Joyce E. Carlson
Joyce E. Carlson

March 16, 1923January 2, 2008 (84 years old)
Hometown: Orlando, FL
March 16, 1923January 2, 2008
(84 years old) | Orlando, FL


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Joyce Carlson, a Disney artist who helped create the idyllic universe of singing children at "It's a Small World" rides across the globe, died Wednesday. She was 84.

Carlson died at home after long suffering from cancer, The Walt Disney Co. said.

In a 56-year career with Disney, Carlson went from delivering paints and brushes to animators to inking films herself, but it was her work on "It's a Small World" that is witnessed by millions of visitors each year.

Carlson was among the creators of a miniature prototype of "It's a Small World" for the 1964 World's Fair in New York and subsequently helped bring the attraction to each of its permanent locations: Florida, California, Toyko, Paris and Hong Kong.

Born in Racine, Wis., on March 16, 1923, Carlson moved with her family to southern California in 1938. Within six months of joining Walt Disney Studios, she was working on "Cinderella," "Peter Pan" and other animated features over 16 years.

She retired in 2000 and was given a window in her honor on Main Street at Walt Disney World in Florida. It reads, "Dolls by Miss Joyce, Dollmaker for the World."