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Vote of the week: Coke or Pepsi in the parks?

By Robert Niles
Published: July 3, 2009 at 1:43 PM
Christopher Elliott (whom you might know from National Geographic Traveler and MSNBC websites), did a Q&A with me that's he posted on his site, elliott.org. In the interview, I threw a shout out to Holiday World's unique "free soft drinks" promotion, which has inspired my vote of the week.

Yes, you can get all the free soft drinks you care for at the Southern Indiana park, provided you don't mind going without Coke. Holiday World's a Pepsi shop, as were the Busch and Cedar Fair parks the last I checked. Disney, Universal and Six Flags parks pour Coke products.

Once upon a time, you could find beverages from both companies in the same park. Pepsi, for example, was the original sponsor of the Country Bear Jamboree at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, while you'd find Coke sponsoring attractions on Main Street USA and in Tomorrowland.

These days, though, the two big soft drink companies have locked down exclusive pouring rights at almost all public facilities, from theme parks to sports stadiums... even for entire college campuses. When I went to Northwestern, students eagerly awaited the evening arrival of "The Sandwich Man" and his food truck, because he sold cans of Coke, while every vending machine on campus dispensed only Pepsi products.

So, which company's drinks do you prefer? (For reference, Coke products include A&W, Barq's, Canada Dry, Coke, Dasani, Dr Pepper, Fanta, Minute Maid, Schweppes, Sprite and Powerade. Pepsi products include Aquafina, Gatorade, Lipton, Mountain Dew, Mug, Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Sobe and Tropicana.)

I'm throwing in a neither option for people, like me, who don't drink the fizzy drinks.

In the comments, please defend your choice, and attack the oblivious know-nothings who picked the other. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Readers' Opinions

From Eric Malone on July 3, 2009 at 2:17 PM
Personally, I've just always liked the flavor of Pepsi. I mean, yeah, apparently it can be compared to battery acid, but who cares? You only live once, anyway. Chug that stuff down!

The other stuff they make is great, too.

From Amanda Jenkins on July 3, 2009 at 2:17 PM
Coke...ahhhh wonderful Coke. What more can one say, other than .....sorry I was busy drinking one. By the way, Pepsi tastes horrible (evil laughter in the background)! In the words of my husband, "Ever hear of a Crown and Pepsi?" I think not :-)
From Raymond Sydowski on July 3, 2009 at 2:34 PM
Coke is it, at least for me. Thank goodness WDW is a Coke park.
From Manny Barron on July 3, 2009 at 2:44 PM
Well while walking on a hot day around a theme park I prefer a sports drink as opposed to a soda beverage. So for me it would be Powerade or Gatorade. My choice would be Gatorade, so Pepsi products is my choice.
From Paul Jeffs on July 3, 2009 at 3:33 PM
Hmm..not a fan of Coke (diet or regular) but Cherry Coke is the nectar of the gods.

However, I voted for Pepsi because I like all their varieties.

From Kelly Smith on July 3, 2009 at 3:36 PM
I was very happy when I started finding Coke Zero around Disney World.
From Audra Distler on July 3, 2009 at 3:55 PM
I voted for pepsi, but I also have to point out, that around here, Dr. Pepper is actually lumped with Pepsi products (thats here in Ohio).
From Gareth H on July 3, 2009 at 5:59 PM
Ahhh, I hate Cola products, Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, but I do love a bit of Sierra Mist, or Sprite of no SM is avaialble.

Other than that, its Tea and Coffee for me.

From 98.245.4.106 on July 3, 2009 at 6:39 PM
Pepsi is too sweet for me. I like the more bubbly Coca Cola. It has a more robust cola flavor, whereas Pepsi tastes like sugar water to me. Funny thing is, I used to be a Pepsi person, but my tastebuds have changed to enjoy Coca Cola better.
From 68.207.239.133 on July 3, 2009 at 7:19 PM
the bush parks serve pepsi products just for the info also love your website first time submitting a comment on here
From Tim W on July 3, 2009 at 7:27 PM
Definately Pepsi! Terribly Disney is a coke product park...Oh well i can deal for about a week with coke instead of pepsi. And Coke well the name isnt good it references a drug, Pepsi has a great original name. It may just be a WNY preference though of pepsi since most resturants will have pepsi over coke. Plus pepsi has a way better taste. And usually coke is alot more fizzier...However drink of choice has to be iced tea over any type of pop.
From Brandon S on July 3, 2009 at 7:48 PM
I prefer water, but as for Coke and Pepsi, I picked Coke. But they both taste pretty similar. They're both good.
From Pyra Dong on July 3, 2009 at 9:32 PM
I'm a diehard Mountain Dew fanatic to the end... so Pepsi products for me!!!

