Great Bear (roller coaster)

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Great Bear
Great Bear (Hersheypark) 05.JPG
Great Bear's straight segment before its corkscrew
Coordinates 40°17′13″N 76°39′11″W / 40.28694°N 76.65306°W / 40.28694; -76.65306Coordinates: 40°17′13″N 76°39′11″W / 40.28694°N 76.65306°W / 40.28694; -76.65306
Status Operating
Opening date May 23, 1998
Cost $13,000,000 USD
General statistics
Type Steel – Inverted
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Inverted Coaster
Lift/launch system Chain Lift
Height 90 ft (27 m)
Drop 124 ft (38 m)
Length 2,800 ft (850 m)
Speed 61 mph (98 km/h)
Inversions 4 (Vertical Loop, Immelmann Loop, Zero-G Roll, Corkscrew)
Duration 2:55
Capacity 1300 riders per hour
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Great Bear at RCDB
Pictures of Great Bear at RCDB

Great Bear is a roller coaster located at Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was built by Bolliger & Mabillard during the winter of 1997 and opened for the 1998 season. It is located in the Kissing Tower Hill section of the park, uphill from SooperDooperLooper, and across from the Kissing Tower. Because of the coaster's unique custom design, as well as other factors including the terrain, Spring Creek, and proximity of noted attractions such as the SooperDooperLooper, the coaster was one of B&M's most difficult installations. Also, due to the lack of sand in the supports, the coaster makes a loud roaring sound like a bear.

Hershey Park was not allowed to have supports built into Spring Creek, resulting in unusual support designs not often seen on Bolliger & Mabillard coasters.

In October, when Hersheypark is decorated in a Halloween theme (Hersheypark in the Dark), the Great Bear is dubbed the Great Scare.

Ride experience[edit]

Riders exit the station and climb a 90-foot (27 m) hill. Unique to Great Bear, there is a helix immediately after the lift, swinging riders around into the 124-foot (38 m) drop into Comet Hollow. After the drop, train enters a loop, followed immediately by an Immelmann loop, and then going into a zero-g roll. Riders continue through Comet Hollow over midway areas, making a sharp turn over Spring Creek. After a short straightaway, the train goes into a corkscrew, and then up a hill with two wide turns. For the 2014 season, the on-ride camera's location was changed to just after the corkscrew inversion, on the same pole that houses the on-ride camera for SooperDooperLooper. The train then enters a short brake run; after the brake-run, riders return to the station. Great Bear was the first inverted looping coaster in Pennsylvania.