I was in USA for the first time and only by myself due to professional assignment. But we know that even we travel because of business reason in one place, we all try to grab our chance for fun if possible. We all have different ways how we define having fun while traveling, right? But for me, I define ‘fun’ by seeing and enjoying the place where I currently am. The fun that I am referring to was when I went out to see the museum of famous bottling company in the world – World of Coca-Cola during one of the weekends that I was in Atlanta last November 2015.
If you are visiting by driving directly to the museum, this post will not be able to give tips, but if you are traveling through public transportation, below experiences may help how to go to World of Coca-Cola.
It was Saturday morning, I left my hotel near Atlanta Airport and I took hotel shuttle to reach Airport Station, one of the train station within MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) Train. And from Airport Station, I got off at Peachtree Center Station. From the station I turned right and walked along Peachtree Street – one of the famous street in Atlanta.
1. Walk a bit in a Quiet CBD of Atlanta during Weekends
Walking from the Peachtree Center Station, I felt a bit surprised because the downtown of Atlanta seems to be so quiet even it’s almost lunch time on Saturday. I felt a deafening silence around the place while walking along the street. When I reached Baker Street NW I turned left and followed the road as shown in Triposo app in my mobile phone. From Peachtree Street, I passed two more street. I reached Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW, where I saw clearly the name of the famous Coca-Cola, which means that I found the place that I was going to be and made me felt that I was in the right place.
When I saw a group of people going to World of Coca-Cola, I felt relieved, why? Because from Peachtree Center Station, I haven’t seen a lot of people and it made me felt that I was in a ghost town. Wandering if I was really in Atlanta CBD, I thought it will be a busy city but it’s not. That feeling reminded me when I was in Edmonton downtown in Alberta Canada which the same as CBD where people were gone at weeknights and weekends leaving the downtown as an empty place.
2. Adore Surrounding Place of Museum as it Stands in a Strategic Tourist Location
I stopped at the front of World of Coca-Cola which is a corner of Baker St NW and Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW where I grabbed my chance to take a picture of its name. Before I reached the entrance of World of Coca-Cola, I felt a bit of excitement as I look at my surroundings. At the front of World of Coca-Cola is the Georgia Aquarium and beside the aquarium is Human Rights Museum. At the other side of Baker Street NW, the Centennial Olympic Park can be found. I felt good at that time because I was surrounded by places for enjoyment and to for discovery using my camera.
For this post, I focus on my discovery inside the World of Coca-Cola. I bought bundled tickets which also includes the aquarium and the museum ticket. Since I was a foreigner (meaning I do not live in USA), I was prioritized at the entrance.
3. Be Excited, Have Fun and Enjoy the Time Inside the World of Coca-Cola
Lobby – The Entrance Hallway
I went inside and lined-up with the group of people. Here I saw the information desk where I get the map of the museum. Because of many people lined-up in a queue for the next door, I haven’t able to capture some photos here where some Coca-Cola bottle sculptures are being displayed. We waited for few minutes until we allowed to enter as signal that our journey within the World of Coca-Cola will be started.
Loft – First Stop and the Beginning of the Discovery
Since I was one of the last person entered in our group, I heard someone speaking and I wanted to see who was it. I walked and reached the front area where I can see clearly the speaker. I forgot her name and then she started asking the visitors. First, she recognized the visitors by asking first who are guests came from outside USA. People raising their hands and she asked one by one to find out which countries the visitor came from. A lot already answered her and I waited my chance, I raised my hand and answered I came from Philippines. Next, she asked the visitors came within USA. And did the same thing, they mentioned which state or city they came from. The atmosphere in the group were both warm and joyful. All I can say was, most of the visitors of the museum are coming from different parts of the world. I felt that everyone were enjoying while listening to the speaker. The speaker made introductions and started telling the history of Coca-Cola. After few minutes of intros and summary about the giant bottling company in the world, the speaker advised us to take our time while discovering the museum.
After enjoying our time listening to the introduction and summary history of the bottling company, at the next door which is a theater, we watched ‘Moments of Happiness’ film which showcasing happiness of different people with variety of races around the world and also depicts different moments of laughter and triumphs. The short film accompanied by good feeling music ‘On Top of the World’ from Imagine Dragons which is one of my favorite band at the moment. After I watched it, the feeling and the mood and I believed it was not only me but the other visitors like me has the same feeling. I applaud the company for making such effort and being able to capture the genuine happiness that people really feel in real life.
The Hub or the central hub of the museum has two levels where exhibit displays and historical artifacts of the bottling company includes: Coca-Cola Polar Bear, Vault of the Secret Formula, Milestones of Refreshment, Bottle Works, 4-D Theater, Pop Culture Gallery, Perfect Pauses Theater, Taste It! and Coca-Cola Store.
Coca-Cola Polar Bear
Coca-Cola Polar Bear
Another door has been opened to us after watching the short film, I felt more excited. I know that I am exploring museum but I am enjoying my time so far. First thing that I saw was the grand stair to the second floor which located at the middle. At first, I did not notice the Polar Bear character, I saw the bear while I am in queue to enter the Vault of the Secret Formula. I realized that the Polar Bear character was there for photo sessions with the visitors and there was a queue for it. I decided that I will visit the polar bear as my last adventure inside the museum.
