres of a 100-acre parcel the county owns that is nestled between the Metrolink/Amtrak rail and the Great Park's southwest border, just east of the I-5 Freeway between the 133 Toll Road and Alton Parkway. The area is the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.
The new Wild Rivers park will feature all new water slides, attractions, themes and layout, company president Mike Riedel said. All of the slides, attractions and structures at the former park were demolished, aside from a few novelty items such as an iconic clock.
The initial lease for the county land would likely be for 20 years. It will cost about $30 million to $35 million to build the park, and Riedel said the financing is already lined up. The park will operate about 110 days a year, starting with weekends in May, full weeks from June through early September and weekends again into October. Wild Rivers has agreed to contribute $3 million up front, some of which the county would use to demolish buildings and grade the property, Riedel said. The structures include a mess hall from the 1940s and '50s.
Five Points, which is responsible for building the roads and access on the former air base it is developing, has "graciously" agreed to accelerate its infrastructure schedule to accommodate the park, Riedel said.
Construction of Wild Rivers would begin in May of next year and the plan is to open the park in May of 2014.
The previous Wild Rivers was 14 acres on nearby land owned by The Irvine Co. off the I-405 freeway. The amusement park shared a parking lot with Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Both venues originally subleased the land from Lion Country Safari, a drive-through wild animal park that closed in 1984.
Wild Rivers provided about 1,200 summer jobs for Orange County, many of them being filled by local teenagers, before it closed. The new park will employ slightly less than that because of new design efficiencies being implemented, Riedel said.
The water park operated for 27 years, with several lease renewals, until The Irvine Co. finally gave it the boot in September to start construction on 1,750 apartments.
The amphitheater's lease ends in 2017.
Irvine City Council zoned the Wild Rivers area for residential development when it updated the city's master plan in 2006.
Wild Rivers is also negotiating to buy city land in Temecula to build a new water park there.
Southern California water parks include Raging Waters in San Dimas, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Valencia and Knott's Soak City in Buena Park, Palm Springs and San Diego and Legoland Water Park in Carlsbad.
This is great news. From the sounds of it everything is going smoothly and there should be no snags, so this might actually be ready by their desired opening season. Hopefully they incorporate the same type of slides like Bombay Blasters that they had at the old location, move some land around and make it a big hill!
So glad they're going to make an option other than Soak City and Raging Waters for us So Cal people to pick from.
This should be "interesting" to watch. As Temecula is over an hour away from Irvine, they certainly do not service the same group of people. So it's not like this will really be a replacement for the Wild Rivers that used to be in Irvine. I really hope the park can survive. Just seems to be a bit out in the middle of nowhere for a 20-acre park.
Especially considering that Orange County already has two options for decent water parks (Soak City & Raging Waters), Palm Springs has their own Soak City, and so does San Diego. Can the area around Temecula really support a water park? We watched Lake Delores fail out in the middle of nowhere...I hope the same doesn't happen to this property.
--Robb "Just seems like an odd choice to put the waterpark" Alvey
Last edited by robbalvey on Wed May 09, 2012 9:45 pm.
It will definitely be interesting. I know there have been rumors of a Temecula water park for years, so I'm glad to see something come to fruition.
As for Temecula, there are a lot of Orange County transplants here.
But you've also got a lot of surrounding areas where they rely on Temecula for commuting, certain shops, big box stores, etc. The area where this park is going has A LOT of traffic and is easily accessible from the freeway.
Chris #10 2011 Northeast & Cedar Point Trips Maverick > Millennium Force
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