Welcome to the World of Coke

Inside the silver modern building downtown next to Centennial Olympic Park lies an exciting place – the home of an Atlanta icon that’s red and white and known for good taste.
Atlanta Parent found the ultimate taste-testers, Hazel, 6, and Duncan, 3, for an afternoon of exploring the interactive museum. To begin our sugary-sweet adventure, we were first ushered (along with about 30 other visitors), into the Coca-Cola Loft. This room is a treasure trove of international Coke memorabilia. Every inch of wall space is covered in history; you’ll gaze upon everything from a late-1800’s soda fountain and an array of vintage posters to a pair of bell-bottomed Coca-Cola pants.
We learned that way back in 1886, the first glass of Coke cost 5 cents. Hazel was amazed to learn that, reportedly, only two people in the world know the secret formula – or recipe – for Coca-Cola. The recipe is locked in a safe in the museum’s “Vault of the Secret Formula” attraction. Inside the high-security “Vault,” video cameras displayed our faces on a screen, “so we know we’re being watched!” cried Hazel. We continued down a hallway lined with hands-on activities for kids that help tell the story of the evolution of the world’s most famous soft-drink company. We arrived in a dark, empty room only to see the wall split in two – revealing a giant metal safe. “Hands off,” said the security guard. Thankfully, the tasting room was our next stop.
The kids’ became wide-eyed as we arrived in the room filled with soda fountains. Careful not to cause tummy troubles, we didn’t sample all 60 flavors, but we did enjoy our fair share of Coke products from around the globe. Hazel filled her sampler cup with grape flavors from Italy and Africa, while Duncan stuck closely to the South American fruit punch. Hazel gave a loud “no thank you!” to the green apple-flavored “Manzana Lift” from Latin America, proclaiming it “too spicy.”
Reeling a bit from a sugar high, we ventured on to other interactive exhibits. We caught a short 4D movie, viewed some art exhibits, watched international Coke commercials, had a photo taken with the snuggly iconic Polar Bear (Duncan firmly opted out), and finally called it an awesome day! The World of Coke wore us out, but it also kept us smiling into the evening.
Adults will like: Learning the history of the popular and powerful brand. It’s cool being reminded that a world-renowned company was started in our own back yards.
Kids will like: Without question, the tasting room!                        
– Kate Wallace

If You Go

World of Coca-Cola
121 Baker St. NW, Atlanta
404-676-5151; worldofcoca-cola.com
Hours: Fri.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sun.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Holiday hours vary, see website for details.
Cost: $16 ages 13 and up; $12 ages 3-12; free to kids 2 and younger. Purchase tickets in advance online or at ticket windows. Reservations are not required.