In February 2007, Disney Cruise Line announced that it had commissioned two new ships for its fleet. The first steel-cut, for scrollwork on the ship's hull, took place in March 2009 at the Meyer Werft shipyards in Papenburg, Germany. Later that month, the two ships were named, with the Disney Fantasy set to enter service on March 31, 2012, a little over a year after its sister vessel, the Disney Dream.
The ship's keel was laid on February 11, 2011. Disney Cruise Line president, Karl Holz, along with Minnie Mouse, officially placed a magic coin beneath the ship's hull. The coin is identical to that which was placed beneath the Disney Dream; however, it featured the hull number S688 and the date of the keel laying.
On December 9, 2011, Meyer Werft found several water lines open on the cruise ship. 48 cabins were damaged at a cost of approximately one million euros.
Disney Fantasy was floated out of the building dock on January 8, 2012, at Meyer Werft.
Disney Fantasy arrived in the United States for the first time, calling on New York, on February 28, 2012 where many locals gathered to see the sight of this new ship. The ship was christened on March 1, 2012 in New York City. The godmother of the ship is Mariah Carey. The christening was held on the ship featuring one time performances in the Walt Disney Theatre. Neil Patrick Harris hosted the Christening ceremony. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld performed during the show. Nick Cannon, husband of Mariah Carey, assisted Minnie Mouse with the breaking of the champagne bottle on the ship.
Disney Fantasy, structurally, is almost identical to Disney Dream, with gross tonnage of 130,000, a length of 340 m (1,115 ft) and a width of 37 metres (121 ft). Disney Fantasy will have 1,250 staterooms. Additional features, such as on-board services and amenities, are mostly similar to those on Disney Dream, with some slight tweaks of course. Disney Fantasy also has the popular "The AquaDuck" Water Coaster, the first Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at sea that will turn into the Pirates League on Mickey's Pirates IN the Caribbean Party Nights. The Nightclubs District is called Europa and features a re-imagined and expanded Skyline Club, The Tube, Le Plazza, O'Gills Pub and Ooh La La, an adults only lounge. There is also the show Wishes on board the ship and the interactive game, Midship Detective Agency.
Disney Fantasy is based at Disney Cruise Line's terminal at Port Canaveral, Florida. The ship will embark on alternating Eastern and Western 7 night Caribbean cruises, and will call on Disney's private island Castaway Cay.