On twitter, when just … chattering generally like I do, someone suggested I go to World of Coke. (Or Coke World, or whatever.) Formally, I believe it is “World of Coca-Cola.”) I don’t normally drink soda pop (covering all my bases there as you see ;)) – but if or when I do, Coke is often my choice. It’s just good and pairs well with so many flavors. Cuba Libre. Coke with lime. Coke with vanilla. Coke with lemon. Coke float!
Anyway, I pounced. I looked into it. I contacted Coke to ask about tours, and after I talked to a few people, it was all set. They “sent” me tickets. I was going to Coke World. (Which is what I want to call it because it’s easiest to say and type.) And I was bringing a friend(s).
It was really close to our hotel, so we walked. (I had planned on going with Jax, and that morning Sandi texted me to see where I was and I told her she should come with us.) As soon as you walk in, there’s coke promotional items and advertisements. I wish we had known a bit more, because the “holding room” is pretty cool, but they were all “the film is starting soon!” And I was picturing small museum room, so I lined right up. Like a good lemming. Had I known it was a theater I would have wandered more and taken pictures, waiting for a crowd to go through so I could take pictures in an empty room. (Although it’s good we didn’t, because Sandi was on a restricted schedule.)
Anyway you watch this little film which is animated, and cute, and catchy, and was in my head still a few days. Although some of the things are freaky.
And OMFG I FOUND IT ONLINE. En.Joy. (You’ll see what I thought was freaky.)
I loved the Happification and the Happiness Factory.
After that, it’s an open tour and you can wander around. There’s the requisite “museum type” section, kinda like what you see at a Smithsonian, and I enjoyed that. Tons of Coke machines etc are lit though, so it was difficult to take pictures of items etc without glare and back lighting affecting the pictures. Oh well. These are a few of my favorites.
One of my MOST FAVORITE THINGS of the tour was right after the “theater” actually, and it was THE COKE POLAR BEAR. It was SO AWESOME. Animatronic and that sounds … not wonderful, judging by the expressions of people when I tried to tell them about it, but you had to be there. Seriously, World of Coca-Cola, whoever was in that costume when I was there, you are not paying him/her enough. That person was a great sport, and totally animated. Willing to sit or stand depending on the people – hug and be hugged (I totally hugged the bear). It has to pose for pictures, waves, can obviously see out because it blinks, smiles, moves well, and when Jax, Sandi, and I were standing on a landing and it was alone (idiots – people not wanting to be with the bear?!) and it was smiling and waving at us AND I LOVED IT.
No joke – if it had come back to the hotel with us everyone would have lost their shit. In a good way. (I so wished that could happen.) [I also have more bear expressions etc but things aren’t playing nice and I’ve wasted too much time so maybe if I can figure it out later…]
Also cool was as the Olympics were in Atlanta in 1996, and hello Coke like is Atlanta, a “of the Nations” thing was many? All? Participating countries sent a “Nationally designed” Coke Bottle. Very cool. Those were throughout the open spaces.
And of course, there’s a “factory section” (that I personally just strolled through as it’s not something I’m really interested in/most factory set ups are the same) – and theeeennnnn you go into the tasting room. Sandi had to leave, but Jax and I tasted every single flavor. The standouts (in a bad way) were the vegetable one from Japan, and the ever infamous Beverly, a discontinued aperitif from Italy. I was warned, so when I took a sip, it was bitter but not so bad, but oh man the finish. It is vile.
I actually loved the fancy coke machines near the end – the raspberry vanilla coke. (I’d love cherry vanilla … but I think strawberry coke would not be a good thing.) It was just too much syrup though, and for a few hours after I felt a bit… ill. Despite only having maybe a sip of each kind. (61? Flavors?) It’s a lot of sugary sweet to take in with carbonation. It was a mad house. A ton of little kids running around, splashing… I wished there was a small foot fountain at the end, actually XD because things got a little sticky. You know that … shoes sticking to the floor? That. And kids splashing. I was glad I wore a skirt.
I was also sad that some of the flavors I tasted there aren’t available in the states.
Then, when you leave the tasting area, you get a 8 oz glass commemorative bottle to take home, along with a plastic bag to carry it in, and it opens into (of course!) the gift shop! I wouldn’t recommend buying their “mystery bag” actually. I think I went for the $2 or $3 one? (Mostly I wanted the World of Coca Cola bag, being an idiot forgetting I was already buying something so I’d have one anyway… but that one zip-locked…) Ahem. Anyway, it was just a cheap ginormous coke pen. Meh.The clerk was all “it’s really good” when I was waffling. Ah well. It’s what she’s paid to do.)
So anyway, it’s actually a pretty short, small tour, but I think worth checking out. If you have time and like wandering you can carefully observe each bottle, and pick when crowds are slightly thinner to go elbow your way into the tasting stations. I don’t know that I’d go back, but I am glad that I went at all. So for a one time visit? Yeah – you should go.
Have any of you gone before? Are you a “coke person?” >.> Does anyone here prefer Pepsi?
ETA: Oh oh oh oh oh!!! One thing I SO WISH Coke World had was a motion ride 😀 You know, like in Vegas? I just feel like there’s a missed opportunity here.