The World of Coca-Cola

A refreshing place for learning and fun

08/23/2010
teaching through travel

Over one million people from around the world visit the World of Coca-Cola each year and each brings his or her own Coca-Cola story with them.  Some may remember sharing an icy cold Coca-Cola with salted peanuts poured inside with their grandfather as reward for a hard day’s work in the garden.  Some may recall the giant metal sign on the Little League fence where they played ball as a child that noted the sponsorship of their local bottler.  image

Still others might recall the concert or fan fest sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company at a major sporting event.  There are things in life that separate us and things that bring us together.  The World of Coca-Cola is a celebration and embodiment of one of those things that bring us together.

Located at Pemberton Place, named for Dr. John Pemberton who invented Coca-Cola in 1886, the new World of Coca-Cola opened in May of 2007, having welcomed over 13 million guests from around the world at the original attraction located near the Georgia state capitol.  The World of Coca-Cola shares a large grassy lawn with the Georgia Aquarium and sits just north of Centennial Olympic Park and Inside CNN Studio Tour in downtown Atlanta. 

Understanding the need to provide educational value for teachers wishing to visit the attraction with their students, the World of Coca-Cola enlisted the help of a former curriculum writer to develop their Teacher Toolkit.  This online resource provides teachers with all the tools needed to ensure a class trip to the World of Coca-Cola will be educational as well as entertaining.  The Teacher Toolkit provides links between the Georgia Performance Standards and what a class will experience in their self-guided tour of the attraction.  Information is provided by grade, by subject for Social Studies and English/ Language Arts along with a Green Guide highlighting many of the facets of the attraction’s design, construction & operation. This led to its distinction as a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building.  The toolkit also provides educators with lesson plans, pre and post-visit activities and photo cues to look for when using the Teacher Toolkit on their class trip to ensure all materials are covered.

Groups visiting the World of Coca-Cola have the opportunity to see rare pieces of art, such as two Norman Rockwell original paintings, showcased in the same facility with the red leather sofa from American Idol season four when Carrie Underwood won the competition.  It is this type of accessibility that has been the hallmark of the brand since 1886.  Very few of the over 1200 pieces of memorabilia and archives chronicling The Coca-Cola Company’s history are behind glass.  One of the most distinctive archival elements is found in the Coca-Cola Loft.  The actual letters that spelled out the company’s name and hung outside its headquarters from 1919 to 1979 are now mounted atop a wall filled with posters and colorful Coca-Cola advertisements from around the world.  Take special note of the dings and dents in the letters that are no doubt a result of being exposed to the elements for 60 years. 

The Milestones of Refreshment area is arranged in chapters or vignettes that allow classes to walk through the history of The Coca-Cola Company.  This area is particularly rich in its application to Social Studies for students of all ages, as shown in the Teacher Toolkit.  These galleries showcase unique items sure to prompt discussion of such topics as history, geography, transportation, global expansion of business, etc. in an engaging and unexpected setting.  Be sure to locate the document selling the rights to bottle Coca-Cola to two gentlemen from Chattanooga, Tennessee for $1.  Another item sure to prompt “oohhs and aahhs” from the class is a yellow 1939 Chevy panel delivery van from Buenos Aires, Argentina that was installed prior to the walls being built in this area.  It’s World of Coca-Cola’s very own ship in a bottle!  

Touring a production facility is all but impossible today, but students can walk through the world’s smallest and slowest bottling line, Bottle Works, and see Coca-Cola being produced in 8 oz. glass bottles at the attraction.  The bottles are not sold or distributed elsewhere and are only produced for guests of the World of Coca-Cola.  At the conclusion of their self-guided tour, everyone has the opportunity to take home a bottle of their very own.

“In Search of the Secret Formula” takes guests on a wild trip around the world to explore what it is that makes a Coca-Cola so special.  This thrilling 4-D theater experience puts the audience directly into the action with 3-D glasses and motion-based seats accompanied by wind and water effects.  Be prepared for a bumpy and exciting ride!  For those wishing to experience the 3-D film in a stationary seat, an entire row is set aside to allow them to still enjoy the show.    

It comes as no surprise that one of the most popular areas in this 93,000 square foot attraction is Taste It, the sampling area where guests may try over 60 beverages produced around the world by The Coca-Cola Company.  The drinks are arranged roughly by continent, allowing educators the chance to discuss not only geography, but also flavor preferences determined by the foods people enjoy around the world.  With so many drinks from so many countries, students are sure to voice their opinions on which they prefer, but one thing is certain.  Beverly will be the most memorable beverage they sample!  Point out to students that the sampling cups used in this area are produced from a corn starch derivative, composted and are used as landscaping mulch, further supporting the attraction’s Gold LEED certification as an environmentally responsible facility. 

A trip to the World of Coca-Cola will enlighten and entertain but it will also provide intriguing examples of just how similar we all are, regardless of where we call home.  We all like to spend time with our family and friends and many times, Coca-Cola is a part of those moments. 

For more information, call 404-676-5151 or visit www.worldofcocacola.com
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Issue 18.3 | Winter/Spring 2017

Southeast Education Network

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