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The Coolest Coke Machine You’ve Ever Seen

Microdosing technology. PurePour. RFID scanners. On-Board Computer. Wondering what I’m talking about? A Coke machine, of course. And it’s right there for you to try at Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival!

Coca-Cola has been hard at work developing a technologically superior machine that doesn’t just offer 6 choices…it offers 106 choices. You want orange Diet Coke right now? You got it. Wanna mix it with lemon or grape Fanta? Go right ahead! (Cool, right?) We stumbled across this machine when we were sampling some of the California Food & Wine Festival signature items at the Festival Center in the back of Disney’s California Adventure. I had no idea how to use it at first, but once you get up there and start pressing buttons, it’s pretty “intuitive.”

Freestyle Coke Machine in Disney's California Adventure

Close-Up of Coke Freestyle Machine

The machine has three steps: 1. Get your ice, 2. Choose your flavors, 3. Pour. It ends up being very easy, and I promise you’ll want to go back and play with it some more!

Freestyle Coke Machine Instructions

Coke’s testing their Freestyle machines in 60 locations across the country, and you can try it out right now at DCA. It’s like your very own World’s Fair, right there in Anaheim. Here are a few shots of some of the screens you can use to choose your flavors:

Screen Example: Coke

Example Sprite Zero Screen

Example Dasani Screen

Minute Maid Light Example Screen

Mr Pibb Xtra Screen Example

Once you decide what you want — just start to pour. If you’re like me and like to mix several different custom flavors, just stop in the middle of the pour and choose another flavor to mix in (e.g. I think I mixed diet Cherry Coke with Grape Sprite Zero…or something like that).

Finally -- You Pour Your Customized Drink

The machine actually makes use of a technology initially developed to precisely measure chemotherapy and dialysis drugs. This “PurePour” technology, along with computerized scanners, allow the machine to create over 100 flavor combinations using several 46-ounce cartridges — vs. the five-gallon flavor concentrates used today (here’s a list of every flavor available on the machine).

Even scarier — Coke Headquarters and the Freestyle machines can talk to one another in real time. If a flavor isn’t selling, the machine sends data back to Coke, who can discontinue the flavor immediately.

Here’s a video that explains it all:

Have you tried the Freestyle? What did you think (even more important — What did you DRINK? :-) )

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27 Comments

  1. robin says:

    how awesome is that machine???!!! AJ, did you have to pay for this or is it free like they have at epcot? (do they still have the coke/soda tasting place at epcot? i haven’t been there in years!)

  2. AJ says:

    Robin — I had to pay for a drink, and this is the machine they have you use. :-) Cool, eh? They DO still have Club Cool in Epcot, yes! Lots of fun! (When are you coming back to WDW next?)

  3. Gray says:

    OMG. That might be one of the coolest bits of technology I’ve seen in recent years! I don’t even drink soda as a rule, but I’d be playing with it all day. How could you not?

  4. Steve Cluck says:

    Looks like the floor around the machine will be extremely sticky to walk upon. It needs a sensor to determine the size of the cup. Those over pours are going to top off each cup and cause a lot of waste too. I expect a lot of kids will be spilling their glasses between machine and table.

  5. Scott says:

    I have been wanting to try one of these machines for a while. I wonder if there’s a site that lists the locations of these machines.

  6. Chip says:

    I have heard of these things popping up all over the place..
    Now if there was only one that did Pepsi I would be in heaven.

  7. robin says:

    AJ, the last time i was at WDW was many, many moons ago. 2006 to be exact! i really want to take my 3yo there within the next year. i know she would LOVE it!

  8. Shayne says:

    Wow, that is so cool! Is this going to stay at DCA or is it only for F&WF?

    I have to say, the guy in the video is a little scary. Does he blink even once?

  9. Erin says:

    Darn, I was just at DCA on Wednesday and I missed this!

  10. Abby says:

    Wow I hope to come across one of those soon, It sounds amazing! Raspberry Coke? I’d be in heaven!

  11. Blackjack Joe says:

    I tried the Freestyle Coke machine while I was at WestFest. I wasn’t too adventurous, I had a Raspberry Sprite Zero.

  12. Katie says:

    I’ve used the machine at DCA a couple times now. The first time I mixed Peach Sprite & Cherry Sprite (it was yummy). The next time I mixed Rasperry Coke & Lime Coke (It was also good).

  13. Ryan says:

    Did you by any chance take photographs of the Fanta screens? I’m just curious as to what type of flavor selections they had there.

  14. Tim says:

    I’ve used one of these at a local Wendy’s of all places! Just walked in one day, and there it was. I do live in Atlanta, which is the Coke capital of the world, so I guess it’s not that surprising. Anyhow, both me and my fiancee had fun playing with it. I think I had a mixture of vanilla coke and orange coke (to make sort of a creamsicle flavour), and then I went back for a peach sprite. Both were tasty!

