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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 Mr.C on 11/18/2005 4:05:00 PM
This is a good inverted coaster but it is so spread out yet so short. Batman at Great Adventure was longer then this while Batman is shorter and more compact. Great Bear does have a nice drop though so i will give it an 8.

3 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up baumbastic on 9/13/2005 8:19:00 PM
While giving you a trhiller ride it also lets you catch some kick back time here. This is one ride where you can sit anywhere and still have the same effect, front, middle or rear. The ride could be longer, with only the two oloops and the twists the ride is over in no time. but it still is a great ride.

3 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up x307 on 8/31/2005 4:55:00 PM
While I found this to be a good inverted coaster, the length, the lack of intensity, and the over-all flatness of the lay-out really left me asking for more. While I enjoyed the first half of the ride, after the camelback, it just DIES. There are a couple of turns, a flat spin, and a bunch of flat track, and thats it. The ride is barely over 45 seconds from end of lift hill to the end, and in that span, it really doesnt do a whole lot. The absence of a mid-course brake run was refreshing, however there was really no need for one, as the rides mid-course brake run is actually the end-of-ride brake run. While it was fun, it wasnt nearly as intense as Id expected, and the lay-out just left me feeling flat.

3 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up penguin22 on 8/31/2005 10:33:00 AM
A very unique coaster. It is in my mind the worst B&M invert I have been on. Nevertheless a pretty good ride. The ending is pretty weak though.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up Canobie Coaster on 8/25/2005 2:32:00 PM
B&M inverts are definitely one of my favorite types of coasters. Not only am I a sucker for the inverted seats, but just love the smooth and thrilling ride that they always provide. Well for me Hershey’s Great Bear holds the distinction as my first B&M invert. Located in Minetown, the Great Bear is one of the first coasters one sees as they enter Hersheypark. Immediately as one enters Comet Hollow, one can see the Great Bear’s dark black track and hear the trains roar by as they traverse the ride’s aerial helix, swooping drop, vertical loop, Immelmann, and zero-G roll. After following the constellations (just kidding, I just used the park map), one can easily reach the Great Bear’s entrance, which is marked by a very cool looking logo that mixes in both a bear and a starry night sky. Today, the Great Bear is definitely one of Hersheypark’s most popular roller coasters. As a result, the Great Bear usually has a decent sized line. Typically, the Great Bear has a 15-20 minute wait for any seat excluding the front. As for the front seat, that usually has a really long wait. Once one reaches the point where they can select to wait for the front seat, one’s wait usually becomes an additional 30 minutes longer. Not only that, but the wait for the front doesn’t have much shade and is quite uncomfortable during the hot, summer months. Without a doubt, the front is my favorite seat; however, it honestly isn’t worth the additional 30 minute wait in my opinion. If you want the front, I highly recommend trying to grab a night ride on the Great Bear within the last hour of park operation. By then, the Great Bear is typically a one or two cycle wait for most seats. While the Great Bear sports two trains, I unfortunately find that dispatches are fairly slow on this coaster, which is uncharacteristic for Hershey. Once boarded, the Great Bear begins with a slow climb up the ride’s lift. On the way up, riders are treated to incredible views of Hersheypark off to their right. After cresting the lift hill, the Great Bear begins with a very powerful helix nearly one hundred feet above the ground. In my opinion, this is one of the best helixes I have ever experienced thanks to how forceful it is along with its unique location high above the ground. Following this helix is the ride’s, twisting 124 foot drop, which is quite zippy thanks to the speed already built up from the aforementioned helix. The Great Bear then treats riders to an array of inversions. First, riders are treated to a powerful vertical loop. Second, the train zooms through a gigantic Immelmann, which is quite forceful as well. Third, the Great Bear treats rides to my favorite inversion- the zero-G roll. Straying from the norm, this one fails to produce much in the way of hang-time. Instead, the Great Bear’s zero-G roll is an incredibly disorienting and forceful element thanks to the blistering speed it is taken at. Then following a quick turn and a section of straight track where one can really appreciate the ride’s substantial speed, riders experience the fourth and final inversion- a forceful corkscrew. Also, taken at fairly high speeds, this corkscrew really whips riders through it, especially in the back. Afterwards, the Great Bear coasts towards the brake run, where one’s picture is taken, which honestly shocked me my after my first ride. Overall, the Great Bear is one of my favorite attractions at Hersheypark. While I prefer the park’s two pulse-pounding Intamins in Storm Runner and Fahrenheit over this, the Great Bear is still an very fun coaster that is super rerideable thanks to how the ride is glass smooth from start to finish like most B&Ms are. Ironically, the Great Bear actually is one of the worst B&M inverts I’ve been on, but that’s more of a testament as to how great the other ones I’ve been on are. With that being said, the Great Bear is a very thrilling and enjoyable invert that can’t be missed in a visit to Hersheypark. Favorite Seat: Front (1:1) Best Part: Helix

