In keeping with maritime tradition, Disney Cruise Line has hosted a plaque and key exchange with members of the port and community leaders commemorating the inaugural call of the Disney Fantasy on Port Canaveral.

Port Canaveral and the Central Florida region are experiencing sizeable economic benefits with the addition of the Disney Fantasy. The shipís arrival is expected to generate more than 500 jobs in the region in 2012, according to a study by Martin Associates released earlier this month.

After 18 months of construction in Germany, followed by a trans-Atlantic journey to New York for a Christening celebration, the Captain and crew of the Disney Fantasy are busily preparing to sail alternating seven-night itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, with a stop at Castaway Cay, Disneyís own private island in The Bahamas, beginning March 31.

The Disney Fantasy is the second of two new and significantly larger ships that have joined the Disney fleet, with a tonnage of 130,000, a length of 1,115 feet and a passenger capacity of 4,000 guests. Innovative entertainment, activities and dining abound, including two new Broadway-style stage spectaculars, an adults-only entertainment district inspired by the nightspots of Europe, an interactive adventure quest with The Muppets, and an opportunity for guests to become Disney animators for a night in Animatorís Palate restaurant. Guest favorites like the AquaDuck, the first water coaster at sea, can be found onboard the Disney Fantasy as well.