"Insane Coaster Wars" would be the ultimate road trip for any ride enthusiast who had about $100,000 to drop on a single vacation and the fortitude to travel around the world.
Premiering at 8:30 p.m. Sunday on the Travel Channel, the internationally themed second season of "Coaster Wars" will take viewers on a virtual ride aboard 28 roller coasters in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and the United States.
The impressive lineup for the new season boasts some of the top coasters in the world, with at least half the rides appearing in the top 25 of either the Amusement Today or Mitch Hawker polls, the two most respected annual rankings by coaster enthusiasts.
"It literally is the cream of the crop," said Theme Park Review's Robb Alvey, who serves as a coaster expert on the show. "It showcases the best coasters out there."
He should know. Alvey has traveled to more than 400 theme parks around the world and ridden 1,528 coasters during tours set up through his Theme Park Review fan website.
After the first season of "Coaster Wars," Alvey sat down with the show's producers to shape the ride lineup for the upcoming season.
"The list covers a lot of my favorite rides," said Alvey, who has ridden all but one of this season's coasters. "It really is a roller coaster trip around the world."
Every "Coaster Wars" show will pit four rides against one another with the results from in-park polling shown at the end of each episode.
With Alvey's help, let's take a look at each of the seven episodes:
Episode 1 (June 9)
The first episode includes the one coaster from Season 2 that Alvey hasn't ridden: the 249-foot-tall Shambhala, which opened in 2012 at Spain's PortAventura and ranks in the top 10 of the Mitch Hawker poll.
The other three coasters in the episode typify the stellar lineups found throughout Season 2 of "Coaster Wars" - Superman: Ride of Steel at Maryland's Six Flags America (a former No. 1 coaster in the Hawker poll), Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi (the reigning fastest coaster in the world at 149 mph) and the terrain tracing Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California (Alvey's favorite Bolliger & Mabillard flyer).
Alvey's pick: Unable to choose, he opts for a tie between the top speed of Formula Rossa and the intense airtime of Superman: Ride of Steel.
Episode 2 (June 16)
The second episode takes viewers to one of Alvey's all-time favorite parks for the Blue Fire magnetic launch megacoaster at Europa Park, a proving ground for Germany's Mack Rides.
The Tower of Terror II shuttle coaster at Australia's Dream World more than makes up for its short ride in speed (0 to 100 mph in 7 seconds), height (377 feet) and weightlessness (6.5 seconds). The Titan mega coaster at Six Flags Over Texas reaches similarly impressive speeds (85 mph) and heights (245 feet).
Alvey's pick: With a top speed of 90 mph, the 305-foot-tall Intimidator 305 at Virginia's Kings Dominion has been known to cause "grey outs" at the bottom of some drops.
Episode 3 (June 23)