Candler's knack for marketing soon made Coca Cola a popular "fountain" drink available in drugstore soda fountains everywhere. Another pair of capitalists from Chattanooga, Tennessee made the profitable assumption that Coca Cola would be popular if available in a bottle. So, the Coca Cola Bottling Company was formed. The fee for the rights? $1.00 (never collected).
So, what is World of
Coke about? Well, the above and more. From the 1880s' till now,
Coca Cola has become a massive force, available in over 200
countries. No matter where you go in the world, even if you are
afraid to drink the water, you can always count on the
consistency in flavor and quality of Coca Cola and other Coke
products. The World of Coke guides you through a century and a
half of building that dream. The marketing efforts of Coca Cola,
over the years, has produced an entire culture of nostalgia. A
Norman Rockwell kind of thing.
When we first entered the World of Coke, it was apparent that this was a tribute to the history of the product, a museum. We were wandered into a foyer where a we were introduced to the history of Coca Cola and some of the artifacts around the room (including an original Norman Rockwell Painting).
The next stop was the Happiness Factory Theater where we learned the truth about the phenomenon that takes place behind the front panel of a Coke machine. I never knew about... Well, I guess I'd better not let the cat out of the bag. Just let me say, the kids will like it, and it's true, Coke is magic!
We had our picture made with one of the the Coca Cola Polar Bears next, but, in our excitement, we forgot to pick it up at the gift shop. From there we wandered through a history of Coca Cola and all the related memorabilia. Think about it. What other product better depicts Americana of the 20th century than Coke? It's hard to imagine any public place during the 1900s that did not have a Coke machine. Just think about it.
We climbed the stairs to the second floor and enjoyed the show in the 4D theater, a fantasy story about the secret of the Coca Cola formula. Again, this was a big hit for the kids.
After a brief layover in the Perfect Pauses theater enjoying the Coca Cola commercials from our childhood as well as international commercials, we succumbed to the children's demands to visit the "tasting room."
The tasting room (taste it!) is what the kids came for. There are a series of soda fountain islands evenly spaced in a large room (with an adjacent restroom). Each island represents a world region and dispenses the Coca Cola products available in that region. We had to try each and every flavor. There is one important lesson we all learned, and that is -- what is good to someone else isn't necessarily good to us. The infamous "Beverly" is a perfect example. If you visit the World of Coke, you MUST taste Beverly, just so you can say you did.
In summary, World of
Coke is a great destination, at least for 2-3 hours. It's good
for kids, and better for grown-ups. If you're concerned about
what to do with the rest of the day, the aquarium or any of the
other local attractions should suit your needs.