Monday, December 11, 2023

Visiting the World of Coca-Cola - 2023/11/13

Welcome to Atlanta Georgia and the World of Coca Cola!

The World of Coca-Cola is something I've been wanting to visit for a while now! Normally when we are coming through Georgia in the RV, we're pushing to get into Florida and back home. Plus there isn't a super convenient place to park the RV near downtown Atlanta. Lucky for us though, we're on a road trip! We're delivering a car from Florida to Colorado on the way home for Thanksgiving, giving us the perfect opportunity to stop by for a visit!

We've got a lot of things we're trying to squeeze in today though and we've got a bit of a drive ahead of us tonight. Let's get into it! Apologies ahead of time for the massive amount of photos. 

It all started at the parking garage. This is a shared garage for multiple downtown Atlanta site, like World of Coca-Cola, the Aquarium, and the National Center for Human Rights. We saw a lot of school buses parked outside, so I'm hoping it's not too crazy today. 
It's a good thing we're not in The Beast (our nickname for our truck). The garage has a height limit of 6'6" so our 7' truck would not have fit! I wasn't thrilled about paying $20 for parking either.

The garage opened to a large expanse leading up to the World of Coca-Cola and right now there's giant Christmas ornaments decoration the lawn. 

Timed entry tickets are required to get in. We purchased our as soon as we walked up. $17 for kids and $22 for adults. 

Just behind the giant bottlecap is the entrance. 

We got our tickets scanned, got our photo in front of a green screen, and moved on to the lobby. 

Here we were greeted by a hostess who invited us to look around the area, get pictures, and hang out until the next "show" starts. It's so festive in here for the holidays! 

There's a few bits of Coke memorabilia in here, like these giant bottles that were designed by different artists around the world for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.  

It's almost time to go inside! Our hostess asked who was going to try all the flavors in the Tasting Room? Our hands immediately shot up! She wished us luck, because there's over 200 different flavors to try! Awesome! Or as she liked to say FANTAtastic or SPRITEtacular! 
She asked if there were any first-timers here. She recommended trying the Beverly flavor in the taste lab, along with the Sour Plum from China which she said tasted like BBQ sauce. We've tasted both at Epcot!

In the next room, we see even more Coke items, including the world's largest bottle opener on the back wall that they had to cut to get inside the building. 

And we know Red is the color of Coke, but before it was Red, there was Yellow! Check out the Yellow bike near the top left that was used to move things around the warehouse in the 1940s. 

Our hostess showing off some of the oldest pieces. 

Like this original syrup dispenser from the 1880s. One ounce of syrup and five ounces of fizzy water only cost a nickel! However, if you wanted a luxury ice cube, way back in the 1880s, it was 1 cents per cube! 

Alli those pants would be wild! We'll have to see if they have any in the gift shop! 

After a few minutes in the previous room, doors opened and we were led to a large auditorium. 

Here Coco-Cola got all up in everyone's feels by showing happy memorable life moments, like baby announcements, engagements, surprise parties, servicemen return home, and more, and showing them all to the tune of Imagine Dragons "I'm On Top Of The World" and people drinking a Coke. No recordings were allowed during this part, but apparently of people on YouTube haven't listened. 

And as the video ended, and everyone is feeling happy, the screen rose and a corridor led us into the World of Coca-Cola!

A giant open lobby leads to lots of different areas to explore. 

We're happy! While most of the people in our group stayed on the first level, we went straight upstairs where hopefully it will be less busy! 

Stopping by a cool photo op along the way. 

We might not be able to visit the Taste Labs on our Journey Into Imagination with Figment in Epcot, but we can certainly visit the Taste It lab here! 
Club Cool is always a fun stop where we're at Epcot. This is going to be like that time a thousand! Okay, maybe not a thousand, but maybe times 25. 

Right at the entrance, you collect your plastic cup for sampling. These cups are a little bigger than the ones you might find at Epcot. 

I love seeing and tasting all the different flavors from around the world! 

I found the Beverly! 

Alli is always a good sport and will join me in a cup if I ask her. Neither of us like it, but at this point it's tradition. 

Got a favorite Ian? Definitely this Melon Frosty Fanta from Thailand. 

We saw lots of familiar flavors from Epcot too. 

And some new favorites, like this Fanta Apple Kiwi! 

In another corner of the tasting room, you can try the Real Thing. Ain't nothing like the real thing baby. I don't think it was our imagination that the Coca-Cola came out of the fountain a bit colder than anything else. 

Okay, so here's all the different drinks that are on tap directly at the World of Coca-Cola in November of 2023. 
First Station: Fuse Ice Tea Berries (Georgia), Fanta Exotic (Uganda), Hi-C Orange Lavaburst (North America), Minute Maid Fruit Punch (North America), Barq's Red Creme Soda (North America), Tab (North America), Sprite Cucumber (Romania), Aha Sparkling Water Lime + Watermelon (North America)
Second Station: Mazeo Blackberry (Zimbabwe), Vitamin Water Zero Squeezed Lemonade (North America), Barrilitos Mango Lime (North America), Bonaqa Apfel-Birne (Germany), Jamaica & Nada (Mexico), Fanta Sour Plum Flavor (China), Viva (Moldova), Fanta Fresa (Panama)
Third Station: Spar-letta Sparberry (Zimbabwe), Minute Maid Joy (Korea), Minute Maid Lemonade (North America), Gold Peak Sweet Iced Tea (North America), Inca Kola (Peru), Fanta Melon Frosty (Thailand), Stoney Ginger Beer (Tanzania), Beverly (Italy)
Fourth Station: Gold Peak Unsweetened Iced Tea (North America), Aquarius Libre (Spain), Powerade Mountain Berry Blast (North America), Royal Wattamelon (Philippines), Mezzo Mix (Germany), Bonbon Anglais (Madagascar), Fanta Apple Kiwi (Thailand), Sprite Lymonade (North America)
Fifth Station: Hi-C Poppin' Lemonade (North America), Vitamin Water acai-blueberry-pomegranate (North America), Fuse Ice Tea Berries (Georgia) for a 2nd time, Thums Up (India), Country Club (Dominican Republic), Fanta Pineapple (Greece), Manzana Lift Roja (Chile), Fanta Kolita (Costa Rica)
Sixth Station: Fanta Blue Raspberry (North America), Fresca Grapefruit Citrus (North America), Sprite (North America), Water (Rinse Your Cup Here) really?, Barq's Red Creme Soda (North America), Fanta Grape (North America), Fanta Orange (North America), Tab (North America), 

