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NEWS: Wild Rivers Water Park to relocate to Temecula


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Sad day for southern California, since 1986 thousands of kids and adults have been able to enjoy a hot summers day at Wildrivers until now 2011. The Irvine Company is destroying the park to build condos and housing which will sit empty for years.

 

I pretty much grew up at the park, my first visit was in the early 90s I was 6 or 7 and went every summer until I got my first job which was at...well where else Wildrivers!! I was a lifeguard there for 4 seasons from 2000-2004. Needless to say I was pretty sad to see this park go and wish a painful death to who ever let this happen..not really but you know what I mean. The wave pools and half of the mountain rides were completely gone when i took theses

 

and now for some pics enjoy

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Congo River Rapids.. still rideable

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Bomb Bay Blasters best ride in the world, next to swister falls

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this is where water walk use to be it was an old school interactive play area

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Surfhill!! an old school mat ride with no handles on the mats that you could fold up and get insane speed and launch off the final drop and crash HARD into the back wall only true vets could do this

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wipeout and cobras

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anyone thirsty??

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a new exit latter

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have a seat your server will be with you shortly

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Chaos demo, looks like they are selling off the parts

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little kid area not gone yet

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lazy river trying to get out of the rain, not working too well

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midway soon to be gone

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i want that gorilla in my backyard

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50 bucks to whoever slides down there naked

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what used to be the patriot and the bazooka bowls

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whats left of the pathway up to Congo river rapids

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sigh

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Wow, that's really sad to see it finally bite the dust after being saved so many times.

 

Bombay blasters was both amazing and terrifying. Crazy that it seems like they're not trying to save or sell much at all!

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The suck is strong in these pictures... Bombay Blasters was indeed the most intense waterpark ride I've ever been on. We called it the "Birth: The Experience" slide. Really liked this park a lot.

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I really did like this park a lot, but to be honest, I'm kind of surprised it lasted as long as it did on life support. Bummer to see it go, but it's been threatened to close for at least a half a decade now.... Hopefully at some point they'll end up building a new park. It's what they make mention to on their website: http://www.wildrivers.com/

Edited by robbalvey
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^ 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?

 

It is a bummer to see this park go, though. I think my first visit to it was in 1988.

 

Bombay Blasters was freaking amazing.

Edited by robbalvey
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Didn't they add some kind of "Bowl" slide a few years ago though? At least I remember something like that.

 

It's sad to see it go, but I don't think I had been to that park since I was probably 13-14 (so 1988/1989). I wanted to go this last summer but we just never got around to it.

 

I totally agree about Bombay Blasters. Would have been nice if SFHH or one of the Soak City parks had taken those.

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^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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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^ 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.....

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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).

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^^ Exactly. The park was very unique. I loved how I could just walk up a hill to get to a slide, and not a bunch of stairs. And while most of the rides were too old to be saved, not all of them were. The Abyss was still in fairly good condition. The supports could have easily been modified to fit a new landscape. Bombay blasters could be dug up and set aside as well. Though, this would all mean they would have to build the new park on a hill. Something I have a feeling they won't be doing. The land they are looking at is over by the old marine base. That land is flat. But I guess nothing is stopping them from building a hill again ...

 

I'm also hearing that the new park will not be called Wild Rivers. The company that owns Wild Rivers recently built a water park Temecula called "Splash Canyon." It's been suggested that the new park in Irvine will take this name. Personally, I hope they keep the Wild Rivers name. It's part of the community identity.

Edited by metrock
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I'm so sad that this park went under...I used to go there every year when the Irish Fair was going on... I'd do an Irish Dance competition in the morning and then go to the waterpark for the afternoon and RACE people on Bombay Blasters, which were indeed the most amazing/insane water slides ever created...

 

RIP Wild Rivers

 

PS: Anyone know if they save the big tower at the front of the park? It had the two body bowls and the 6 person raft slide...It was the newest addition, so hopefully those slides got save as they were great...

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I recall back in the late 80s this park was featured (along with SFMM) on a Nickelodian TV game show called "Wild and Crazy Kids" where the youts had to traverse the 'rapdis slides' with an egg (Or similar) on a spoon...

 

However, I'm very sad to see any waterpark bite the dust. Older attractions (Such as the 'rapids' slides...) are still some of the only rides I enjoy in waterparks, and losing another set of these is to me a bit tragic.

 

R.D.

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This is very sad because I have been going to Wild Rivers ever since I was 3 years old. Every year I would visit around 14 to 22 times and it was a blast. Seeing these pictures makes me want to cry because this is where all of my summer memories were made. I remember when I was 4 years old my dad would take me into the wave pool and was scared to death that I would drown. I miss those times when I was a little kid and went to Wild Rivers. I will miss everyone of its attractions. I never thought this day would come for a while because with the economy this bad and so many houses being foreclosed I would think that people aren't buying that much and that there is a bunch of vacant homes out there. It truly is sad to see it go and I hope that Wild Rivers will find a permanent location for the future. I hope they will be open for summer of 2013. Goodbye Wild Rivers I hope you had a good life and enjoyed everyone that went to you.

 

P.S. How did you get access to take these pictures? Thank you for taking these pictures.

 

 

R.I.P. Wild Rivers, Thank you for the memories I hope we meet again.

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