Legendary artist and model-maker Joyce Carlson, who inked many of Disney's best-known films and helped design "It's a Small World," died Jan. 2 at her home in Orlando, Florida. She was 84.
Carlson began working at Walt Disney Studios as an office assistant in 1944, but within six months moved on to the Ink and Paint department, where she worked on such films as THE THREE CABALLEROS, CINDERELLA, PETER PAN, and SLEEPING BEAUTY. Later, she helped design both the model for the "It's a Small World" attraction, which debuted at the 1964 New York World's Fair, and many of the singing dolls in the ride. She was also instrumental in bringing the ride to Disneyland and other Disney theme parks. After moving to Florida in 1982, she continued to be involved part-time with the maintenance of "It's a Small World" and other Disney World attractions.
Carlson was declared a "Disney Legend" in 2000 and was also honored with a second-floor shop window on Disney World's "Main Street," where a sign reads, "Dolls by Miss Joyce, Dollmaker for the World."
In accordance with her wishes, there will be a private celebration of her life rather than a memorial service. Contributions may be made in her name to the Hospice of the Comforter, 480 W. Central Parkway, Altamonte Springs, Florida.