Thursday, January 2, 2014

FFA: The World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta

Until the College Football Hall of Fame arrives in Atlanta I'd have to say my favorite attraction is The World of Coca-Cola.  We went the other day on what turned out to be one of the three busiest days of the year.  We were told that typically 2,000 guests visit on any given day, but they had 8,000 on the Friday after Christmas.

If you are a fan of Coca-Cola or Coke as most of us call it, I highly recommend visiting.  The exhibits are pretty cool.  Below is a comprehensive list of exhibits with my thoughts on each.
  • Coca-Cola Loft--They give you a primer on your trip and share some cool memorabilia here.
  • Happiness Factory Theater--This is a short movie they show you that they switch out occasionally.  Currently the film is "Coca-Cola Polar Bears" produced by Ridley Scott and his late brother, Tony Scott.
  • Vault of the Secret Formula--Interactive exhibit that ends with you seeing the vault that the recipe is allegedly stored in.  Pretty cool for the kids at least.
  • Coca-Cola Polar Bear--A huge polar bear that you can take pictures with etc.  While it's only a guy in a suit the animatronics of the mouth and eyes are pretty interesting.
  • Milestones of Refreshment--Walks you through the history of Coca-Cola as well as more great memorabilia, ads, etc.  You can hold Olympic torches here too.
  • Bottle Works--A simulation of their bottling process.  It is used to fill the free Coca-Cola bottles that every guest gets when they leave.  Even though it's running very slowly it still creates too much Coke so some of it is recycled apparently.
  • 4-D Theater--Not a huge fan of this one.  Went once and experienced it though. Skipped it the last time.  Fairly self-explanatory.
  • LIVE POSITIVELY® Portrait Wall--I actually missed this one.  It was out in a mezzanine and I didn't realize it was such a cool exhibit based on what I'm reading now.  I'll have to check it out next time.
  • Pop Culture Gallery--Has artwork commissioned by Coke or made out of Coke products.  Also the excellent documentary "79 Days" which recounts the New Coke debacle.
  • Perfect Pauses Theater--Watch the greatest ads in Coke history as well as those from all across the world.  There is something like five different brief segments they show. You can step in and out as you please.
  • Taste It!--This is where you get to taste Coke products from all across the globe.  Try the clear soda, Beverly, from Italy.  It is pretty much universally despised.  They were also mixing up some Coke recipes for home.  I tried Cherry Chocolate Coke and picked up the recipe.  It was really good.  I'm thinking long and hard about buying the syrup they recommend so I can mix my own.
  • Coca-Cola Store--Great products here to take home for the right price of course.  Some of which is only sold at the World of Coca-Cola
Like I said, if you're a fan of Coke you owe it to yourself to visit at least once.  If you sign up for you can even earn free tickets.  

While we are at it here is how I prefer to enjoy a Coke.  You pour a cold can of Coke over ice.  That, to me, is the best Coke you can make at home.  If you are out and about I recommend the following restaurants as well: Wendy's, McDonald's (completely different than most Coke there), Moe's Southwest Grill (if they don't have the awful Freestyle machines), Atlanta Bread Company, Krystal, Checker's and Captain D's.  Great American Cookie Company had phenomenal Coke, but like Moe's has ruined it by switching to the Freestyle machines.