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People drink it from Los Angeles to Japan and from the Thai jungle to the vast savannah in Africa: Coca-Cola is the most famous soda drink in the world. Discover the fascinating history of this bubbly brand at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.
The date is 8 May 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia: local pharmacist Dr. John Stith Pemberton brings a bottle of his latest syrup to Jacob’s Pharmacy. People take a liking to it and the product is sold for 5 cents a glass in a soda vending machine. Mixed with sparkling water, the drink is immediately labelled as ‘delicious and refreshing’. Nobody could have imagined that it would take the world by storm.
You can’t miss the building in Centennial Olympic Park in the heart of Atlanta: the large glass Coca-Cola bottle on the roof can be seen from miles away. Although the World of Coca-Cola has been around since 1990, the museum has only been housed in this futuristic building situated in the middle of the park since 2007. Upon entering the lobby, visitors immediately notice the 7 eye-catching Coca-Cola sculptures that were especially designed for the 1996 Olympic Games. But this is nothing compared to the vast collection of neon signs, fridges, advertising signs, cars and vintage posters that are on display. The collection includes a 1939 Chevrolet pick-up truck and an old soda dispenser from 1880. Collectors will drool over the huge collection of posters and other advertising materials created by Coca-Cola over the course of the century.
The Coca-Cola recipe is probably one of the best kept secrets in the world. It is stored in the Vault of the Secret Formula, and although nobody is allowed to see it, as a visitor you can uncover some of the secrets through various interactive exhibits. Try the ‘Virtual Taste Maker’, where you can blend virtual flavours to try and recreate the perfect Coca-Cola taste. Or take part in the game as you are guided through 3 virtual rooms: the Triangle Room, the Secure Train Car and the Bank Vault. These are all locations where the secret formula was once kept. The game will test your own secret keeping skills: you can also challenge your friends or family to play.
One of the best parts of the World of Coca-Cola comes at the end of the tour: Taste it! Here you can sample 64 Coca-Cola products from all around the world. You probably know about Vanilla Coke and Cherry Coke, but have you ever heard of the Italian aperitif Beverly or the overly sweet Fanta Melon Frost from Thailand? The mixing stations are organised by continent and you can sample, mix and taste all you want.