Fantasy Fest – Key West

October 17-26 experience the well known Fantasy Fest with this years them as…
Animeted Dreams and Adventures.  

What is Fantasy Fest?
Each year since 1979 the town of Key West throws a 10 day adult themed “party in paradise”.  Originally created to bring more visitors to the area in the shoulder season, it nows entertains thousands each October and expresses the true spirit of the Keys through imaginative and creative costumes and themes.  All around it is a wild extravaganza that allows adults to leave all their inhibitions behind for a day or week (and all their clothes)!

Animeted Dreams and Adventures Theme
Anime is a traditional form of Japanese animation with different art styles incorporated making it a diverse art form.   It has transformed into a reality for some known in the costuming world known as cosplay (short for costume play).  

So if you are ready to soak up some sun, stroll Duval Street and get animated head on down to Key West!  

Some tips to surviving Fantasy Fest!
1.  Book your accommodations now! 
The Fantasy Fest official website for where to stay is fantastic!

2.  Be prepared for plenty of “indecent exposure”.  If you are comfortable in your own skin (and seeing others) then you will be just fine.  While nudity is ILLEGAL there, you can avoid jail time buy simply applying body paint of a sheer cover up….easy peasy!

3.  Pretenders in Paradise is the most famous of all Fantasy Fest costume contests with the grand prize being $10,000.  There is some serious money to be made if you “go all out”.

4.  Key West is a fairly “pet friendly” locale so if you want to bring your pooch to the Festivities check with your hotel on their rules.  Wanna bring fido to happy hour?  No problem, check out this website for all the pet friendly restaurants.  Also, the only beach that you can take your dog to is also the local “hobo” hangout so be prepared to share the space.

*Fun Fact: Key West is the most sought after destination for the homeless in the United States.
5.  If you do bring fido pack a costume for him or her so they can participate in the Pet Masquerade and Parade.  

6.  Car in general are a pain in the butt in Key West – primarily due to the lack of parking.  If you are able to walk or bike I suggest doing that everywhere.  One it avoids the dreaded DUI,  you will avoid the headache of parking and meter checking and gas is pricey so save your monies for the yummy food and beverages.

If you do drive around here is a cheat sheet on where to find parking:
* 24-hour parking is available at the corner of Carolina St and Margaret St as well as, Front St and Wall St.  $2 to $4 an hour with daily maxes.  
*Grinnell and Carolina Street park and ride for $2/hour or $30/day.
* Also do not forget about the Key West bus and shuttles!

7.  Each day is a different event on the island so if you want to take full advantage of all the debauchery follow this guide to know when and where you should be.

8.  Use your common sense – while you can get away with a lot of things this week play it safe and keep your wits about you.  Safe fun is the best fun!

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United Military Travel is a great resource to help you enjoy the festivities!  Call them today to book your airfare, car rental and/or hotel!

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