I’d like to buy the world a Coke …

… and keep it company.

Well, we had plenty of company at the World of Coke and the Coke was free! One big thing on our to-do list this year was to finally go to the World of Coke. Heath had been to the old one but Katy and I have never been at all.

Art bottles in the lobby
Art bottles in the lobby

The lobby was filled with Coke bottle art. These were all on display around town during the Olympics.

The first official stop was The Loft. Our guide asked where visitors were from and there were families from several states plus Denmark, Holland and Switzerland that I remember. The Loft was filled with lots and lots of Coke “stuff” from all over the world. The blue-haired girl is named Wendy. I forget when and what she was for. The giant bottle opener was on a billboard during the Olympics. One thing we learned is that Coke invented the six pack and they picked six because that was the average family size at the time.

Memorabilia dispay
Memorabilia dispay
More Coke stuff overhead
More Coke stuff overhead
Giant bottle opener and Wendy
Giant bottle opener and Wendy
Advertising posters from around the world
Advertising posters from around the world

The next stop was a rather forgettable film. Although Heath did like the dandelion with lips and bought one on a key chain in the gift shop.

After that it was all self-guided. We got in line to see the polar bear. The bear tried to squat down to be closer to Katy’s height and his paws started sliding on the floor. Heath made a comment that it was “just like our dog” and the bear turned around and gave him a dirty look.

Who you calling a dog?
Who you calling a dog?
Smile for the camera
Smile for the camera
All of us
All of us

Then we lined up to go into the vault.

Going in
Going in
Katya messing with the security camery
Katy messing with the security camera

Since Coke was invented by a pharmacist and sold in a drug store they had a neat display of all types of bottles and other items you would find in a drug store at that time. There was also an interactive thing where you could spin dials and try to the get the right amount of sweetness, zip, etc., to mimic Coke. Katy got a “try again”.

Trying to re-create Coke
Trying to re-create Coke

As we got closer to the actual vault with the recipe there were all types of myths and legends about Coke and the recipe on the wall. Finally, we all funneled into a circular room where they packed us in and closed the door! And here it is:

The recipe is in there
The recipe is in there

Behind those doors is the recipe. Don’t mind the lady ducking down, it was hard to get a picture. There’s a line on the floor and if you step over it or put your hand over and alarm sounds and we heard it go off. The recipe has been in a bank for the last 86 years and they moved to the World of Coke when it was rebuilt. How exciting!

The next little area was a lot more history and artifacts.

An old-fashioned lunch counter at a drugstore. The brass guy is the soda jerk.
An old-fashioned lunch counter at a drugstore. The brass guy is the soda jerk.
Old-timey vending machines. I remember the Coke bottle vending machine at church and trying to pry bottles out of it.
Old-timey vending machines. I remember the Coke bottle vending machine at church and trying to pry bottles out of it.
Fanta Grape with the ribbed bottle. That was our number 1 choice of drink in Singapore. Yummm.
Fanta Grape with the ribbed bottle. That was our number 1 choice of drink in Singapore. Yummm.

Coke a major sponsor of the Olympics. They had several torches used in various torch relays and had one from the London Olympics for people to hold. Katy really wanted to do that.

Walk softly and carry a big torch. It was heavy, too.
Walk softly and carry a big torch. It was heavy, too.

There was a gallery of pop art, which was pretty neat. They also had paper where you could write your Coke memories and they had many of those on display. There was a couch that had been used in a backstage area of American Idol. They also had a whole display of The Pause that Refreshes campaign.

American Idol couch
American Idol couch

Lucky for Coke that Santa wears red and white. There’s always a rumor going around that Coke created the modern Santa (http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/santa/cocacola.asp), but, no, his red and white suit was just a coincidence that worked out in their favor. Although I’m sure Santa would still rather have milk.

Collection of Santa ads
Collection of Santa ads
Santa takes a break
Santa takes a break

Besides all of the exhibits we saw three films. Well, the introductory one was pretty dumb. There was a really good 4D film about trying to guess the recipe. The 3D was very well done and then there were moving seats, wind and water effects. They also had a room where they showed a lot of commercials over the years and from around the world. The had the Coke and a Smile and I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke commercials. I thought the one from Russia was cute and there was one from Argentina that was really clever.

The last stop (besides the gift shop) is what everyone looks forward to.

The tasting room
The tasting room

This wasn’t chaotic like I thought it would be. The sodas were in hubs by continent and each hub was three sided with drinks (mostly identical) on each side. We tasted the good, the bad and the ugly. I thought it was interesting that Delaware Punch was in the Europe or South American area, I forget which. We used to get Delaware Punch at the movies in Victoria, Texas. It tastes like fruit punch snow cone syrup.

Katy gets a sample
Katy gets a sample
I really liked the Fanta Apple-Kiwi from Thailand. The Thums-Up from India kind of reminded me of Sarsi. The Japanese drink had no taste at all to speak of. Probably just as well.
I really liked the Fanta Apple-Kiwi from Thailand. The Thums-Up from India kind of reminded me of Sarsi. The Japanese drink had no taste at all to speak of. Probably just as well.
The kiwi-mango and pineapple coconut, both from South Africa, were good, too.
The kiwi-mango and pineapple coconut, both from South Africa, were good, too.

The Truly Awful Award went to Beverly from Italy. I couldn’t even tell you what it tasted like. I had to go in the bathroom and get a drink of water! It’s really just a mixer and not intended to be drunk straight.

This should come with a warning label
This should come with a warning label
Yuck!
Yuck!

It was fun hanging around and watching everyone’s reaction.

They also had varieties of just plain Coke.

IMG_6396

Oh, and they had those fancy new machines where you put your cup under the spout and then select your flavor on a touch-screen. Since they’re mixed up right then they have more flavors. The Sprite selection revealed Sprite in about eight different flavors. I wasn’t too impressed with the strawberry Sprite. It also had just plain water which was good because my taste buds were shot by then. And I tasted very few sodas. The Beverly really messed me up.

On the way out, it was free Coke bottles for everyone.

IMG_6397

We stopped in the gift shop. Heath got a key chain and Katy got a polar bear. I didn’t buy anything but if they’d had this shirt in a regular t-shirt cut, I would have bought it. It was also scented!

IMG_6398

If you find yourself in Atlanta (maybe for the SAS reunion in September!) we recommend the World of Coke.

2 thoughts on “I’d like to buy the world a Coke …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s