The World of Coca-Cola attraction opened in 2007 with a 20-acre complex just north of Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta.
The 92,000-square-foot space features several interactive exhibits detailing the history and mythology of Coca-Cola and allows visitors to get closer than ever before to the vault containing the 131-year-old secret formula that turns fizzy sugar water into the Real Thing.
More than 25 million people have visited the World of Coca-Cola at its two locations in Atlanta. A must-visit location for anyone who loves the popular drink, touring the museum takes about 90 minutes, although some hard-core fans are known to spend hours inside.
Some quick history
The original World of Coca-Cola museum opened in 1990 in Underground Atlanta beneath a 30-foot high neon Coca-Cola sign. It remained in the shadow of the state Capitol, drawing some 9 million visitors, until 2007. The current museum is in Pemberton Place, a complex that includes the Georgia Aquarium and Center for Civil and Human Rights, just blocks from where John Pemberton created the original Coca-Cola formula in 1886.
5 highlights of the World of Coca Cola
- The Vault of the Secret Formula explains how a patent medicine – sold for a nickel a glass at soda fountains – became the iconic beverage that has always called Atlanta home. The immersive multimedia exhibit goes over the legends and intrigue that surround the secret Coca-Cola recipe, a copy of which is guarded in the museum. It's about as close as an outsider will ever get to seeing one of the most tightly guarded trade secrets in the world.
- The Coca-Cola Polar Bear was introduced in a print advertisement in 1922 and has become one of the most enduring characters in Coke ads worldwide. The modern polar bear, which first appeared in the 1993 "Always Coca-Cola" campaign, is available to meet visitors inside the museum. Document the moment with a selfie or pay for a professional souvenir photo.
- Bottle Works is a mini-bottling plant that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the bottling operation. The process is slowed considerably to allow guests a better view of the fully robotic machines that take 8-ounce glass bottles from sanitizing to the multi-step mixing and filling process.
- The Pop Culture Gallery features more than a dozen original paintings, including works by Haddon Sundblom, the illustrator whose 1931 Coca-Cola Santa became the model for the warm and cuddly St. Nick we know today. Through May 2018, the gallery also features "10 Artists, 10 Bottles," highlighting the work of 10 Atlanta-area artists who put their own spin on 4-foot-tall sculpted Coke bottles.
- In the Taste It beverage lounge, you'll get a chance to do what everyone talks about when they say they've gone to the World of Coca-Cola: sample more than 100 beverages from around the globe. The six Coca-Cola Freestyle machines let guests dispense their own choice of more than 100 fizzy and non-carbonated drinks made by the company. Five tasting stations showcase beverages made in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. Among the most popular: Beverly, a bitter carbonated aperitif from Italy and Bibo Pine-Nut, a combination of coconut and pineapple enjoyed across the African continent.
The World of Coca-Cola is part of the Pemberton Place complex, just north of Centennial Olympic Park at 121 Baker Street NW in Atlanta. Parking is available at the official World of Coca‑Cola parking garage for $10 per vehicle per day. The entrance to the garage is near the stoplight on Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard NW. It is also less than a 15-minute walk from the MARTA stations at Peachtree Center and the Dome.
When to go
The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and for occasional private events. Generally, it opens at either 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. and remains open until 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. Doublecheck the hours online before you visit, or call 404-676-5151.
General admission tickets are $17 for adults (ages 13-64), $13 for children (ages 3-12) and $15 for seniors (ages 65+). Toddlers up to 2-years-old can enter free with a paying adult. Guided VIP tours are $32 per person (except toddlers who enter free with paying adults). Reduced rates are available for group purchases of 25 tickets or more. All active-duty and reserve members of the U.S. armed forces, as well as military retirees, can enter the museum for free. They also receive 10 percent off professional photo packages.