Just some tips for 1st timers to Fantasy Fest 2018

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The Travel Slut
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Just some tips for 1st timers to Fantasy Fest 2018

Post by The Travel Slut »

Hello and get ready to enter the world of Fantasy Fest in Key West, Florida which I have often referred to as "Mardi Gras on Steroids".

You may want to consider ideas before you go as either a FF veteran or 1st timer to FF about some tips that may make your experience more fun.

In addition, while in Key West, learn about the nightly meets by various groups and learn where the best parties are for each night as many are announced only on the day of the party.

The original and favorite group:

http://www.krazykrewe.com (The main website including access to the gallery, weekly Monday & Thursday night chatroom online, nightly meetings @ Capt. Tony's Saloon, and even a monthly newsletter). The Krewe de Krazy Life is an AWESOME group.

The TravelSlut® 's Top Tips for First Time Fantasy Fest attendees:

You are in for a treat both for the Fantasy Fest event itself and for Key West which is a great, eclectic island-city in and of itself.

While I've only been 14 times to Fantasy Fest since 1999 (and about 30 times to Key West), I have learned a few things through personal experience or from the experience of others (in no particular order):

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Key West is a walking town especially on and around Duval Street so comfortable, soled shoes or sandals are a must. Don't walk downtown in barefeet as the streets are likely to have either debris or glass, etc. that could cut your feet. Also, in the heat, both streets and sidewalks heat up tremendously and you don't want to either burn your feet or have to do an emergency purchase of shoes/sandals from a downtown vendor unless absolutely necessary. Consider having a lightweight/foldable rain poncho for those occasional showers to protect bodypaint or costumes.

Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Essentials (especially if you plan do to a "Duval Crawl" include: Aleve/Tylenol, antacids, Pepto-Bismol, and or special hangover OTC meds. Also have available at your hotel/B and B some insect repellent, sunscreen, and aloe vera gel or know where the nearest source of these items can be found.

Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you plan to do the beaches, bring a blanket and or chair and some sort of strong UV sun protection. The sun is brutal on skin not normally exposed to this heat and UV's at this latitude. A beach or gear bag works also for carrying around Key West even at night while in costume.

Transportation: During high season or any major event, parking can be almost non-existent near Duval Street even if you have a reservation at your Bed and Breakfast, motel/hotel. Don't even think about parking in a resident's zone unless you have specific permission or blocking a driveway or access point as the fine and/or tow bill will be huge.

There are parking garages, meters and some free side-street parking but again, Key West parking during Fantasy Fest will be both expensive and extremely limited. This is especially true for Fantasy Fest week when Key West's island population swells from 26,000+ to well over 50,000+.

Be cautious driving on the one-way streets and the narrow streets where the Conch Train operates. Watch out for bicycles, pedalcabs, small (silent) electric vehicles, mopeds and of course, pedestrians. Open drinking and walking occurs 24/7 so be careful in all regards with driving and/or walking.

Key West, while small and compact in size, has some streets that are both very narrow and have obscured sidewalks/driveways so watch your step--especially at night. Some walkways are not level, are obstructed, or even have debris of some type.

Be extremely careful driving as pedestrians (sometimes intoxicated and/or jaywalking) will walk right out in front of you from previously hidden or obscured areas.

Be wary on the streets for bicyclists and people riding scooters/mopeds that may not be careful or skilled in operating them. Finally, it is easy to be distracted while looking at the people and sites of Key West so concentrate on driving and walking.

Key West's "Conch Train" operates on both main and side streets so be sure to give it leeway and right of way as it is a very large and long train.

Coming into Key West's "new town" at the north end of the island there can be a culture shock after driving the previous 50 miles or so. Key West is modern and developed and always seems to have ongoing renovations/construction. Be cautious of traffic controls, traffic workers, and slow-downs. Don't be in a hurry. Remember, you are on "Island Time" now and the 26,000+ full time residents will appreciate patience as will your additional fellow 50,000+ Fantasy Fest revelers.

Traveling along Highway US 1 (aka North Roosevelt Blvd. and at mid-town, Truman Avenue), you will start to see the signs of the Fantasy Fest celebration as many people decorate their homes and businesses in the colors or theme of the event.

2018's theme is “Oh, The Games We Play" and is the 39th Anniversary of Fantasy Fest and this year runs from Friday, Oct. 19 to Sunday, Oct. 28 with the big parade on Saturday, Oct. 27 basically culminating the week of Halloween-type fun.