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up PeterD on 8/11/2005 11:16:00 AM - User's Top Ride #9
The Great Bear rests in an entanglement of a Hershey coaster, flume ride, and chair lift. The fact that its creators were able to build a coaster in such a small amount of space boggles my mind. Luckily, the engineers at B&M were able to succeed in providing a high-quality thrill ride in the space they were given. One of the more obvious examples of this is the helix at the top of the hill. Although it looks very obscure from the ground, it makes the rest of the ride a whole lot better. As the train goes through this masterfully placed helix, the train picks up enough speed to give a little pop of airtime when you initially go down the first hill and provides some very strong positive G’s as you reach the bottom. By now, the train is roaring and soaring. As your face is pressed against the back of your seat, you endure a loop, Immelman, and an always wonderful zero-G roll. From then on the ride whips you around and sends you through one corkscrew before re-entering the station. Throughout this entire experience, you experience some very high positive G’s. Although the Great Bear is not the longest ride in the world (or even the park for that matter), it delivers some of the most intense inversions and pummels you with some very strong Gs throughout its entirety. It’s simply quality over quantity which makes the Great Bear so special.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up homeboy on 7/29/2005 1:08:00 AM
when i went on great bear the helix before the drop gave us so much speed then down the hill was fast the first loop was average the straightaway was super fast the immelman was nice the zero g roll was weightless the corkscrew was nice and the photo was in the wrong place

3 Rating
+1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up hrrytraver on 7/28/2005 4:44:00 PM
1G is plenty. we have that 1G to contend with day in and day out. why do we want rides that add to that? i mean, do i really want to experience 3Gs? 4Gs? id rather have a break from gravity then a supplement to it. i like woodies. minimal restraints, lots of zero G pops. if we are to see public access to the moon in our lifetime, i will save up the cash just so i can go up to the sea of tranquility and dance the swan lake and savor the heck out of that half G (or whatever the G force is up there). this personal preference of mine for removing rather than adding gravity gave me some trouble enjoying the great bear, because it really seemed to emphasize the positive Gs. it was cooking midday hot when i rode it so i was already lightheaded from the heat. as soon as that first helix atop the lift hill pushed a bunch of Gs on me i thought, "eww, that feels totally gross." then i enjoyed the drop which was plenty fast with a bit of negative G but then of course its followed by two high G force inversions, both of which felt pretty disgusting. great bear did contain two zero G rolls after that, and the latter of the two was a nice surprise, because i hadnt noticed that from the ground. zero G rolls are indeed really fun...but again, they remove my 1G, not throw in extras. why are vertical loops still a major element of modern coasters? you just get crunched into the seat and all the blood runs out of your brain. up and over and one not a whole lot diferent from any other. me personally, i like having some blood in my brain, it seems to help me do certain things like seeing straight and........"thinking" is what they call it. i will say that the great bear offers a compact ride with speed and theres no denying that you know its there, but i didnt want to ride again. i found the seats too "buckety" almost like sitting on the toilet and the restraints were too overbearing. the great bears seats and restraints made me feel like i was stuck in a big mouse trap or something. additionally, aesthetically i find B&M coasters, especially the inverted ones, to have a very plasticky cheesy look to them, which detracts from the ride experience IMO. i can summerize my feelings this way - if a friend showed me his new car, and it was a 65 VW bug with a little rust here and there and amazing smelling old cracked leather seats, id be really excited and say, "lets take it for a spin." if the same friend showed me his brand new 05 BUG with the plastic fenders, automatic transmission and 120watt subwoofer id say, "hmmm, ok, good for you" and try to keep my opinion to myself that its ordinary and uninspiring. now i dont want to sound like a simplistic anachronist here, because i think modern coasters (and cars) can offer experiences with a unique charactor (volcano). but the modern looping inverts that incessantly recite the canon of different inversions one after the other do not stimulate my interest. rather they feel like a gravity fest experienced while stuck in a mouse trap on a train that looks like a rubber millipede.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up magnumxl on 7/25/2005 8:30:00 PM - User's Top Ride #2
It was definately not the best looping rollercoaster... The first hill is very small and does not feel like a great hill... At times I didnt feel the securest on this ride.. I felt like i was going to fall out many times..The inverts were fun though and I loved the loops but its just missing something and when they take the onride picture when the ride hits its breaks and has already majourly slowed down which is kinda weird so in conculsion if its a short line definately ride (we only had to wait 2 rides before we got on so it was basically a walk on ride)But if the lines long its not a must ride.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up fergusonat on 7/14/2005 11:54:00 AM
Upon my first ride on this coaster, I was somewhat disappointed. The ride picked up such intensity, but then literally fell apart just as it began. The helix was very fun and surprisingly intense. The first drop was average, but picked up the necessary speed to make the next three inversions surprisingly good. I particularly enjoyed the flat piece of track between the vertical loop and immelman, where you can truly appreciate the speed for a few seconds. But after exiting the zero-g roll, the ride seemed very average, although I must say there were a few VERY good foot choppers, both with the supports and the surrounding rides that Great Bear is literally stacked on top of. But as I was saying, my first ride was somewhat disappointing, but I found a deeper appreciation for the ride after 2 more tries at it in the front seat. It now sits low in my top 10 and is by far the weakest of the B&M inverts Ive ridden, but it is not at all a boring or lackluster ride. It is just a very noticeable notch below B&Ms other inverts. And if youre not amazed by the ride itself, then you at least have to be impressed with the engineering and design that went into the creation of it. So many rides are massed together in such a small amount of space and I think Hershey salvaged a solid coaster despite their limited room.

UPDATE:

Well, that was my impression of Great Bear last year. This year, however, the ride completely blew me away. Perhaps it was simply because I went into Great Bear not expecting much, or maybe it was just a great way to be rejuvenated after waking up at 3:30 in the morning to get to Hershey Park. No matter what it was, Great Bear simply blew me away. The intensity that the ride upheld during the entire ride was phenomenal, especially the Zero-G Roll and Wingover inversions. I wont go too in depth on this update of my review, but suffice to say, Great Bear impressed me enough to latch onto the tail-end of my Top 10...a pretty good comeback if I do say so myself, considering last season I condemned the ride as mediocre

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