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Wild Rivers Plans To Reopen In Irvine By 2019

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South Orange County's favorite former water park, Wild Rivers, is making a comeback. The Irvine City Council has approved preliminary plans to construct an approximately 30-acre version of the water park at the cultural terrace grounds of Irvine's Great Park.

For anyone who spent time as a child/teen/man-boy in south Orange County between 1986 and 2011, a hot summer's day at Wild Rivers was a special treat and a unifying experience for everyone before the start of the school year. So, it was with a certain sentimental pain that we bid farewell to the site in 2011 when the owners' 25-year lease expired with the Irvine Company. The lazy river, Viper, Wipeout, and rest of the park were razed—the land was then redeveloped into phase one of the Irvine Company's Los Olivos neighborhood (hey, it's Irvine, what did you expect).

The Irvine Meadows Amphitheater (aka Verizon Wireless Amphitheater), former neighbor to Wild Rivers, also ended its decades-long lease with the Irvine Company this year. The amphitheater's grounds is currently being redeveloped into phase two of Los Olivos. (It should be noted that the amphitheater will also be relocating, at least temporarily, to Irvine's Great Park.)

As the Orange County Register notes, on Tuesday, the city of Irvine approved an exclusive negotiation agreement with Wild Rivers, LLC., to begin site planning and draft the land's lease.

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Construction should immediately follow by summer 2018, and the new water park is expected to open by summer 2019.