    Steve – The machine just pours for as long as you hold down the “pour” button, so unless people just aren’t paying attention, there won’t be much by way of overpour. It doesn’t dispense preselected volumes. And if someone does spill over the top of the cup, there’s a grate under the pouring area that drains out and spilled soda. I don’t think there’s much to worry about “sticky floors”, no more so than at any other pour-your-own-drink station, anyhow.

  15. Samland says:

    I thought this machine was one of the highlights of the entire Festival. As an avid Diet Coke drinker I was in heaven. And I wish I could buy the Strawberry Lemonade. I had to keep looking around hoping nobody wanted to get something just so I could poke around at the many flavors. I hope they find a way of keeping this around somewhere somehow.

  16. Hedy says:

    I SOO Want to see one of these…I just hope you can skip the ice.

  17. Janna says:

    I am fascinated by this! I hope one hits WDW by October!

  18. AJ says:

    Gray — I know! Luckily, the Festival Center was dead that day, so we got to play with it for a while.

    Steve — That’s been a major complaint at the testing centers, actually — but for a different reason. People are testing out different combos of beverages, then dumping them out into the catchment tray, which is then overflowing!

    Scott — Here are a few of the locations

    Chip — Pepsi would be great!

    Robin — Sounds great! Let me know if you guys will be headed to WDW anytime soon! I’ll let you know the next time I’m in Disneyland!

    Shayne — No idea whether or not it’ll stay in DCA. (I’m secretly hoping they move it to WDW for the F&W Festival there!)

    Erin — Guess you’ve gotta head back to Disneyland, then! :-)

    Abby — Doesn’t it sound incredible? I’d have to try every possible combination.

    Blackjack Joe — Still sounds pretty good to me!

    Katie — Love the raspberry and lime coke mixture idea!

    Ryan — Unfortunately, I posted all of the screens I took pics of. Maybe a google search will reveal more.

    Tim — Yum! How was the creamsicle flavor? Sounds great. Lucky you to have one at a local Wendy’s!

    Samland — Would love to hear your thoughts about the rest of the festivals; I imagine you’re a California F&W Festival expert!

    Hedy — I’m pretty sure you can skip the ice :-)

    Janna — Me, too!! Would love to use one at the F&W Fest in WDW.

  19. [...] may very well be the coolest Coke machine I’ve ever seen. That said, it’s unfortunately only available in CA and GA right now. [...]

  20. loosetoon says:

    There’s another one of these machines in Atlanta at a Firehouse Subs. The most fun is watching folks trying to figure out how to work the thing. It doesn’t have the great big “Step 1, 2, 3″ sign on it.

  21. Josh says:

    I saw this machine when it was in its early stages but it really look great. It’s definitely the soda machine of the future!

    As with Mr. Gray above, I have a rule about soda but I think this would be something interesting to play around with.

    Since Disney does have a contract with the Coca-Cola company and all this would be a perfect fit for them, so they should be getting one in the near future.

    I really wish someone would put an updated list of locations as the only ones listed right now are for California, Dallas, Georgia and Utah.

    Ryan, all of the Fanta flavours that are known are Cherry, Fruit Punch, Grape, Lime, Orange, Peach, Raspberry, and Strawberry! I’ll Tweet the link for AJ and she can use it if she’d like.

  22. J says:

    Found one of these at the Del Taco in Lake Forest, CA.

    Definitely the coolest drink machine i’ve used and go eat there just to try the drinks.

  23. AJ says:

    loosetoon — Ha! I’ll bet! I could hang out and watch people have fun with these machines for while. But then they’d have to get out of my way so I could have more cherry-lime-mango sprite.

    Josh — I think they only have machines in a few states right now as test cases. I’m hoping to see them spread out soon! Would love to have them in WDW!

    J — Isn’t it awesome! I’m going to have to scope out Dallas and find the ones we have here.

  24. Lisa says:

    i saw this at the Del taco in Lake Forest, Ca also! its so cool, but i only saw it from a window cause i went thru drive through, which sucks. but Taco bell also has a newer soda machine as well, but it doesnt look like this one and doesnt has 106 choices, but similar.

  25. John says:

    My brother was trying to explain a machine that sounds very similar to this, but I haven’t seen it yet. (apparently its in Fullerton, up the road from DL, at a Subway)

  26. Susan says:

    I just used one at a Wendy’s in Phoenix, Az this past week. It was fun trying to figure it out and until I googled it and read up on it I had no idea how cool it was. The ice is no issue you can dispense as little or as much as you like. I was suprised at how much of the flavoring was added but in a good way. At some convience stores you hit a flavor booster and get like a tiny squirt of flavor. This maching dispensed the flavor and the drink at same time and was well mixed.

  27. Erin says:

    The options really are endless and very cool to say the least! What I find though is that it takes people forever to decide what they want so the lines tend to get long waiting to get your drink! Does anyone else encounter this?

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