Perhaps the most famous story involving X. Atencio and his creativity comes from his work on the Pirates of the Caribbean. In an interview with ParkHoppinPartyGuys, Atencio said that he was brought in by Walt Disney to write the script for the attraction. Atencio had no experience writing scripts, but he said “All right, Walt, whatever you say.” He wrote the auction scene first and showed it to Walt, who told him to continue. However, this wasn’t Atencio’s last or most well-known first.
At the last script meeting, Atencio said he thought that the pirate attraction needed a song. He told Walt his idea, and Walt thought it was great. He said do the music with George Bruns. Atencio had never written a song before, but he came up with “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).”
His next Disneyland project was the Haunted Mansion. He worked with Marc Davis and Claude Coats to come up with a script. He also wrote “Grim Grinning Ghosts.”
When someone asks you to do something outside of your comfort zone, especially if it’s creative, do what X. did, say “yes” and get to work.
Sources: “The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic” by Jason Surrell.
“Disney Legend Interview: X. Atencio” by ParkHoppinPartyGuys at https://youtu.be/QeDH9S17WzU
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