The Irvine-based Wild Rivers Water Park broke ground in early July last summer and will be soon looking to fill the $60 million project with 900,000 gallons of water.

While the Irvine community has been anticipating the return of Wild Rivers this summer, a previously reported opening date of June 20 has come and gone. However, Wild Rivers has confirmed a soft opening date of July 10, with Irvine Weekly.

Riedel said he was looking ahead to mid-July for a grand opening of “Wild Rivers 2.0,” or, “a few weeks after the July 10 soft opening.” Riedel was enthusiastic to share more details about what guests can expect. In terms of food, crowds can expect the general hot dogs, hamburgers and cheeseburgers and a few other surprises. Riedel said all food will be served on a grab-and-go basis.

“They’re going out with a rather large menu of the typical items you would expect, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, chicken sandwiches,” he said. “There are a few surprises – I think I saw a pulled pork sandwich. So, we’ll see how all those go over, and make adjustments to the menu as people order, or don’t order certain things.”

Additionally, of-age guests will be happy to know that Wild Rivers will also be hosting a full bar – not just beer and wine – which is called the Mustang Bar, located in between the Lazy River and the Wave Pool.

“Alcohol will also be served in the private cabana areas as well,” Riedel said.

Riedel has previously emphasized that the Water Park would not open until it could provide a well-rounded experience, even if it was not fully completed.  

“We’re not going to open unless we have almost all of the rides available. We know that the little-kiddie slides are probably not going to be ready on the 20th. But we have an area for little kids,” he said. “But it’s definitely not going to be like we open and there are two rides open. Our goal is to deliver everything we can. We’re not going to deliver a substandard project.”

Last year, Riedel spoke with Irvine Weekly, admitting that acquiring the necessary funding was a “rocky road.” While the project was supposed to break ground in April 2021, the official groundbreaking took place on July 7 and was expected to take 12 to 13 months to complete. 

Now, as crews prepare for the approximate 900,000-gallon initial fill, Riedel reflected on aspects of the park he’s most impressed with.  

“What I find really unique about the new location is the homage that the park pays to the El Toro Marine Base that it once was. When you walk up to the main gate, you immediately realize that it looks like a hangar,” he said. “The walkway itself is a runway, so little things like that, and the attractions are made to play off the El Toro base.”

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