During my first weekend in Atlanta, I took a drive down to the downtown area with my colleague Sally. We headed to checkout two of the most famous attractions of Atlanta. This day we visited the World of Coca-Cola and took a studio tour into the CNN Center. On this blog I’ll focus our trip into the World of Coca-Cola.
The World of Coca Cola is located next to the Georgia Aquarium and the Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. The World of Coca-Cola is an indoor exhibition that features all about everyone’s favorite and probably the most famous soda drink in the world. This attraction is also located just a few blocks from where the headquarters of Coca-Cola is located.
The World of Coca-Cola is a modern building that stands right next to a park and the Georgia Aquarium beside it. One interesting feature of the building is that it has this glass tower which contains the image of the iconic Coke bottle.
We bought our tickets by using one of their kiosks beside the ticket booths for $16 each. We then went on inside the establishment and of course we had to make sure that we got our photos taken by the exhibit’s name.
The first part of the exhibit brings guests to a welcome hall that is filled with LCD screens on one side of the wall. The screens shows different faces and images of different Coca-Cola brands from all over the world. And in the middle of the hall stands artworks in the shape of the Coke bottle.
Then at a specified time, we were all led to another room which different Coca-Cola signs on the ceiling, advertisements and posters on the wall from throughout the years. And in front of us all is two lit shelves that contain different Coca Cola artifacts. One of their oldest in the collection is a soda mixing bowl for serving the drink just like how the modern soda fountain works.
After a short introduction by a guide in this hall of artifacts, we are then led into a theater where they featured a 6-minute video of their latest video that features their motto on Happiness. It’s basically a video of people in different parts of the world and shows how Coke is part of celebrating happiness.
Just after the video, we were actually surprised that the exit of the theater was actually hidden behind the video screen. The silver screen were raised up for the guests to enter the main hall of the exhibition. From here, we are on our own to go around the exhibit.
The very first thing I noticed is this big round metal door to the right. Well it turned out to be called The Vault. As the name implies, it is Coke’s grand vault. It is the room where they hold in the ‘secret formula’ of Coke. They got these security ladies standing by the vault door and allow guests to come in in groups of 15 or 20 where they are hauled in a room with security cameras.
Then guests are free to walk inside a room where its walls marks the stories of the beginnings of Coke. Full of texts of trivia of this famous drink. And at the end of the path, guests are led once more in a smaller round room. This was a white room which we later learned to be a 360 degree silver screen. Then in a few minutes they showed a short video which basically started with a video of Coke being poured into a glass. And at the end of the film, again a section of the walls slides to the side to reveal to us the actual vault where they supposedly keep their secret formula.
Next we entered another room next to the vault which features Coke’s Milestones of Refreshment. Here guests would feel like walking through time with the different Coke items from the decades ago. It starts with a statue of Dr. John Pemberton, the inventor of Coke, mixing a bowl and on one side is a soda fountain bar with a statue depicting of how Coke used to be served.
Then there is a vintage delivery car. They also have a wall full of advertisements of Coke from decades ago and from different countries. Then there is a corner that featured the different Coke vending machines, their first six-pack, and the Coca-Cola Space Dispenser.
Here they also have a wall that features the different containers of the different Coca-Cola flavors and brands from all over the world. They also have a wall that feature the different Olympic Torches that Coca-Cola sponsored and also another wall full of Olympic pins.
Then, there is the most interesting part of the whole exhibit. It is called Taste It. In this room, guests are given the chance to taste more than 60 different Coca-Cola beverages from all over the world.
The room has this 5 main pillars that represents 5 regions in the world: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Each pillar has four soda dispensers with about 8 to 10 different beverages. Here plastic cups are available for guests to use to take a taste of the different flavors.
Well of course we started first on Asia where there are these more familiar flavors like Sprite and most taste good. The Asian set got brands from China, Thailand, India, and Japan. Then the North American beverages include the more famous brands like Hi-C, Barqs Rootbeer, Mello Yello, Fanta, and Minute Maid.
The South American beverages are also interesting and tasteful and they’ve got brands from Mexico, Honduras, Peru, and Costa Rica. Then there is the section for the European brands which included brands from Germany, Greece, Turkey, and Spain. But in that set the most memorable would be the Beverly drink from Italy which tasted odd and bad. But for us the worst set would come from the African drinks. We didn’t dare taste all as our tongues cannot bare the taste of at least 2 in that set. I almost puked and had to wash off the taste by drinking a Sprite.
Then another section of the room is marked as Coca-Cola freestyle where guests may try out most of the Coca-Cola varieties using the traditional soda dispenser and their newer dispenser models. Guests may even try to mix different drinks if they want to.
Inside the hall, they also have a 4D cinema which features a short film that follow a lady and a scientist in their search of the answer for what makes Coke a Coke.
Next they’ve got another room that is dedicated to Pop Culture. This room features some modern Coca-Cola artworks like a toy car and a shoe made from a Coke aluminum can. It also have a wall dedicated for pictures of the Coca-Cola Santa Claus. And then they have a sofa and living area that is dedicated to the singing reality contest, The American Idol.
And finally of course like any tourist attraction, everything ends with the gift shop. And before we get inside the Coca-Cola Store, every visitor is handed with a free Coke souvenir. From the store they sell a lot of different stuff from shirts, magnets, tumblers, utensils, keychains, and a lot of other memorabilia.
Overall, we had fun and found the whole exhibit interesting, specially the opportunity to taste different types of Coca-Cola products. Then, next we headed straight to check out the CNN Studio Tour.