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Great Bear
Website: Hersheypark Homepage
Ride Type: Inverted Steel Coaster
Ride Status: Running
Average Rating: 4.0000
TPC Overall Rank: #162 out of 2933 rides.
Reviews: 103
Last Review: 7/2/2012 9:59:00 PM
In User Top 10: 76 times.
User Tracker Count: 270 times.
 

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4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up coasterf42 on 6/5/2007 6:31:00 PM
Here is the disclaimer: I am a young enthusiast who hasnt been on a B&M invert for 5 years. I have been on 50 coasters now, though, and this is certainly one of the best Ive done as an enthusiast. I thought this ride had just enough of everything to make it great. Just enough speed, just enough intensity, just enough length, and an abundance of smoothness. There is so much good about Great Bear, and very little bad. The drop before the helix was longer than I thought and the first half of the helix was pretty fast. It really built my anticipation being spiraled around 100 feet or so above the ground with a great ride still in front of me! Then, the train slowed down a little and changed directions right before the drop. The drop is good, and it leads to a smooth, fun, but rather forceless loop. After the loop, the train seems to pick up more speed as it heads to the immelman, which has a bit more gs than the loop. Again, the train seems to scream though the brief straightaway and then flies through the awesome zero-g roll with more speed and forces than ever. The last inversion, the corkscrew, by far had the most forces, but I liked the tight motion of the zero-g roll better. Unfortunately, after a quick banked turn, the ride is over way too soon! It just seemed to have got going at top speed and the breaks are applied. Sure, I would love for it to be a little longer, but whats there is plenty good enough. I like rides like this: no nonsense, no breaks, and no dull moments. Great Bear was exactly that. It wasnt as spectacular as it can be, I am sure, and I will realize how good this actually is after I have ridden a few more of Walter and Claude’s inverts. For now, though, this is one of my favorite rides, and will definitely go in my top 10, once I sort it out. I know Im in the minority, but I think Great Bear is the best ride at Hersheypark.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up sowinski on 9/24/2006 12:33:00 AM
This coaster has an interesting layout and scenery since the track runs near 2 other coasters. The last half is a little boring, but overall is a reasonably fast and intense coaster, but not superb.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up EltoroLuva on 9/23/2006 11:54:00 AM
This is a cool ride. I love it because it was one of the first big rides i have ever done so it has some history. Usually the line is short to. It has an inversion which other rides dont have: the half loop to twist. Its fun but Hershey should get bigger rides that go upside down.

4 Rating
+2 Rating Rate Down Rate Up 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.

3 Rating
-1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up mss431 on 7/27/2006 2:02:00 PM
maybe they should change the name to okay bear.

4 Rating
+2 Rating Rate Down Rate Up MagnumMan on 6/25/2006 1:26:00 AM
Great Bear is probably the weakest of any inverted coaster that Ive ever ridden (that includes SLCs as well). First, the bad: Though it is not a bad coaster, perse, it meanders entirely too much. When this happens, the mind begins to drift as it has become content with the situation that is at hand; all stress has been released. This is how I felt riding GB. There was too much time to rest, so to speak, in between elements. When the initial advertising campaign stressed the "7 different elements", they meant exactly that. There are 7 elements, all of which are transition-less except for two: The first drop and the second before the corkscrew, in which the train banks to the left and quickly shifts into the inversion which flips right. Between each "element" there seemed to be a waiting period, so to speak. On-route back to the station, the train glides at a moderate speed over two quite lengthy (and quite empty) sections which, any way you look at it, are unnecessary and kill the pacing. This coaster is obviously not built for the thrill-seeker...Great Bear really is the "family B&M". Im not surprised, though, as this is, after all, Hersheypark, a park that caters primarily to that clientele. Even with knowing that, does Great Bear still warrant a wait of 1 1/2 to 2 hours like I did? God, No. Now the good: First of all, GB redeemed itself a bit by having an Immelman. This is the first time I have experienced the inversion and it has earned a place right behind the Zero-G roll as my favorite. The weightless feeling after inverting is amazing. I was completely off of my seat and it felt like I was falling out of the sky. Excellent. The beginning helix packed a surprising amount of positive Gs and the drop, though short, twisted to the right slightly and still retained the fall-out-of-the-harness feeling most curved drops have, both pluses. Thats about it for pros. The second half of Great Bear, after the Zero-G roll, was pathetic and anti-climactic. I realize that Hersheypark is crunched for space but after such an appealing start, it disappoints regardless. Ride only if the line is manageable. (Scoring: -1 for pacing, -1 for intensity, -1 for re-ridability) *UPDATE 6/28/07: After visiting Hersheypark a second time, I left more impressed with Great Bear. Though I still dont believe its the best B&M out there, the elements that seemed like filler the first time helped me to conclude that Great Bear is actually one of B&M best positive-G machines. Every movement was forceful and even the slightest changes in direction seemed exciting (the small turning drop after the zero-g roll gets "Two Thumbs Up!&quot. I also warmed a bit more to the short length and modest size of Great Bear for it does help in maintaining the ride's speed until the bitter end. I can't *forget* that B&M chose to just throw away all that potential but I'll *forgive* after this second go-around. +1 for Great Bear!

