On our third day in Shanghai, we headed to the Shanghai Expo, the highlight of this trip. The date was 8 May which was also Coca-Cola’s Founder Day or the global brand’s 124th birthday.

To celebrate, the Coca-Cola Pavilion was to be launched on the same day and we were there early in the morning to witness the launch.

My Shanghai Expo ticket

My Shanghai Expo ticket

My coveted ticket to the Coca-Cola celebration concert in the evening

My coveted ticket to the Coca-Cola celebration concert in the evening

VIP pass for the Coca-Cola pavilion

VIP pass for the Coca-Cola pavilion

Tagged as a member of the Coca-Cola entourage

Tagged as a member of the Coca-Cola entourage

Expo's Puxi entrance

Expo’s Puxi entrance

I spy the Coca-Cola pavilion from the signature red walls

I spy the Coca-Cola pavilion from the signature red walls

We are here!

We are here!

The Australian bloggers, a la Beatles

The Australian bloggers, a la Beatles

Media registration

Media registration

Brenda from Coca-Cola China was there to greet us early in the morning

Brenda from Coca-Cola China was there to greet us early in the morning

About to join the queue to go into the Coca-Cola Pavilion

About to join the queue to go into the Coca-Cola Pavilion

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The "Happiness Factory" opens it door!

The “Happiness Factory” opens it door!

The cheery workers in the Happiness Factory, perched on the pavilion

The cheery workers in the Happiness Factory, perched on the pavilion

Giant Coca-Cola bottle display screen

Giant Coca-Cola bottle display screen

More of the Happiness Factory workers

More of the Happiness Factory workers

The pavilion was themed around the “Happiness Factory” concept that ran across Coca-Cola’s recent ad campaign. Stepping into the pavilion was like stepping in a mini version of Willy Wonka‘s magical Chocolate Factory. There are no oompa-loompa here, but Coca-Cola has its own stable of quirky characters.

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by loud, smiley employees who will usher you along the tour of the pavilion. After a short introductory video on the main characters in the Coca-Cola Happiness Factory, visitors are guided to a cosy cinema to watch a slick animation.

Counter inside the pavilion

Counter inside the pavilion

Pavilion interior - the entrance area

Pavilion interior – the entrance area

Happiness Factory introductory video

Happiness Factory introductory video

Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month

Me inside the cinema room

Me inside the cinema room

Super slick animation that must have cost quite a bit to produce

Super slick animation that must have cost quite a bit to produce

After the cinema experience, visitors are presented with a free bottle of Coca-Cola in their environmental conscious PlantBottle, made from 30% plant-based material and is 100% recyclable. We were also showed a certain way to upturn, twist and then uncap the bottle before consumption so that a layer of ice will run at the top, due to a special freezing technique.

A bottle of Coca-Cola for everyone after watching the video

A bottle of Coca-Cola for everyone after watching the video

Brrrrr green screen which the kids love

Brrrrr green screen which the kids love

The PlantBottle - bottle of the future

The PlantBottle – bottle of the future

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My PlantBottle fizzling up

My PlantBottle fizzling up

Me with Tom from Coca-Cola with our PlantBottles

Me with Tom from Coca-Cola with our PlantBottles

Outside the pavilion, there were magicians and other entertainers going around to keep the guests in queues occupied while waiting. There was also a gift shop selling limited edition Coca-Cola Shanghai Expo souvenirs. I bought a set of Expo-themed bottles for keepsake.

Magician keeping guests entertained

Magician keeping guests entertained

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World's first soft drink dispenser to go outer space - Coca-Cola of course!

World’s first soft drink dispenser to go outer space – Coca-Cola of course!

Beijing-themed Coca-Cola bottle

Beijing-themed Coca-Cola bottle

Free Coca-Cola for everyone

Free Coca-Cola for everyone

Later on, we were entertained by some song and dance items featuring kids from around the world singing Happy Birthday to Coca-Cola on the pavilion stage.

We lingered around till the end of the birthday celebration and then spent a little time exploring the Puxi area where the Coca-Cola pavilion is located. The Puxi area houses all the enterprise pavilions and these are generally deemed as less exciting by most visitors. The area tends to be a little quiet. I find it a pity as some of the enterprise pavilions like the Coca-Cola one for instance, is better than the average country pavilions.

If you visit the Expo. Don’t skip the Puxi area. It’s great for time-starved visitors as there are generally no queues there.

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Happy Korean bloggers

Happy Korean bloggers

The Korean bloggers even brought a birthday cake for Coca-Cola!

The Korean bloggers even brought a birthday cake for Coca-Cola!

Me with cheery Australian blogger, Annabel Candy

Me with cheery Australian blogger, Annabel Candy

Me and Walter acting childish

Me and Walter acting childish

Me against the giant Coca-Cola mural

Me against the giant Coca-Cola mural

After brisking through Puxi, I took a ferry across the Huangpu River together with fellow Singaporeans, Walter and June and Japanese blogger, Rikki-san. We were headed for the Pudong area where the key attractions – the country pavilions are.

China Oil Pavilion

China Oil Pavilion

Shanghai Corporate Pavilion

Shanghai Corporate Pavilion

Republic of Korea Business Pavilion - the exterior will be recycled into shopping bags after the Expo

Republic of Korea Business Pavilion – the exterior will be recycled into shopping bags after the Expo

Space Home Pavilion - quite popular among the Puxi pavilions

Space Home Pavilion – quite popular among the Puxi pavilions

Haibao seen all over at gift shops

Haibao seen all over at gift shops

I like these souvenir paper models of the iconic pavilions

I like these souvenir paper models of the iconic pavilions

The jetty to board the ferries

The jetty to board the ferries

The free shuttle ferry that took us to Pudong

The free shuttle ferry that took us to Pudong

On board the ferry

On board the ferry

Stay tuned to my next blog entry which will be a really lengthy one covering the Expo’s country pavilions and Coca-Cola’s Founder Day Parade. 🙂

My previous posts on Shanghai with Coca-Cola:

Shanghai Expo with Coca-Cola – A Preview

Day 1 – Arrive Shanghai, The Bund

Shanghai Expo Express (my paper travel story)

Day 2 (morning) – Coca-Cola’s Global Innovation & Technology Center, Bloggers Confernce

Day 2 (evening) – Xintiandi, meeting Expedition 206 crew

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