But since I have souvenir glasses several parks, I have to also take into account the slightly changed tastes that souvenir cups do to drinks. In that case, the sweet teas are better because it doesn't fizz out AND are great on a hot day.

- and when Pepsi was still doing its Pepsi points contest, I was in heaven at Seaworld because I found many abandoned Pepsi bottle caps that equaled small prizes for me. Yeah, a little disgusting, but it was FREE!!!!

From Anthony Murphy on July 3, 2009 at 9:35 PM
EPCOT gives out free samples of Coke from around the world.

Nuff said!

From Tony Duda on July 3, 2009 at 9:43 PM
Coke is better but Pepsi, if cold, is good enough. I heard Pepsi is putting out a sugar version again rather than corn sweetener that both use. I may switch to that if the cost is reasonable. I like Jones soda because they use sugar.
From Wok Creative on July 4, 2009 at 1:41 AM
I like Pepsi more, but either one with Cherry flavor. Disappointed that Disneyland stopped serving the Cherry Coke that they used to have. Also, prefer both with ice, instead of out of a can.
From Emily G on July 4, 2009 at 6:40 AM
In my opinion all Coke products are vastly superior to their Pepsi equivalents both UK and US versions. A can of coke to me tastes very different and much nicer than any other cola I have tasted including Pepsi.
From 70.171.219.147 on July 4, 2009 at 8:41 AM
Permission to nitpick? A&W, Canada Dry, Dr Pepper and Schweppes are neither Coke nor Pepsi. Depending on region, these brands may be handled by the local Coke, Pepsi or an independent bottler/distributor.

Wouldn't want a misunderstanding like this to taint your results! :-)

From Doug Kelley on July 4, 2009 at 9:27 AM
I don't care for either of them. If I'm drinking a soda, it's a Jones Lemon-Lime or Cream Soda or a Thomas Kemper Root Beer.
From W McDougal on July 4, 2009 at 9:45 AM
Coke and Pepsi are both vastly inferior drinks in terms of ingredient quality (high fructose corn syrup) and nasty after taste. Try any of the Virgil's microbrew cola products, particularly their black cherry soda and root beer, and you'll never go back to Coke and Pepsi again. Seek out Virgil's and you won't regret it or ever turn back.
From Robert Niles on July 4, 2009 at 11:07 AM
The brands listed in the blog posts are the brands listed under the Coke and Pepsi websites as their company's brands.
From James Rao on July 4, 2009 at 11:23 AM
Neither. Soda just makes you even more thirsty. Just water, please. Nothing tastes better when you're hot and thirsty, despite the fact that everyone says water has no taste! Or maybe that's vodka that has no taste? I often get the two confused.
From Mark Kausch on July 5, 2009 at 1:26 AM
Well, I voted for Coke over Pepsi since Coca Cola is obviously superior to Pepsi in taste. In the parks, water is indeed preferable for the most part, but as a change of pace, I prefer Coke. I prefer Mountain Dew over both, but that wasn't the question (at least in the headline). Possibly because of the caffeine. What can I say? I'm just not a morning person.
From Amy Tupper on July 5, 2009 at 5:47 PM
I actually prefer Pepsi over Coke - it's what I have at home. However, I learned to 'like' Coke when I was a teen working at Burger King when they switched from Pepsi to Coke.

If it's a fountain drink, honestly, there isn't too much of a difference to me.

From John Charlton on July 5, 2009 at 7:14 PM
On my recent trip to WDW, I was glad that they offered free ICE WATER! Sodas on a hot day (any kind) just leave you thrusty and bloated feeling.

If I do choose a soda, I will usually take a Pepsi over a Coke.

From Adam Clinard on July 6, 2009 at 5:32 PM
I would love if amusement parks would have both products. While I personally love Mt. Dew, I have my moments where I want a Coke. With the struggles so many amusement parks face, I am surprised that more do not have big companies like Pepsi and Coke, or McDonalds, or Target and Walmart and Kmart sponsor big rides for "free" advertising. Although far from free, but eventually they will make their money back!
From 64.255.241.78 on July 7, 2009 at 7:10 AM
Pepsi has Mt. Dew...enough said...
From 63.125.97.2 on July 7, 2009 at 1:43 PM
I picked neither; I prefer sweet tea or Kool Aid on hot summer days. Most of the time I carry those Kool Aid packets and mix it with the ice water I get at the resturants.
For those interested in the Pepsi natural sugar version I got some and it does taste similar to some of the micro brew colas I've tried.

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