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up talonboy02 on 6/18/2006 12:41:00 AM
Granted, this may not be the fastest, tallest, wildest inverted out there, it fits in perfectly with the parks general atmosphere - plus the unique layout was to my understanding one of B&Ms most difficult instalations.
I highly recommend waiting the extra 30 mins max (with 2 trains operating) for the front seat - the views over the midway and creak are well worth it - esp. at night...its almost a totally different ride from this perspective (as most inverts are in my opinion).

3 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up no cars go on 5/20/2006 10:46:00 AM
In my opinion, this ride is really overrated. The lines are always WAY too long. The seats are comfortable, the lift hill is suspenseful, and the helix is fun, but after the drop its just lame. Maybe Im just not an inverted coaster person, but I dont really like not knowing what element youre going through and stuff. It seems too fast, even though its only like 60 mph. Its funny to see everyone tightening their shoelaces in line though. Random Fact ~ There are 2 trains on the Great Bear.

4 Rating
+1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up CoastrGlxy on 4/23/2006 2:53:00 PM
I rode the Great Bear for the first time about 4 years ago. I hadnt been on a ton of B&M inverts and Im sure I was comparing it to its big brother Alpengeist. I rode it at night and the wait was ridiculously long. For some reason, I didnt really enjoy it. Anyway, on a return trip I was excited to give it another go and see if my opinion had changed. First off, the Great Bear feels a lot faster than it looks. Its a pretty relentless, speedy 58 mph. After the lift hill you enter a helix before the first drop. Even though you only do a short drop into the helix you get some pretty good gs. Next, you hit the real drop and man is it steep! After the dive you fly right into a pretty tight vertical loop. Then you scream out of that into a short section of flat track right near the ground on the banks of the stream. This sets you up for my favorite inversion on an invert, the Immelman. After the sweet, smooth Immelman you go right into a forceful zero-g roll. Seems like some dont like the rest of the ride, but I loved it. The hard swing by the Sooper Dooper Looper feels like something right out of Top Gun (The Movie). Its a very fighter jet-like manuever. Next, you go through the wingover which is no joke and again is pretty forceful, and last as an added bonus to all the action I passed by a loaded train from the Sooper Dooper Looper flying through the loop. You end up with a fairly short ride, but every element is awesome. The Bear has a chip on its shoulder or something, I got a lot of unexpected intensity, but never roughness. This bear wants blood, not picnic baskets. A great ride, with an interesting layout. Im glad I re-rode it. Final Rating 8.5 (Great-Approaching Excellent)

5 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up $HeRsHeY$ on 1/28/2006 6:24:00 PM
One of my favorite inverted coasters why cause its high fast and one of th first rides you see in the park the line is never really long and its fun duh!

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