Fantasyfest Is Crazy, Loud And Wild. Enjoy The Fun

Ask many people about Fantasyfest and they will say “Oh Key West”

Ask many people about Key West and they will link it to “Fantasy Fest”.

And really that is not surprising, as the event, that occurs normally in late October each year, has become the tourist attracting, hotel busting, money attracting, fun and madness that the creators could never have dreamt possible.

However, i'm sure that this would have been exactly what they would have hoped Fantasyfest would become, as it was thought up purely to boost trade and income at a very depressed period in Key West's calendar.

So during this page we will try our best to give you all the information that you will require about Key West's most popular special event, but if there is anything that you think “Man, it would have been nice to know about.........” then drop us a line and we will look into it for you and add it to the information provided.

So lets start with the nitty gritty......when does Fantasy fest occur?

When Does Fantasyfest Occur?

Key West Fantasy Fest event is generally always to be found occurring in late October each year.

In 2012 for example, it started on the 19th October 2012 and finished ten days later on the 29th.

Go back a couple of years to 2010 and the dates ran from October 22nd to 31st October 2010.

So really without being laser targeted in our advice, you can generally start booking your annual leave from work from about the 18th October until Halloween.

But hey, don't forget to add a few days on afterwards, as although the event is hugely fun and exciting, the last thing I would like to do is “party like its 1999” and then go straight back to sitting behind my desk.

Make sure if you can you get a few days rest and relaxation afterwards, because it doesn't half take its toll on your energy levels.

Fun has a habit of doing that I suppose.

fantasyfest parade

A Typical Day At The Office Fantasyfest Style

Photo courtesy of

What Kind Of Stuff Goes On At Fantasyfest?

Many people will consider the event to just be about drinking, laughing, dressing up and having an adult time.

Yes, a lot of this is true, but don't think that it is all about us adults letting our hair down.

Because with over 50 events planned, there will be things for all the family to enjoy.

For example one day is celebrated as Children's Day at Bayview Park, with a location full of rides, stalls, games and everything that our little fanstasyfest lovers will just adore.

Whilst another is the Pet Masquerade, where our loveable family critters get a chance to dress up in their favourite....well ok they might not have too much of a choice about it, weird outfits and funny get-ups.

But in the evenings there are exotic shows, dancers, couples evenings, fetish, skin painting, and of course drinking dancing, costume parades and mayhem.

So from Mum, Dad, Kids, Mother In Law to even the pooch, Key Wests Fantasy fest will have something for everyone.

Why Did Fantasy Fest Start In the First Place?

The idea of Fantasyfest can be laid purely at the feet of two local businessmen who back in 1979 realized that around the Fall, times were a hard in old Key West.

“What can we do to boost business” said one businessman in despair.

“Lets get people to drink a lot, dance, wear stupid costumes, and dress their dogs up like mermaids!” said the other.

“Great Idea...let’s do it” they both agreed, and with that Fantasy fest was born.

Actually other than the year being 1979, and the fact that two businessman felt a need to mimic the Mardi-Gras that drew 1000’s of revelers to New Orleans each year to make up the drop in income around October time, the rest of my writing is complete rubbish.

But whatever way it started, it has certainly done the trick and now over 100,000 visitors and fun lovers arrive at the southernmost point each year, for Key West's annual event.

Well done boys!

Where Is The Best Place To Book A Hotel During This Time?

The main part of the Fantasyfest event occurs around the world famous Duval Street, and adjoining roads.

So it is up to you to decide what you fancy most.

Do you want to have the festival on your doorstep, so you come out of your room in your best dress...yes, I'm talking to you guys, and you're instantly in the midst of things.

Or do you prefer being slightly away from it all, so you can escape the fun and frolics every now and again?

Look, i'm not going to say anything to you party lovers, but I'm getting on a bit, and can't think of anything worse than partying all day, and then not being able to get the best nights kip I possibly can each night.

So I would definitely make sure I was a distance away, and with a great shuttle service and public transport being available pretty much all day every day, the love of a good pillow, and a quiet room, beats the sound of drums and shouting and screaming every time.

But as I say, I'm getting a bit old and miserable as the years roll on.

Make sure you check out our favourite hotels in Key West Florida, and also if you are planning on visiting Key Wests fantasy fest, you will need to book your room as far in the future as possible.

Even twelve months ahead of the event might be cutting things a little fine.

So prepare, prepare, prepare, so you aren't disappointed by leaving it too late.

How Can I Travel To FantasyFest If I don't Have A Car?

As anyone who has ever tried to park in Key West will tell you, its a bit of a nightmare, so if you can't drive you have saved yourself a lot of hassle.

But I will just start with touching on the drivers, who are planning to come down to the island.

You will be able to park if you have a parking angel sitting on your shoulder, and you are the luckiest so and so on earth, as the official sponsors of the event have advised of the best places to go and drop of your car.

I wouldn't risk it though, as the chances are the spaces will be long gone before you get there.

However if you do fancy driving into town, then click through to our page on Key West Parking for more information as to the best locations for parking your car during the Fantasyfest event.

Now getting back to the non-drivers, normal bus transportation will be running throughout the Florida Keys, but may not stop at the places you would normally jump on and off from due to road closures.

It will take considerably longer due to traffic, and detours, so leave a lot more time than you normally would.

But for more information on the services that work the routes through this time read more at our page on Florida Keys transportation information.

And don't forget the Key West ferry either.......that will certainly cut out the delays and can take you from the mainland of Florida in Ft Myers, down to Key Wests mallory Square in about 3 hours.

All whilst you watch the sun, the sea, and the odd beer disappear in front of you. 


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