When tornadoes twisted buildings in downtown Atlanta, a week prior to the Big South volleyball tournament, sponsors rebounded with venue changes. Pretty impressive considering the governor and mayor cancelled the event! The spandex clad girls across the country were not to be denied.
Laura’s team played late Friday then had Saturday morning free. So, Jay, Laura and I decided to pop over to the new World of Coca-Cola and found it fizzing with hot technology.
Red and white Coke memorabilia dripped from the ceiling and lighted display cases boasted old ads featuring celebrities like a Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. My favorite–the sentimental Norman Rockwell painting now worth two million.
Young children laughed at the trendy animated journey inside a soda machine, but Laura felt, “It was pretty lame.”
Afterward theater doors opened upon a cavernous expanse. The open lobby, painted swirling Mad Max style, reminded me of Times Square, except at 10 am, practically empty and much too quiet.
Onward through historical collections of sacred corporate objects– the can an astronaut drank in space, commemorative bottles, and hundreds of Olympic pins. Jay was drawn to the sublime yellow 1939 Chevrolet used for deliveries in Buenos Aires. The Pop Culture gallery hung original Andy Warhol’s, Coca-Cola Santa’s and that cute polar bear mascot.
Factory production always rates a look and Coke was no exception. Machines hissed and clanked as the cola syrup turned into soda, got bottled, capped and then packed in cases.
The site’s main feature is a 4-D movie pitched with pop and piazza (3-D with moving seats). Those goofy glasses brought giggles and our chairs bounced and wiggled through the fantasy. Laura dubbed this one, “swweeeet,” but I was more inclined toward, “really cool.”
If there is one thing this corporation has accomplished with astonishing results, it is world-wide marketing and name recognition. Therefore, the menagerie of products in the company store was expected: bottle openers, golf balls, retro design fashion, neon signs, handbags made from recycled labels (folded by workers in Peru) and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Of course, the shop can be visited without museum admission and also online– www.worldofcoca-cola.com
Couldn’t miss drinking “the real thing” in the tasting room. I tried some of other 70+ Coke products and discovered I liked Tinley, a tart tonic water drink from England. But there’s no denying it. Sometimes all you want is a COKE?
The new World of Coca-Cola is located across from the Georgia Aquarium at Pemberton Place in downtown Atlanta, GA. Entrance fees of $15 for 13-54 years, $15 for seniors 55 and over and $9 for children 3-12 years old.
Jay and I joked about Laura’s ticket costing two dollars more than ours, since we fall into the over 55 category. (No, I’m haven’t joined AARP, but took the discount.)