$60 Million Wild Rivers Water Park at OC Great Park in Irvine to Break Ground this Month, Open Summer 2022

Friday, July 02, 2021

Main News Photo

(Orange County Register)

It won’t come in time to quench this summer’s heat, but a new Wild Rivers water park in Irvine could be ready to open its gates for swimming, sliding and splashing by summer 2022.

Developer Mike Riedel said July 1, he now has financing all lined up for the $60 million park and he could start to break ground as soon as the middle of next week.

The original Wild Rivers was a summertime fixture for 25 years before it closed in 2011 after the Irvine Company, which owned the land leased for the park, moved ahead with plans to build apartments there. Now Riedel has a long-term lease with the city of Irvine for a site at the corner of Great Park Blvd. and Skyhawk, near the Orange County Great Park’s baseball fields.

Riedel said he expects to have a grading permit in hand next week and, after the struggle to line up funding, he’s “looking forward to doing the stuff that I’m good at.”

And there’ll be no bureaucratic holdup from the city – Irvine Councilman Anthony Kuo said Riedel has all the approvals he needs.

The new park – featuring water slides, raft rides and a lazy river – could be done by next May. Riedel said the work should go quickly because multiple features can be under construction at the same time.

“It’s a relief, it’s a dream come true, really,” he said. “It’s what I’ve worked really hard for, for over a decade, to bring Wild Rivers back.”

Kuo, who remembers trying to conquer the original park’s wave pool while growing up in Irvine, said he expects the new Wild Rivers to be “an amenity really in our community that so many have been wanting to return since their closure.”

(Photo courtesy of Mike Riedel, Wild Rivers)


The Irvine Company is a gold-level Leaders Circle partner of the Greater Irvine Chamber.

Category: Irvine, Orange County Great Park, Irvine Company, Leaders Circle, Greater Irvine Chamber