Key West during Fantasy Fest is definitely not for the timid or shy and small children should not be downtown after dark (or at all if possible). Bodypaint, nudity and skimpy, sexy/see through clothing rules day and night and is very prevalent especially in the Fantasy Zone on Duval Street!

Nightly costume themes, both official and unofficial, can be found on the main Fantasy Fest website of: http://www.fantasyfest.com.

You really should consider costumes for every night for the most interactions and best-fun participation--and expect to be photographed/videotaped in all public areas. If you are camera shy for any reason (work, kids, etc), then wear a mask of some type.

The official events and activities of FF can be found here: http://www.fantasyfest.com/schedule/

Refer to this for a comprehensive list of activity/party options.

Other unofficial events, parties and activities occur regularly around Key West and some are even spontaneous so ask veteran Fantasyfesters for the latest updates.

Here are some of my favorite parties with the Krewe de Krazy Life that I have experienced since 1999. Also, Nightly gatherings are 7 pm-??? occur at Capt. Tony's Saloon on Greene St. near Duval.

1st SATURDAY NIGHT-- Little Black Dress Night at Capt. Tony's Saloon. Anything goes but keep it PG on the streets as there are still many tourists and residents prepping for FF and unaware of the quasi-clothing-optional nature of FF. Save the risque fun for the bars and clubs and use common sense to cover up on the street.

SUNDAY NIGHT--Zombie night with the earlybirds of Fantasy Fest getting warmed up at various venues around town and Capt. Tony's has been the place to be the past few years to the point that police have shut down Greene Street near Duval Street to accommodate the overflow.

MONDAY NIGHT-- Fetish Night features all those in leather, vinyl, rubber and all types of Fetish and Fantasy wear up to and including bodypaint (which is acceptable any night). It's not uncommon to see 100's (if not 1,000's) of people dressed in leather or latex or some variation for this various parties. Many others parties exist in non-sanctioned venues. Again, Capt. Tony's has a special celebration in their Dungeon side room called Capt. Tony's Rubber Fetish Ball.

Also, MONDAY is Leather and Fetish costume theme night@ at Kelly's Kinky Karnival at Kelly's Caribbean Bar and Grill. I've attended this leather-fetish party @ Kelly's for many years and this is definitely NOT the place for anyone shy, timid or shocked easily as you will just about everything and anything.

Plan to be amazed at what you see, hear or even experience on the streets, in the bars and at the private parties. The costumes and actions of the crowds are often awesome and amazing Some of the photos in my Flickr Group and some of the videos in my YouTube videos only reveal a small aspect of happenings..

TUESDAY NIGHT--features the Plaid Party @ Capt. Tony's Saloon and in addition to the other parties throughout Key West. Crowded parties are the norm especially as the week goes on.Be courteous and patient.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT--features Red Night @ Fogerty's and elsewhere on Duval Street and the crowds really start to arrive. Usually Duval Street is blocked off to allow only pedestrian traffic late at night and a long section of Duval is labeled the "Fantasy Zone" where open containers of beer, wine or alcohol are permitted and are served from bars and vendors. I often try to use street vendors that use a portion of their proceeds for local charities.

All the while these official events are occurring, many bars and saloons feature their own party theme and of course, thousands of people flock into the streets and sidewalks of Duval where people-watching takes on a new level.

THURSDAY NIGHT--features both Pirate & Wench Night for the Krewe and Toga Night @ Sloppy Joes Bar and everywhere else and there are thousands of togas and variations of them everywhere in Key West. After all, togas are relevant to party times and are easy to make or buy, and they feel great!

Again, Duval Street becomes an event in itself with thousands of people costumed and as many taking photos or just people watching and cruiseship passengers that happen to be in port during the week sure get an eyeful.

The remainder of the festival has many events both FRIDAY and SATURDAY NIGHTS with Friday's highlight being the Duval Street Fair, Masquerade March and Pimp N Ho party while Saturday night features a Bourbon Street Tea Dance, Bodypaint Contest @ the Green Parrot and Captain Morgan Fantasy Fest parade where 70,000 onlookers and 50+ or more floats are all part of the celebration's pending conclusion down Duval Street on Saturday Night.

SUNDAY NIGHT: the town almost returns to "normal" and has a children's day at a local park and a conclusion somewhere that focuses on "It's not over until the fat lady sings".

The drive back home or the flight back home is always a challenge. Between hangovers, crowds, and general dismay about returning to reality, leaving Key West and Fantasy Fest can be tough except for the knowledge that the next Fantasy Fest is less than 360 days away!

