LA Times Feature: Insane Coaster Wars

'Insane Coaster Wars' returns for another worldwide thrill ride. The third season of "Insane Coaster Wars" takes viewers on another virtual world tour aboard 28 roller coasters in Europe, Asia, Central America and the United States.

While the 2014 lineup is somewhat less prestigious than the first two seasons, the seven-episode series on the Travel Channel more than makes up for the diminishing star power with a slate of lesser-known gems.

The drop-off in marquee names was inevitable after knocking off 50-plus rides in the freshman and sophomore seasons, with a roster that included El Toro, Millennium Force, Kingda Ka, Formula Rossa, X2 and The Beast. Indeed, the first two seasons read like the top 25 of the Amusement Today and Mitch Hawker polls, the two most respected annual rankings by coaster enthusiasts.

The third season focuses on record-setting rides known for height, length and inversions as well as the latest theme park craze: looping wooden coasters.