Disney Cruise Line welcomed its fourth ship, the Disney Fantasy, early this morning to its new homeport in Port Canaveral, Fla. after a 19-day trans-Atlantic voyage from Germany and a stop in New York for its Christening last week. With the addition of the Disney Fantasy, Port Canaveral and the region is experiencing sizeable economic benefits. The Disney Fantasy is expected to generate more than 500 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the area and attract thousands of additional cruise guests to the port, according to an economic impact study by Martin Associates. “Not only is the arrival of the Disney Fantasy an important milestone for our business, it will also have a positive impact on the Central Florida community,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “With our fourth ship, we are able to generate more jobs and economic activity for the region while delivering even more cruising options for families to share unforgettable cruise experiences with us.” To accommodate the expanded operation, new ships and increase in guest capacity, Disney Cruise Line worked with Port Canaveral to expand the dock area and terminal facility in early 2011. Along with the construction of a new parking structure and a sky bridge walkway, guests experience a state-of-the-art facility, making the transition from land to sea relatively seamless. “We are excited to welcome the Disney Fantasy home,” said Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer Stan Payne. “The arrival of the Disney Dream last year made a significant economic impact on Central Florida and we know the Disney Fantasy will add to that dramatically. We have seen our local businesses benefit when a ship of this magnitude and special Disney magic becomes part of our community.” Beginning with its maiden voyage on March 31, the Disney Fantasy will embark on seven-night sailings, alternating between Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, with a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s own private island in The Bahamas. With a tonnage of 130,000 and a guest capacity of up to 4,000, the Disney Fantasy is the second of two new, and significantly larger, ships that are being added to the Disney fleet. The Disney Dream arrived in early 2011 and is currently sailing three-, four- and five-night itineraries to the Bahamas, also from Port Canaveral. Disney Cruise Line established the blue-print for family cruising when the business launched in 1998. The first two ships, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, which were launched in 1998 and 1999, respectively, were purposely built for families to reconnect, adults to recharge and kids to immerse themselves in worlds of fantasy only Disney can create. With the addition of the two new ships, Disney Cruise Line will celebrate 2012 with its most diverse sailing itineraries to date. New in 2012, the Disney Magic will offer eight-night cruises to the Bahamas and five-night cruises up the New England coast sailing from New York, and seven-night western Caribbean itineraries departing from Galveston, Texas. The Disney Wonder will continue sailing seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises from the Port of Los Angeles, while spending its second summer sailing Alaskan itineraries from Seattle. Most recently, the Disney Dream won the top spot for “Best Bahamas Cruises” and “Best Cabins” in the 2012 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards. Disney Cruise Line was recognized by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine as the top “Cruise Ships of the World,” with the Disney Magic being voted No. 1 and the Disney Dream and Disney Wonder tying for No. 2. Travel + Leisure magazine also ranked Disney Cruise Line the No. 1 Large-Ship Cruise Line for Families. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can contact their travel agent, visit disneycruise.com or call Disney Cruise Line at 888-DCL-2500. Travel agents can call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or visit disneytravelagents.com.