In Atlanta, Georgia, the phrase “Coke is it!” is more a way of life than just words. The World of Coke, located in the birthplace city of that ubiquitous soda, has been offering interactive experiences for Coca-Cola fans for over 25 years now. Located across from the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coke gives guests a multi-sensory experience that won’t soon be forgotten. Our Inquisitive TravelingMom took her kids to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the World of Coke.
There’s A World of Fun at Atlanta’s World of Coke
My kids and I had the opportunity for an impromptu staycation in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. What to do with ourselves? I realized that I hadn’t ever taken my Atlanta-born kids to visit the nearby World of Coke. That was a situation I had to rectify right away.
A Coke and a smile is offered to you as soon as you step into the World of Coke lobby. Step up to the lobby bar and receive a free bottle of Coke, Diet Coke or CokeZero. It’s also the place to take in the beauty and art of the Coca-Cola bottle sculptures created for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. It’s but a short wait here before you are ushered into the memorabilia loft and then the Coca-Cola Theater.
The Coca-Cola Theater
I’m telling you. Tissues. I’m not a crier in general but y’all, I was a little bit of a mess after watching the feel-good “Moments of Happiness” short film. The film is only six minutes but is packed with happy moments of people from all over the globe, all ages. From that emotional high, you enter the rest of the museum and are free to tour at will.
The Vault of the Secret Formula
Each of the exhibits in the museum offer interactive experiences for guests. As soon as you walk into the vault exhibit, you have the chance to see if you have what it takes to create the perfect balance of taste for a Coca-Cola soda. As you walk through, you learn more about the history of Coca-Cola, why the top-secret formula became so top-secret and all the rumors that swirl around it to this day. The kids can see their pictures made up of digital “bubbles” and they can test their ability to protect the secret formula through full-body immersive play. Finally, view the actual, legit vault holding the secret formula!
Milestones of Refreshment
This exhibit is a memorabilia and history buff’s dream! Ten galleries tell the surprisingly fascinating story of the history of Coca-Cola and its rise to become a world-wide icon. My kids really enjoyed looking at all the different items displayed and realizing that Coca-Cola had been around a lot longer than they thought! They got to see just how common Coca-Cola is in all parts of the world and learned a thing or two about marketing an American product in other cultures. More interactive experiences await guests here, too.
The Bottle Works
Step inside this exhibit to see actual Coca-Cola bottling plant equipment in action. They have slowed down the processes immensely so that guests can view the equipment; there are videos showing the same equipment working at their everyday speed and it’s lightning fast! Our family saw how the bottles are filled, capped, and tested for quality. My kids were totally interested in the packing and shipping processes that were shown as well.
Pop Art Gallery
The Pop Art Gallery is probably my favorite exhibit in the museum. This collection displays examples of folk and pop art created by fans of the brand from all over the world. The works are eclectic and funky! Also in this exhibit is the story of the New Coke debacle. I’m just old enough to remember the uproar that came with that and the demand from loyal customers to bring back the original formula. Take a seat on the couch used to interview American Idol season 4 contestants and don’t miss out on creating your own work of pop art at one of the interactive stations in this exhibit.
The Tasting Room
Y’all, this room is a total free-for-all. Drink machines are all over the room, dispensing flavors from across the world. The tasting stations are arranged geographically by continent. We had a great time bouncing all over the room sampling different items and coming to find each other to share favorites! Be brave here – you never know what you’ll end up really liking until you try! As a local, here’s my best tip for you: Try the Beverly in the Europe tasting station. And once you’ve recovered from that horrific experience, put your game face on and convince your kids to try it. Have your camera ready, like I did when my son tried it:
Exiting the World of Coke
Leave the tasting room and approach the gift shop;on the way snag a glass bottle of Coca-Cola off a bottling plant conveyor system for your keepsake. Don’t discount the gift shop. It’s huge and stocks some fantastically unique items that make great presents and souvenirs!
The day we visited was a gorgeous September day in Atlanta. We bought a frisbee in the gift shop so my boys had a great time extending our World of Coke experience. The lawn is the gathering place between the World of Coke and the Georgia Aquarium. There are restrooms and a snack bar nearby, so there’s nothing stopping you from pulling up some grass (or a nearby table) and staying a while.
Downtown Atlanta offers plenty of kid-friendly activities for your crew. Consider staying for the weekend and exploring all the fun Atlanta has to offer!