Technology soon reduced the need for ink artists, so she moved on to helping design models for attractions, first for Disney's 1964 World's Fair pavilions, then for Disney theme parks in California, Florida, Paris and Tokyo. She was mentored by Disney's first generation of attractions designers, notably Grace Bailey, Mary Blair and John Hench, and said she felt committed to carrying forward their obsession with detail and precision.
Carlson settled in Central Florida in 1982. She became the first woman in Walt Disney Co. history to reach the 50- and 55-year service milestones. She retired in 2000 but remained active at Disney World on a part-time basis until at least 2006.
Carlson was declared a "Disney Legend," the company's equivalent of a hall-of-fame induction, and earned a commemorative, second-floor shop window along the Magic Kingdom's Main Street U.S.A. The sign there reads: "Dolls by Miss Joyce, Dollmaker for the World."
"What Joyce shared with everyone in the Model Shop was passion," recalled Marty Sklar, executive vice president for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.