Here Are The Coolest Attractions At The 'World Of Coca-Cola'

cokeWhere else can you try more than 60 Coke drinks?

Photo: M. Woodruff/Business Insider

As a kid growing up in Atlanta in the early 90s, you could hardly get through a school year without taking a tour of the epic World of Coca-Cola Museum.I was six the first time I was dragged there against my will by visiting relatives, and I’ve always wanted to return as an adult. 

Since then, the museum has been entirely rebuilt and moved a few blocks away into the heart of the city’s Centennial Olympic Park.

It’s huge and attracts more than a million visitors each year, according to Seen Magazine.

I had the chance to check it out last month, and I can safely say it’s worth a visit if you’re passing through.

The new World of Coca-Cola museum has only been around for about five years. It's located in the heart of Atlanta, at Pemberton Place––just steps from CNN World Headquarters.

It's also just a stone's throw away from the massive Georgia Aquarium.

The line for tickets was packed when we visited on a Friday afternoon.

Evidence suggests Southern tourists are dubious of virtual ticketing. Despite constant intercom announcements, we were the only ones to skip the line and hit up the e-ticket kiosk.

At $16, general admission is far from cheap. But after visiting, I can safely say it's worth the cash.

They didn't wait till we were inside to start peddling Coke products.

Thanks to a stringent security system, we were in for a wait––about 15 minutes in the sweltering heat.

At last, we were in! ...Only to be corralled into another waiting area before they let our group enter the exhibits.

There was still plenty to hold our attention. You can't hear it, but a mix of Coke jingles from the last six decades played over the speaker system.

The centrepiece of the lobby was an international display of seven wooden coke bottles sculpted to depict a different country. Here's the USA:

I liked that paid photographs were optional –– on-site workers happily snapped photos on personal cameras as well.

A countdown clock controls entrance into the museum. It's go time!

The first 15 minutes of the museum are the only guided portion of the tour. You hear a brief history of the company and can browse massive collections of memorabilia.

Wendy, the so-called 'Cheerleader' of Coca-Cola plays tour guide in the film. If you're lucky, you can meet her in person later on.

It wasn't long before we met a familiar face.

The infamous Coca-Cola polar bear was on photo-op duty all day. The line moved pretty quickly and, again, you could use your own camera.

Cheerleader Wendy kept the waiting line in check.

You can't visit the World of Coca-Cola without checking out the Taste It! exhibit.

Here's where you get to taste more than 60 different Coke products from around the world.

But first, you've got to get your tasting cup.

Each station is separated by continent.

Kids were all over the machines.

With all that soda flying, the floor was a sticky mess in some places. A janitor mopped up around our feet as we drank.

Not all of the action was on the ground. Bottles of coke soared overhead as well.

If the fizzy stuff isn't up your alley, there's a Vitamin Water sampler station nearby.

Our next stop was the 4-D movie theatre.

We were really impressed with their theatre entrance. Each aisle was connected to a door and outside of the theatre, circles on the carpet designated an available seat.

It was a fun ride. They mean it when they say 4-D––Our chairs jolted back and forth and we were blasted by water sprays and wind throughout the film.

Exiting was just as easy as entering the theatre.

Outside the theatre, we ran right into this interactive media wall. Tap the screen and check out pre-recorded testimonials from Coca-Cola fans around the world.

The Pop Culture exhibit next door was filled with eye candy. It would take hours just to inspect every item included in the multi-room exhibit, which includes fan memorabilia and artwork from Andy Warhol and Norman Rockwell.

Each of these bottles was hand-carved.

They have reason to be paranoid. Coke has heavily guarded it's secret formula since it was created by John S. Pemberton in the late 19th century.

Here's Pemberton mixing up a batch of Coke back in its early days.

There was a lot to read in this exhibit.

Much of the exhibit is dedicated to Robert Woodruff, a wealthy entrepreneur who purchased Coca-Cola in the early 20th century. (No relation to this reporter...unfortunately.)

Certainly not the most interesting exhibits.

That way you can skip straight to the Bottle Works. This is where you get a peak inside the bottling process.

Here, you can see an ultra-slowed down assembly line for 8-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola Classic.

It's quite a process.

Once bottled, the bottles roll out on a conveyor belt back upstairs to the Taste It exhibit. You can pick it up on the way out of the museum.

The exit conveniently feeds into the museum's massive souvenir shop.

Kids were dragging around plush polar bears everywhere.

What museum is complete without a $20 T-shirt?

They had an incredible selection of bottle openers, which were probably the best value at under $10 a pop.

Now take a tour of something more exotic...

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