Should you spend precious time in the beautiful city of Atlanta touring a shrine to carbonated sugar water? See what Sage says about the World of Coca-Cola…
Based on the online reviews we read, the World of Coca-Cola was originally omitted from our Atlanta itinerary. After all, who would want to spend precious vacation time and money at what sounds like a shrine to carbonated sugar water, something my kids are rarely even allowed to drink? But after several people told us how much they enjoyed their visit to the World of Coca-Cola, we added the experience back into our itinerary. I’m sure Louise’s sudden change of heart came after learning that she could sample Coke products from around the world. (See my earlier statement about how my kids aren’t really allowed to drink soda…) If nothing else, it was located only a few blocks away from our hotel and was a perfect activity to fit into an otherwise blank space on the afternoon we arrived in Atlanta.
I paid full price for any expenses associated with these experiences at the World of Coca-Cola and always share my honest opinions.
Visiting the World of Coca-Cola
As the doors opened, and we crossed the threshold into the museum, it felt a bit like entering Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Or perhaps the house of an eccentric, 100-year-old aunt who has filled every inch of her house in homage to Coca-Cola. As a tour guide gave us a brief run-down of the 125-year-old company, we soaked in the walls filled with Coca-Cola ads from around the world, the neon light signs overhead, and the display cabinets filled with all kinds of branded merchandise.
From here we entered the Coca-Cola Theater to watch a six-minute film titled “Moments of Happiness.” Set to the Imagine Dragons song “I’m On Top of the World,” it follows nine groups of people through wonderfully emotional life events like an engagement, a new baby, a son coming home from abroad, and a milestone birthday. It didn’t really have anything to do with the history of Coca-Cola, as I was expecting, but it definitely made me smile (and wipe away a few happy tears). At the conclusion of the film, we were released into the museum to spend the rest of our visit exploring on our own.
There’s a lot to be said about a company that’s still going strong after 125 years. Not just because 88% of the Fortune 500 firms from 1955 have fallen off that list, but also because of the visionary ideas that likely keep Coca-Cola on that list of global companies. I enjoyed learning more about the company’s shift from fountain sales to bottles and how it fired its entire sales team only to rehire them as a service team in order to speed up their transition to a new way of doing business.
What we loved:
- Throughout the museum, Coca-Cola bottles decorated by artists from around the world for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games are on display.
- A docent was carrying a torch used in the Olympic Torch Relay and let Louise hold it.
- In one exhibit, the bottling process in a slowed down to an easy-to-follow speed that is pretty fascinating to watch.
- The Pop Culture Gallery that displays a variety of art inspired by the brand, from Santa Claus to American Idol to your own bottle art at one of the interactive kiosks.
- While Louise is more into these bears than the Coca-Cola Polar Bear, if you have younger children, or just really love the Coca-Cola Polar Bear, you’ll likely enjoy this part of your trip.
- And, of course, we all enjoyed Taste It! and the opportunity to try Coke products from around the world. There were even coffee drinks for me!
Pro Tip: Since this activity can be done justice in about two to three hours, consider going after lunch to avoid school field trips and other earlier-in-the-day crowds.
A Bit Disappointing:
- The 365° video experience that preceded the vault where the one and only recipe for Coca-Cola is allegedly kept was a bit hokey.
- Several of the interactive “games” in the Milestones of Refreshments exhibit were either not working or not intuitive.
Overall, we had a great time visiting the World of Coca-Cola, and I’m glad we went.
What about you? Have you visited the World of Coca-Cola? Share your thoughts in the comments below!