SAN ANTONIO, TX – One of the most pivotal battles in American history is coming to life through “Battle for Texas: The Experience,” a 22,000-square-foot “edutainment” adventure in the Shops at Rivercenter that features more than 250 never-before-seen Alamo artifacts and heart-racing multimedia re-enactments of the 13-day battle. The adventure celebrated its official grand opening today during a ribbon cutting ceremony held just steps from the historic Alamo mission.
For the first time, visitors to San Antonio now have the opportunity to experience the Battle of the Alamo from the perspectives of the mission’s defenders and the Mexican army. Guests are invited on a journey through history as they experience the daily lives of early Texas settlers, the tensions leading up to the Texas Revolution and the climactic battle told from the point of view of the mission’s defenders and the Mexican army.
BASE Entertainment and The Gold Group, created “Battle for Texas: The Experience” so that visitors could connect intellectually, physically and emotionally with the defenders during the 1836 battle.
“Audiences will feel as if they traveled through time to this crucial point in history,” says Brian Becker, CEO of BASE Entertainment. “Through the sights, sounds and even smells, our guests will experience the 13 days of the siege in a personal and visceral way, just like those inside the walls.”
“It is our vision for ‘Battle for Texas: The Experience’ to be a top destination for families, students, Texas history enthusiasts and historians eager to experience the culture and history of the Battle of the Alamo like never before,” said Joe Gold, Principal of The Gold Group. “Through their visit, they will come to understand the Alamo as a symbol of the rise of the state of Texas and its citizens who carry on the pride of its heroes who fought for independence.”
Two years in development, the attraction showcases an important collection of more than 250 artifacts curated from the private libraries of major collectors and historians, including Santa Anna’s uniform, bed and personal effects kept in his tent, portraits of William B. Travis, Sam Houston and James Bowie, Davy Crockett’s “long knife,” and the cannonball shot at Santa Anna’s Army in response to the “No Quarter” flag.
Located just steps away from the Alamo mission, “Battle for Texas: The Experience” encompasses the exhibit level of the former Joske’s building and was specially constructed to present a vivid illustration of the fight for Texas liberty. Spanning 11 galleries, visitors walk through the entire story of the Battle of the Alamo starting with a “Land Called Texas,” which sets the Texas Revolution in context, followed by “Meet the Heroes,” where Alamo defenders introduce themselves and share their perspective.
From the sounds of the birds and insects at the beginning of the experience to the exact sounds of the shots of a specific weapon used during the battle, the creative team has worked diligently to ensure these sensory elements transport you back in time to experience what life was like as a defender.
Then the journey through the historic battle begins.
Each visitor is called to engage: Design your own flag, walk in Santa Anna’s tent, pull a cannon up a ramp and cross the famed line in the sand. Rattling walls and the smell of gunpowder add to the emotion of the visit as you journey through history.
“The battle will literally be closing in on them as they walk through a maze of hallways with nowhere to turn and hear the sounds of soldiers crossing atop the roof as if coming over the wall,” David Weiss, creative producer for “Battle for Texas: The Experience,” said.
At the end of the journey, guests will be immersed in a three-minute inspirational film showcased on twelve giant synchronized monitors that reflects on the history of an independent Texas, including the famous figures, cultural icons and significant events that made Texas the great state it is today. Lastly, each guest will have the opportunity to add a photo of themselves to a digital mosaic of the Texas flag at “The Fabric of Texas.”
On average, a visit to “Battle for Texas: The Experience” takes about 60 minutes. Visitors can freely explore or purchase a self-guided audio tour, available in English and Spanish, in which voices from history give special insight into the events and relevance of the battle.
“Battle for Texas: The Experience” is located in the newly renovated Shops at Rivercenter where the Texas Revolution will be relived daily. Timed-entry tickets are available Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from Noon to 6 p.m.