To help envision new attractions scale models are often used. Some of these models are quite intricate and offer the ride designers a way to showoff their concepts as well as to offer a guide for construction especially in the days before 3-D computer modeling.
Six Flags partnered with Intamin to create the world's first rapids ride for 1980 and it was a huge success. The chain looked to add the rides to their two biggest parks next in 1981 with Great Adventure and Magic Mountain both receiving rapids rides.

Great Adventure's Roaring Rapids was planned for a previously undeveloped area of the park, leaving a stand of old trees in the center of the ride as part of the theme. The scale model of the ride shows the layout for the ride and how it was designed to fit in with the existing elements.
The Roaring Rapids model was quite intricate, showing in great detail all of the ride's aspects. It included the ride's station, rockwork, placement of all the ride's elements, its large retention pond, and even the rides surrounding Roaring Rapids. In addition, a new food and retail building that was to be built along the new pathway to and from the ride was incorporated in great detail, even though it was relocated during the actual construction.

The model was built by the extremely talented Ken Schinkel of the park's Art & Design department.  It was built to the same scale as a Lightnin' Loops model built a few years prior by Arthur Thuijs, designer of the park's Garden of Marvels area.  The rapids model was eight foot square and the waterway had a resin coating which allowed for water to run through it.  It featured a pump as well as working waterfalls. 

The Roaring Rapids model lived on beyond just promoting the new ride at Great Adventure.  After being reduce in size to six foot by six foot, the model was shipped to Six Flags Over Texas for the introduction of their rapids ride in 1983.
Original Spotlight:  July 14, 2020; Updated:  July 17, 2020.  GAH Reference#:  RIDE-1981-001

(updated spotlight coming soon)