Xavier Atencio

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Xavier Atencio
X. Atencio and Carrie try to hitch a ride.jpg
X Atencio at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion in 2008 with Carrie Vines of the Haunted Mansion Collectibles blog.
Born (1919-09-04) September 4, 1919 (age 96)
Walsenburg, Colorado, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Imagineer, writer, lyricist, animator, voice actor

Francis Xavier Atencio, also known as X Atencio (born September 4, 1919),[1] is a former animator and Imagineer for The Walt Disney Company.


Atencio was born in Walsenburg, Colorado, in 1919. He was a Disney artist from 1938 until 1965, when he became an Imagineer to help design the Disneyland Railroad's Primeval World diorama segment. He then contributed to various Disney attractions. He wrote the script for both Adventure Thru Inner Space and Pirates of the Caribbean, for which he also penned the lyrics to the theme song, "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" and provided the voice of the talking skull early on in the attraction. He also wrote the script for the Haunted Mansion, including the lyrics to that attraction's theme song, "Grim Grinning Ghosts (The Screaming Song)." His voice can also be heard emanating from the coffin in the Haunted Mansion's conservatory ("Hey! Let me out of here!") and, in the Disneyland mansion, when the attraction comes to a temporary halt it is his voice which announces, "Playful spooks have interrupted our tour. Please remain seated in your Doom Buggy" as well as other emergency spiels.[2] Another brief voice-over he provided was for the Submarine Voyage Thru Liquid Space where he is addressed as "Bridge." "Bridge: Aye, aye, all ahead one third. Stand by the mooring lines." He also wrote the lyrics to Buddy Baker's catchy music for the retired Walt Disney World attraction If You Had Wings.

Atencio served as a photo interpreter in the U.S. Army Air Forces from 1941 to 1945 during World War II, reaching the rank of captain in the 2nd Photo Tech Squadron. Stationed in England, he was part of team that would analyze aerial surveillance for military intelligence.[3][4][5][6] He retired from The Walt Disney Company in 1984 and was named a Disney Legend in 1996.


  1. ^ U.S. Census, 1 January 1920, State of Colorado, County of Huerfano, enumeration district 83, p. 27-A.
  2. ^ DoomBuggies.com. "History of the Haunted Mansion – Chapter Five: Developing a Spooky Soundtrack". Retrieved 1 May 2009. 
  3. ^ National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
  4. ^ Passenger list of the Queen Mary, port of New York, 21 August 1945.
  5. ^ [1] Archived January 25, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Dunn, T., 2012, Nova (TV series): 3D Spies of WWII, DVD, United States

Further reading[edit]

  • Surrell, Jason. (2003). The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies. New York: Disney Editions. ISBN 0-7868-5419-7. Describes X Atencio's contributions to The Haunted Mansion.
  • Surrell, Jason. (2005). Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies. New York: Disney Editions. ISBN 0-7868-5630-0. Describes X Atencio's contributions to Pirates of the Caribbean.

External links[edit]