Wild Rivers (water park)
Wild Rivers Water Park in 2010
|Location||Irvine, California, United States|
Summer 2019 (reopening)
|Closed||September 25, 2011|
|Previous names||Lion Country Safari|
Wild Rivers was a water park in Irvine, California, United States. It opened in July 1986  on the site of the former Lion Country Safari. Following the expiration of its lease with The Irvine Company, it closed permanently on September 25, 2011. Since the closure, there have been plans to recreate Wild Rivers in Irvine on or near the Orange County Great Park, which have been under development.
Before Wild Rivers was built, the land was a drive-through zoo called Lion Country Safari, which went bankrupt and closed in 1984. Construction on Wild Rivers "Mountain" began in 1985 and the park itself opened in 1986.
In early 2011, Wild Rivers announced that it had lost its lease with The Irvine Company. Both the park and the adjacent Camp James were scheduled to close at the end of the 2011 season. The park was planned to be demolished with 1,750 apartments being built in its place. A new water park was planned to be built on public land near the Orange County Great Park, and was scheduled to open to the public in May 2014.
Proposed Water park at the Orange County Great Park
Since 2012, there have been attempts to redevelop Wild Rivers on or near the Orange County Great Park. It was originally slated that a Wild Rivers park would open in May 2014, but it was then delayed a year later to May 2015 before it was cancelled altogether due to financial and land approval issues. In March 2016, the plans were revived and three months later, on June 26, 2016, the Great Park Board proposed two sites: one 35 acres and the other 60 acres. In late April 2017, Wild Rivers successfully negotiated a contract with the Irvine City Council, acting as the Orange County Great Park, paving the way for their return to Irvine, which was slated to place in summer 2019. However, in August 2018, Wild Rivers posted on their Facebook page that the opening date would be pushed back again to 2020 as they were finalizing the lease terms and finishing the environmental study.
- "Wild Rivers closes after 25 years". The Orange County Register. 2011-09-25. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Wild Rivers Waterpark, Irvine". Wildrivers.com. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
- "New Wild Rivers approved by county supervisors". The Orange County Register. 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- "Timeline: Wild Rivers' wild ride". Orange County Register. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- Tully, Sarah (June 5, 2011). "Summer thrills, chills". The Orange County Register. p. Local 7.
- "New Wild Rivers approved by county supervisors". The Orange County Register. 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2013-06-08.
- "Water park in Irvine's Great Park is closer to reality five years after Wild Rivers closed". Ocregister.com. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
- "ORANGE COUNTY GREAT PARK BOARD REGULAR MEETING - May 24th, 2016". Irvine.granicus.com. 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
Due to building a new village.