Now, for some important DO's AND DON'T's of Fantasy Fest:

Don't wear a mask you can't drink in or see out of.

Don't choose a costume you can't use the bathroom in.

Don't ever touch or use some item to touch another person without their permission or asking 1st. Definitely not cool.

Don't wear shoes you can't walk in. Walking on streets & sidewalks can be a challenge for some.

Do dress sexier than you thought you might initially (but no nudity in public and if walking from residential areas, consider a cover-up for modesty purposes).

Do make sure you have a place to stay before you get too drunk and find yourself under a tree or on a sidewalk.

Do realize that the shape and size of your breasts/penis will not change with spray paint.

Don't wear your thong with your leg in the wrong hole.

Do trim your private areas within the limits of your costume ...please.

Do donate your leftover items to locals who want to enjoy Fantasy Fest as much as the rest of us but often just make room for us.

Don't flash the cops. Not cool, not legal.

Don't ask the cops to flash you. Really not cool.

Do understand that just because you are near-naked doesn't mean that others will accept your choice of costume.

Don't go out carrying valuable items that you are likely to lose if/when you get drunk--- such as a purse wallet, expensive jewelry or your spouse.

Do wrap your money in plastic or a ziplock first if you have nothing to carry it in but your bikini bottoms or sweaty shorts.No one wants to handle sweaty-wet cash.

Do know that unoccupied bathrooms will be scarce all week

Don't verbally abuse anyone---ever!; Everyone is there to have a good, laid back time.

Don't be in a hurry---remember you are on (overcrowded) island time

Don't step in front of moving parade floats to pick up candy or beads.

Do be aware that if you take Henrietta home with you may wake up with Henry.

Do take pictures but be polite, patient, and asking 1st if it is OK to take a photo will usually result in a yes answer and you will get a nicer, posed shot or two. Also, have your camera ready to shoot FIRST before you ask.

Don't touch anyone in bodypaint especially before, during or after taking a photo with them. They want their bodypaint to last as long as possible and look great from start to finish.

Do exercise some tact and courtesy with the folks working in the bars and cafes. They may be there working their days off for your enjoyment. Drinks take time to create and be served as do meals.

Don't tip in beads - service workers don't want or need beads--- tip with cash please.

Don't ask the female servers to show you their boobs--there are thousands of women on Duval Street dying to show you all that they've got.

Don't try to touch, kiss, etc service workers or Fantasy Fest workers or other costumed Fantasyfesters..

Do carry some info or business card of your hotel/B and B address so someone can help get you home if you need help late at night should you be too intoxicated.

Don't be afraid to dress up. Have an outrageously fun time and tip big.

Another consideration: A recommendation from a Krewe member is that Key West guests that plan to return to the next FF confirm their following year reservation and rates before they leave Key West--and get it in writing.

Finally, Check with the airlines the amount (weight) of baggage LEAVING Key West. There was a restriction on departing flights, not those arriving. Many veteran FF attendees ship their costumes and "gear" to the place they are staying, or to a package holding business. (e.g. Mail Boxes, UPS store, etc.) Check with where you are staying as most will accept incoming packages for arriving guests.
Obviously, not everyone would need all of these items but it is a start for picking and choosing those things you might want to have at Fantasy Fest.

And for those that can't make Fantasy Fest either this year or next year here is an option--------------

The 13th Annual Reunion-Rendezvous of FantasyFesters and KrewedeKrazyLifers will occur June 15-22, 2019 at the wickedly-wild, renovated Hedonism II resort in Jamaica where we will again enjoy theme nights like Fetish, PimpNHo, Plaid/Schoolgirl, Pirate/Wench and Toga, costumes, plus 24/7all-you-can eat and drink, a nude day cruise and twice-daily complimentary nude snorkeling & scuba,, and all in a cashless, clothing optional-nude environment where you don't even tip because everything is included in one low, group rate. More info:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/hedonismreortgrouptrip… with 7,000+ members and 4,000+photos.

Daily updates of Fantasy Fest and my other travels:
http://twitter.com/TheTravelSlut

All my Fantasy Fest videos are here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheTravelSlut/videos

NOTE: I will miss my 15th Fantasy Fest this October due to my business travels in New Zealand and Australia which conclude the last weekend of FF but I'll be back in 2019.

In the meantime, take care, travel safe and have safe fun!

