Irvine Gets a Look at New Plans for Wild Rivers at the Great Park

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Main News Photo

(Orange County Register)

Wild Rivers owner Mike Riedel said he hopes to start building a bigger, better water park full of slides and rides early next year and to start welcoming visitors in May 2022.

He submitted plans to the city for review this month and could see the Planning Commission take them up as soon as September.

The original Wild Rivers ended its 25-year run in 2011, when the Irvine Company built apartments on the property that had been leased to the water park.

The new site in the Orange County Great Park is bigger than the old park, Riedel said. It’ll cover 20 acres now compared with about 14 acres before.

“The attractions are grander scale – there’s not a dud among them,” he said Monday, July 27, noting that the popular Bombay Blasters will return, and the park will open with four rides with six-person rafts that can fit a whole family.

When Riedel posted the news online recently, Facebook users reacted with excitement, with many sharing their memories of summers spent at the original Wild Rivers and reminiscing about their favorite rides there.

Some wrote they look forward to taking their children, like one who said: “We will be first in line to buy passes for us and the kids!”

Riedel said he’s cautious because the project has seen several delays so far, but he’s excited too.

“It’s been a really long road with a ton of unforeseen obstacles,” but city officials worked with him to quickly negotiate a new lease and find a different site when the first one chosen didn’t pan out, Riedel said.

“I think the road ahead looks smooth – but until it’s done, it’s not done.”

Rendering: The latest plans for the layout of a new Wild Rivers water park to be built at the Great Park in Irvine, submitted for city approval in July 2020. (Courtesy of Mike Riedel/Wild Rivers)

Category: Community News