After visiting Perfect Pauses Theatre, I went straight to Coca-Cola Polar Bear, like other people, I lined-up in a queue to have my chance for a photo of the polar bear. Though it’s just a character, people still enjoying for a quick photo shots with the iconic polar bear.
Coca-Cola Polar Bear
Vault of the Secret Formula
We know that one of the major reason of success of Coca-Cola company in the world is because of what they called Secret Formula. We know that many attempted and probably still trying to steal the secret formula behind the most successful cola company in the world. From its door, everyone gets excited as we saw the Vault door, it felt like there is gold inside that we can have a chance to see and to touch.
One thing that I observed in my overall visit within the vault were the lights effects used to artfully display information, archives and artifacts about the bottling company history. Personally, reading through all the stuff inside the vault made me overwhelm at first because I never thought that Coca-Cola has so much on its history. But when I realized its beginning during my round, I was amazed about what I learned on what happened in the famous cola company.
Here’s some of the highlights of my discovery.
1886 – when the New Beverage called Coca-Cola has been introduced by Atlanta Pharmacist John S. Pemberton
1888 – majority of interest sold to ASA G. Candler by Pemberton and the same person took over the control of the business after Pemberton’s death
1891 – Asa G. Candler become the sole owner of secret formula, its trademark and its right along with it.
Candler only trusted the formula to himself and led the people the way to produce the syrup without knowing the ingredients
$2300 – Candler paid to acquire formula and all rights of the Coca-Cola
1919 – Candler’s family sold the Coca-Cola company for $25 million to Atlanta banker Ernest Woodruff through a loan and the secret formula used as its most valuable collateral
The formula’s stayed in New York for six years, sealed away in the Guaranty Banks Vault
1925 – Board of Directors passes a resolution, placing the secret formula of the Coca-Cola in a bank vault at the Trust Company Bank (now SunTrust Bank) in Atlanta
2011 – The Secret formula moved to vault at the grounds of the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta where its remains in public display
The Vault of Secret Formula
Milestone of Refreshment
This part of the museum is not only telling us stories but showcasing physical archives of the colorful history of the most famous bottling company in the world.
Creating A Classic
Shows how Pemberton able to invent the Coca-Cola in his modest laboratory and the soda fountain which used initially to distribute Coca-Cola
From A Beverage To A Brand
With the help of Frank Robinson to advertise the new beverage, the same person whom created the Coca-Cola script (logo) which become brand.
Coca-Cola Script and Frank Robinson
A Brand Becomes A Business
Asa Candler launched marketing activities for Coca-Cola and considered to be a true marketing pioneer.
1939 Chevrolet delivery truck in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Birth Of The Bottling System
Three businessmen in Chattanooga, Tennessee named Benjamin Thomas, Joseph Whitehead and John Lupton bought the exclusive rights to bottle and sell Coca-Cola for 1$ from Candler which made a tremendous effect to the company and help the business to make it global.
An Icon Like No Other
Coca-Cola bottlers sponsored a contest with a goal “Create bottle for Coca-Cola as original as its taste” where Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana won the challenge in 1915. Presently, that winning contour bottle is one of the most recognized icons in the world.
Changing The Face Of Advertisement
When people becoming familiar with Coca-Cola, more and more advertisements created that depicts that the Coca-Cola become part of our lifestyle that seems to be our natural companion. That really made Coca-Cola as successful product and brand.
Citizen of the World
The famous Coca-cola was even successful in expanding the business outside US. In my country Philippines, Bottle operations started in 1912 which is the first expansion of the company in Asia.
Coke Adds Life
When the company started sponsoring Olympic games and even local sporting events and musical festivals, through the partnership it made, the Coca-Cola able to make their brand and product as part of winnings and celebration events.
Path To Innovation
Even the company experiencing great success on its first cola, it tries to create new product where we had seen that some become instant hit to the people but never last for a long time. With this, Coca-cola still tries to continue to innovate to be able to address our changing taste at changing time.
After learning so much of colorful history of Coca-Cola, I visited the Bottle Works where everyone can see and appreciate how the company does their bottling process.
I got a chance to experience their 4-D movie theater where anyone can watch the science-comedy short film about looking the secret formula.
Pop Culture Gallery
As I visited the museum as solo traveler, I enjoyed the place called Pop Culture Gallery because in this place, I got a chance to have a photo with myself in the museum. Though I have to pay for it, one thing that was great its a beautiful spot to take pictures of yourself and with family too.
Perfect Pauses Theater
I passed a bit in a small theater called “Perfect Pauses Theater” where I got a chance to watched some advertising videos of Coca-Cola.
I had fun in this area and I bet all of the visitors felt the same way. Why? Because this is the place where everyone can taste to hearts content all the cola or soda that the company invented from all over the world.
I think most of the museum has a store and I bought few souvenirs from here.
1. Plan to visit World of Coca-Cola? – Please check latest information here
2. Entrance Fee – Please check here
3. Public Transportation Ticket – Use MARTA Breese Card, here’s the official website, here’s alternative site for the card
4. Directions to World of Coca-Cola (Atlanta) using train :
If you will ride within Red Line or Gold Line regardless which station you will come from, just remember to get-off at Peachtree Center Station.
If you will ride in any of Blue or Green Line, you are required to transfer at Five Points Station and take Red or Gold Line and get off at Peachtree Center Station.