I’ll admit that my count of B&M invert creds is quite small. I’ve only been on four of the popular coaster, Banhsee, Raptor, and Batman ( Six Flags Great America). Great Bear at Hersheypark was my most recent invert. And while it’s not going to overtake any of the three aforementioned coasters, it’s still an awesome ride.
Great Bear debuted in 1998. That means the coaster was built after both Raptor and Batman ( Six Flags Great America). For all intensive purposes, the ride holds up rather well. It’s still quite smooth, and was quite forceful. As previously mentioned, I’m not sure it’s as good as Raptor, Banshee, or Batman, but I was quite surprised by how much I liked this coaster.
Before I went on Great Bear, I kept hearing how it’s not as good as most inverts. The major complaint I heard was it lacked major elements, and the second half of the ride was rather dull. That was certainly not the case for me. I found this coaster to be full of surprises, and didn’t think it slowed down at any point of the experience.
The one thing I’ll knock Great Bear on is it’s pre-drop helix. I don’t recall having anything like that on any of the B&M inverts I’ve done. It kind of took away some of the thrill of the initial drop. Aside from that, the first loop is quite intense, as it stands 100 feet tall. Also, I experience quite a few G’s on that zero g roll.
Of all the coaster I’ve done, I found Great Bear to be one of my biggest surprises. After hearing what many had said about the ride, I didn’t expect much. I was glad that I love the coaster so much. I didn’t get that grey out feeling from Batman, nor does it have the elements and intensity of Raptor and Banshee.
Again, it’s not my favorite B&M invert, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. These types of coasters are my all-time favorite. I’ve yet to ride one I haven’t liked, and Great Bear at Hersheypark is no exception.