TRAVEL: If you love Coke, visit The World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta

ATLANTA — Coke lovers rejoice… With summer winding down, now might be the perfect time to visit The World of Coca-Cola before it’s time to send the kids back into the classroom.

I flew to Atlanta last Monday and took the gold MARTA train to the Peachtree Center station. That’s about a 16-minute train ride. Then, it is just a short 10-minute walk from there. All together, it’s 26 minutes from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport.

There was a huge line to purchase tickets at the World of Coca-Cola. I am told about 9,000 people visit the museum each day. Don’t be discouraged. However, I noticed an electronic ticketing machine. That was available for use so that saved me a lot of time.

Upon entering the World of Coca-Cola, you are handed a miniature can of Coke, Sprite or another flavor. I selected the new Coke Zero Sugar. I think it tasted great–I couldn’t even notice a difference from the regular Coca-Cola soft drink. You are allowed to take your mini can with you along for your tour.

Then, everyone is taken into a room full of Coca-Cola artifacts. This is where  you are welcomed by your tour guide for the day. Our guide told us how Coke was invented by pharmacist John Pemberton. He also said that there were 2,000 visitors on the day we went. Then, he took us into a large theater where a video is played. The video lasts about six minutes and highlights people having positive memories with Coca-Cola.

After the video is complete, you are basically allowed to check out the exhibits on your own.

The first exhibit I checked out was the Vault of the Secret Formula. It sort of reminded me of a vault that you would see in a bank with a big door. This exhibit features interactive experiences like the “Virtual Taste Maker” and the “Bubble-izer.” Then, a video plays on a 360-degree screen and a wall lifts up to display the secret formula. You can’t actually read it because its located inside of a vault.

Next, I explored the Milestone of Refreshment exhibit. Highlights are a circa 1880s soda fountain, 1939 delivery truck from Argentina and the Coca‑Cola contour bottle. There are over 1,000 artifacts within this exhibit including several Olympic torches because Coca-Cola has sponsored the Olympic Games since 1928.

The third exhibit I checked out was Bottle Works. It is basically a behind-the-scenes look at the Coca-Cola bottling process. First, the glass bottles were cleaned, steamed and sanitized. Then, bottles are picked up and pure water is dropped inside by a machine. Refined sugar goes next and that is followed by Coke’s secret formula and some caramel coloring. Lastly, the bottles are shaken and carbon dioxide is added to create the fizz.

Kids also have the opportunity to get their photo taken with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear. Souvenir photos can be purchased in the Coca-Cola Store at the end of the tour

Other exhibits include the Coca-Cola Portrait Wall to see first-person accounts of various Coca‑Cola initiatives happening in different parts of the world. The Pop Culture Gallery features work by 10 artists in the Atlanta area who commemorate the 10th anniversary of World of Coca‑Cola.

The Tasting Room is by far the most popular part of the tour. Attendees can sample 100 different flavors of Coca-Cola beverages from around the world. There are five tasting stations arranged geographically – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Each station offers different beverages to sample that are unique to that region.

I greatly enjoyed my visit to the World of Coca-Cola. I would invite everyone to add Atlanta to their bucket list of places to visit. You won’t be disappointed. Remember, the automated ticketing machine to save time. Plan on spending 1.5-2 hours here.

The World of Coca-Cola is located at 121 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for seniors, $13 for youth and free for children age 2 and under. For more information, visit http://www.worldofcoca-cola.com/

 

AmericaJR’s Jason Rzucidlo rides the METRA train to the World of Coca-Cola. (Gloria Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

 

Outside the World of Coca-Cola museum in downtown Atlanta. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

 

Your tour begins with a free miniature can of soda. (Gloria Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

 

Coca-Cola’s secret formula is located within this vault. (Gloria Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

 

An old fashioned soda fountain with Coca-Cola inventor John Pemberton. (Gloria Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

 

AmericaJR’s Jason Rzucidlo sits on the set from the “American Idol” Season 4. (Gloria Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

 

AmericaJR’s Gloria Rzucidlo sampling some Coca-Cola soft drinks from Latin America. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

 

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