Great Bear at Hersheypark
I rode the Great Bear for the first time about 4 years ago. I hadn’t been on a a lot of B&M inverted roller coasters and I’m 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 didn’t 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. It’s a pretty relentless, speedy 58 mph. After the lift hill you enter a unique helix before the first drop. Even though you only do a short drop, the helix has some strong g-forces. Next, you hit the real drop, all 124 feet of it. And man it is 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 sequence sets you up for my favorite inversion on an inverted coaster, the Immelmann.

After the sweet, smooth Immelmann you go right into a forceful zero-g roll. The roll is followed by Great Bear’s finale is fun and memorable. It starts with a fighter jet-like manuever. There’s a hard swooping turn by the Sooper Dooper Looper that feels like something right out of Top Gun (The Movie). Next, you go through a corkscrew inversion that B&M call a wingover. It flings riders over and again is pretty forceful.

Last, as an added bonus to all of the action, I was lucky enough to pass by a loaded train from the Sooper Dooper Looper flying through its loop. On the Great Bear you end up with a fairlyGreat Roller Coaster Reviews short ride, but every element is strong. 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. It’s a great ride, with an interesting layout. I’m glad I re-rode it. Final Rating – 8.0 (Great)
What’s Your Take?
Got a comment or question about Great Bear? Leave a comment below. Picture courtesy of CoasterImage

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

16 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    I live about 30 min. away from Hershey Park. I got on the Comet and it was awesome!!! But I am afraid of coasters with loops in it. What would you recommend I do to conquer my fear of BIG coasters?

  2. The Coaster Critic

    As you can see in my profile, I used to be afraid of coasters too. Give Sooperdooperlooper a try. It's got one loop and after you ride it, you'll see that loops aren't all that scary.Vertical loops like the one on Sooperdooperlooper just feel like a lot of pressure pushing down on you. It's the g-forces. Most loops are quick and you don't really feel like you're upside down or going to fall out. Or try Sidewinder, because it's a shuttle coaster you'll actually be inverted six times (3 forward and 3 backward). But, you should feel more secure because of the overhead shoulder harnesses. It might be a bit rougher, but I remember Sidewinder being relatively smooth and well maintained compared to a lot of its clones.I'd say just tackle which ever one of these is the least intimidating and see how you like it. You'll graduate to the big leagues in no time. Good luck! And let us know how you do.

  3. Anonymous

    I am a real thrill seeker and I am going to Hershey Park soon. If I go on Great Bear it will be my first floorless roller coaster. One of my friends says it is really scary. should I go on Great Bear?

  4. The Coaster Critic

    Give it a try. Great Bear may look scary, but it's a lot of fun. You'll feel a lot more secure in an inverted roller coaster like Great Bear than you think. Just be ready to be turned upside down. Since you're a thrill seeker you should be fine. Big drops on seated coasters scared me a lot when I started riding coasters, but after a few rides you'll know what to expect and your body gets used to it.

  5. Emma

    Haha, the advice you gave the person afraid of inversions is coincidentally (sp?) the exact method I used to conquer my fears. o_oI loved The Great Bear, and I am, needless to say, totally stoked to ride Alpengeist later this week.Oh, and in case you're wondering why the heck this creepy girl is leaving so many comments, it's because I'm bored out of my mind, and your site is highly entertaining.

  6. The Coaster Critic

    Have fun on Alpengeist Emma. It's a little intense/rough for some. That huge first drop generates some insane speed. I love it. Hopefully you'll like it to. Let me know what you think when you get back. Thanks for reading!

  7. David:)

    THE GREAT BEAR is the coolest Roller Coaster in Hershey Park!! In my opinion, the Great Bear and the Lightning Race, feel like they have the highest heights!! I see how Hershey gave it this name, as hearing that the Roller coaster sounds like it's roaring as it travels! The Great Bear is smoothest roller coaster in Hershey! It is not rough on you at all! I just wish that Hershey would add more trains like they did with the new rollercoaster, Fahrenheit!

  8. jobob

    okay well if you are afraid of rides with loops in them then this is how you conquer your fear.. just do it's that simple.

  9. Emma

    Oh, yeah, haha… I totally dug Alpengeist, but for some reason, I liked Great Bear better. Maybe it's sentimental reasons or the fact that it went by a biiit too fast. I think Griffon ruled that entire park. 🙂

  10. T-Bird

    An 8? Great Bear desearves a 9 or 9.5! Rides that make me laugh (instead of scream) rank high in my book. I recently rode it several times and every seat (front, middle, back, 2nd to the back) is a treat!

  11. Surya

    I rode this during my trip in May when I visited 9 US theme parks, so I got to see a lot of B&M inverters. And after a while they all look kind of the same. Enjoyable, but not very unique.

    This one has a very different layout though, which I enjoyed very much. Not as forceful as Afterburn @ Carowinds, but a bit more relaxing, while not tame. Very interesting 🙂

  12. Lev

    Love it! I give this one a 9.

    One of the coolest things about it is that there is actually some downtime on this ride where you are just cruising through the park, and it's awesome. There is also that part toward the end where you navigate through those very unique supports and it's like flying through a death star trench. Great ride.

    Front seat is by far the best ride – sadly the secret is out and there is always a line, even when the rest of the ride is a walk-on.

  13. Bill m

    The front seat provides the best visual, but the back is a whole different ride. Far right rear seat gives the illusion that your legs will hit the supports in the run past the Sooper Dooper Looper. Still a favorite of my daughter and me..

  14. tina

    One of my favs..if you are working up as a scaredy cat (me) I'd do comet…Racer,Wildcat, SuperdooperLooper , Great Bear, Fahrenheit, Skyrush, Stormrunner. I'm a former scaredy cat, and the only one that got me REALLY spooked before I got on was the Stormrunner. Thought I would have a heart attack! and mildy nervous about Skyrush.

  15. chelsea

    im scared of roller coasters i was scared of the sooperdooper looper but i wabba try the great bear but im scared of loops and heights !


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.