With 6 different stations and 8 drinks each, plus Coca-Cola directly on tap by itself, that would make 49 total flavors, but there are 3 duplicates in there, which makes it 46 instead. 

So why did the person at the beginning say there were over 200 different flavors? Because of these Coca-Cola Freestyle units! There's so many different syrups here, plus different add-ins. You can get a regular soda but then add vanilla, peach, cherry, and lots of other flavors, meaning you have 1 base and 6 combinations. 
For some reason though, these Freestyle machines seem to be messed up. We tried many different flavors, even some we've had before, and many were bitter. So weird. 

One thing I wish Epcot had was a way to take the drinks you just tried with you! At Epcot there's drink coolers, but they sell the usual Coca-Cola and Sprite. Here though, you can buy a cup to take home for $8!

One of the things we definitely had to do was get a photo with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear. He's only out at the beginning of each hour and there can be a line. After just a few minutes we were at the front of the line!

Getting hugs. 

And getting a selfie. 

The workers there wouldn't take a photo with your phone, but would sell you one from theirs. 

There's a few more places we want to see while we're here. A Pop Culture area showing some of the history of Coke. 

Some interesting bottle designs. 

There were interactive screens where you could design your own bottle, and it would slide up to the framed screen above. 

Yep! That's yours buddy! Nice job! 

The kids had a lot of fun with it. 

Sitting on the American Idol couch. 

More classic Coca-Cola things. 

And of course Santa Claus drinks Coca-Cola. 

Next, we find ourselves in the Scent Discovery lab. 

Flavors are associated so strongly with smells. 

For example, Fanta Kolita is a little woody, fruity, and floral. 

So after we waited our turn to come in, we were led through a group of different smells. 

Press the plastic disc a few times and give it a whiff. What does your sniffer detect? 

What does Caramel, Apple Cinnamon, and Pumpkin Pie Spice remind you of? 

Afterwards we found ourselves in another sort of smell room. 

Each column had the same scent. Move the metal disk to the side and see if you can detect what's inside. 

The scents were categorized as Spicy, Woody, Herbaceous, Fruity, Floral, and Citrus. Can you tell what they are before you see the label? 

I liked how they also showed you what drink you can find that particular flavor in. 

We're starting to run out of time here (we've got placed across the country to be later tonight), but we want to at least go through a few of the exhibits downstairs. 

Like this replica soda fountain. 

Cans through the years. I love the 32 oz can. 

We just got back from Japan and these vending machines were everywhere! 

Some of their best-selling brands. 

So many different beverage choices. 

Next door is The Vault where the recipe for Coca-Cola is kept. 

We were hoping it would be a quick walk-through, but it turned out to be a guided tour. Sadly we didn't have time for it and had to duck out early. 

The exit is actually through the Tasting Room. 

Might as well try our favorites again. Good thing we're not getting overly full on soda... We've got another Georgia original stop for lunch!

Giving those Freestyle Machines one more try. 
There's a secret hidden menu you can unlock a couple ways.
I scanned a QR code on the machine and could control the entire machine through my phone! Even when I walked away and someone else went up to the machine, I could press a button on my phone and it would dispense, giving them a bit of a shock! 

Getting either the QR code, or the special shape, would unlock a vault, giving you access to a few hidden flavors. Ian was able to get the correct shape from a worker there. 

And yeah, even though we moved around to different machines, the flavors from the Freestyle dispensers all seemed a bit off. 

From the Taste Room, you exit to the Coca-Cola store, because of course you do.

I didn't see any of those fancy pants we saw in the lobby. 

But the kids were quick to find the plush polar bears. 

Well this was a really fun visit to the World of Coca-Cola. I definitely feel like I could spend a few more hours here. I love the giant sized ornaments scattered around the lawn. 

We're all full on soda, but it's time to head to our next stop of the day! It's been fun! We'll definitely be coming back!

1 comment:

  1. Wow...The World of Coca-Cola has so much to see and do/smell!...sensory overload for all the different smells (seems like after a while you couldn't distinguish new smells because of the numerous ones just tried). Love seeing all those vintage memorabilia and classic Coca-Cola items...those pants are wild (too bad they weren't in the gift shop...would have turned heads wearing that :-) ) Fun smell test game and having all those interactive elements. Being there during this time of year brought lots of festive decor they you wouldn't normally see...those giant ornaments (great ending photo of Alli & Ian in one of them) and the red Christmas "trees" indoors added to the atmosphere. Too bad your time was very limited; but you all managed to squeeze a lot into it. Great stop in Georgia! EOM