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 Review of Great Bear @ Hersheypark
2 Rating Posted by: Animan1 on 9/7/2006 4:39:00 PM
Great Bear has the appearance of being one of the most unique B&M inverts. The helix before the drop, unique placement, and creative support structure definitely make it different from the majority of B&Ms designs. My big question of course was on how it was going to ride though.

After a wait of about 20 minutes, and riding in the 7th row, we were off. The lift is taller than it looks, but is still nowhere near as big as, say, Alpengeist, or even Montu. After a short drop, we were into the helix, which proved to be much more foreful than I would have guessed - you get some good forces in there. The little journey from the end of the helix to the actual drop is also nice, as you are essentially just suspended in the air about 100 feet above the river below you, with a great view of the inversions to come. That is over soon enough though, as you drop down near the water and up into the vertical loop. Following an extended straightaway into the immelman, its up and over before heading back up into the zero-g roll, which for some reason I was anticipating to be to the right instead of the left, so that was a surprise. The rest of the ride is not particularly exciting, but fun nonetheless, and includes some good turns and a wingover.

Generally, Great Bear is not the best B&M invert I have ridden, but it is not the worst either, that honor continuuing to belong to Raptor. Bear has some unique elements, a cool placement that allows it to interact with its surroundings nicely, and a short, compact layout that offers some nice intensity without tiring you as much as, say, BTR does. Certainly among the better coasters at the park, and one not to be missed, especially by any B&M fan.

Review Comments

RCGenius on 9/7/2006 8:54:25 PM said:
Good review, although I do find the Great Bear as the most boring B&M invert ever. After the first drop & the helix, the rest of the ride can be done while youre asleep. The amount of straightaway track it has really bugs me the most because they couldve added elements like another corkscrew & a double helix at the end & Great Bears ride performance wouldve been decent. BTW, why do you hate the Raptor so much? Im not saying that its a bad thing because Raptors my favorite B&M invert, but I was just wandering. Youd think that a 137 foot B&M invert with a 119 foot drop reaching speeds of 57 m.p.h. & displaying six inversions wouldve made the ride sound great. The out-and-back layout it sorta has is cool too & the length of its the reason for why its my favorite.
Animan1 on 9/8/2006 8:16:27 AM said:
I really didnt mind Great Bears straight track, except perhaps a little bit at the end between the zero-g and the wingover. Still, it didt bother me as it seems to bother some.

About Raptor, the main reason I didnt like it was entirely CPs fault. On my visit, they had the MCBR virtually turned off, so that the train entered and completed the 2nd half with way too much speed and intensity. I like speed and intensity - but control is also important, and it felt pretty out-of-control to me. Bummer, since the first half of the ride is actually decent - but I did say decent. I just found the whole thing to be distinctly average, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But I have been on a lot of B&M inverts, and have ridden some both larger (Alpengeist, Montu) and some smaller (Batman The Ride, Dueling Dragons, Great Bear) than Raptor, and they were all definitely above average.
BobFunland on 9/8/2006 10:30:01 AM said:
So basically you liked Great Bear more than Batman because it wasnt very intense and doesnt kick your ass. OK so you dont like intense rides, thats ok. Good review even if I disagree with the content.
Animan1 on 9/8/2006 5:41:47 PM said:
No. That is not correct. That is not what I said. I did not say anything about better or worse regarding Great Bear and Batman The Ride. I said that Great Bear didnt tire you as much as Batman The Ride. I did not say that I liked not being as tired after riding Great Bear, nor did I say that I liked being more tired after riding Batman The Ride. That was you assumption and yours alone. Please do not try to assert your own interpretations of what I have said onto my words. Thanks you.

For the record, I prefer Batman The Ride over Great Bear.
BobFunland on 9/8/2006 9:11:49 PM said:
Well.. if that isnt a little bite I sense I dont know what would be. Once you brought up the "tiring" ride that Batman was, I was a bit confused since I thought you liked BTRs so I went and looked at your reviews and all three of them. You used the descriptions "short", "very intense" and even "they tend to make me dizzy", which sounded to me like you thought they were all good rides but perhaps a little too much for you ... I definately wasnt pulling that out of nowhere, and I hope you can see where I was coming from, my statements certainly werent baseless.
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