Ann, The TravelSlut :-)

email: TheTravelSlut@yahoo.com
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Last edited by The Travel Slut on Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Drunkards and Perverts

Post by kovy »

In reading Ann's post via email about the FF zone, I researched this a bit and it looked like the FF zone is only officially in play the last Friday and Saturday. The last FF we attended we found the effective FF zone in play on Monday. We'll be at the LBD party for the first time on the first Saturday, must we be cautious about covering up on the way to the Captain's - or is Ann simply being overly cautious in recommending caution???

:wow :puzzled :pimp1 :domi1 :drunk5 :happy1
Last edited by kovy on Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drunkards and Perverts

Post by philnracheal »

According to the website, http://www.fantasyfest.com/code-of-conduct/, the zone is only on Friday and Saturday. And that painted tops are only permitted in the zone. What about the rest of the week? Is this a recent change?
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Re: Drunkards and Perverts

Post by Friar Fuk & Nun4U »

Ann is being practical. FF vets know the answer has always been a very complicated Yes and No. Nudity is expressly forbidden on the street all the time, as are exposed genitals. KW ordinances say cover must be "opaque" (not sheer) and body paint as a breast cover is allowed in the fantasy zone only during "Fantasy Fest Week" which the KW police have been told by the city to interpret as starting at Midnight Sunday/Monday, and have done so for the past several years. Since the zone is specifically mentioned in the ordinance in conjunction with "Fantasy Fest Week", the zone isn't just the last two days (much as they might like you to think it is). However the "zone" boundary is never defined legally and the actual duration of the "week" has been left vague - it seems to extend for most of the night after the Saturday parade, but not necessarily into Sunday day (a short week LOL).

That said ... interpretation seems to depend on the LEO and the time and place so always have a cover-up handy. The first Saturday as well as Sunday you may be challenged and told to cover up if you have minimal breast coverings of any kind. These challenges are often arbitrary, confrontational and unpleasant by design to scare you into compliance. Don't bother to debate or protest .. no matter how unfair you think it is, its unlikely he/she will back down and risk losing control .. just be submissive and do what the LEO tells you, then move on. Don't let them get into your head and spoil your fun. When you are out of their sight, do what you like.

If your costumes are revealing then learn where the LEOs hang out and avoid them (hint street corners and alleys especially in the 200 and 300 block of Duval). There are a lot less LEOs on the street at the beginning of the week and most are local KW or Monroe County .. they bring in outside LEOs later on when the crowds get bigger and some of them are green and can be very zealous at first, but gradually get jaded.
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Re: Just some tips for 1st timers to Fantasy Fest 2018

Post by Friar Fuk & Nun4U »

OH and Kelly's Caribbean name has been changed to First Flight - same basic party but no longer off the grid - its now an official FF event

Anne and her Boy Toy Charlie have not been to FF since the change LOL - WE MISS YOU!
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Re: Just some tips for 1st timers to Fantasy Fest 2018

Post by The Travel Slut »

Thanks for the update. We were there at Kelly's last October (2017) but I forgot the name change yesterday when I posted the update.

And First Flight (Kelly's Kinky Karnival) was where I slapped a young girl right across the face when she walked by and pinched my nipple (hard) without asking and it was the equivalent of a cheap shot.

I won't miss that this October but I will miss you two and the rest of the Krewe.

Ann
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Re: Just some tips for 1st timers to Fantasy Fest 2018

Post by Friar Fuk & Nun4U »

Yeah 99.9% of the folks at FF are very respectful of your personal space and ask permission first.
But there are always a few ... :-x
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Re: Just some tips for 1st timers to Fantasy Fest 2018

Post by travelino »

Anne, sorry to hear a girl pinched your nipple. We've had a few incidents over the years that tended to spoil our evening. In particular, it seems some of the younger folks, often younger woman, think that somehow they are entitled to slap otherwise without their consent. In one case, we were standing at an intersection waiting for the light (I know, unusual to wait for traffic lights), and this group of young folks came up behind us and the one girl had a riding crop, the type with metal insert and wack my wife across the butt, as hard as she could. She got an immediate response from my wife that grabbed her crop and the two of them had wors. The girl acted like she didn't do anything wrong and it was just "for fun". It spoiled our evening, as it wasn't very late, but it ended. We've noticed this kind of behavior now and then and its usually a woman that does the hitting. I don't know where they got the idea that this was ok.

You might consider making an emphasis of these points, of no hitting, pinching or touching for both men and woman in your list of do's and don'ts. I say emphasis, as it might be read by something that thinks its cool.
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Re: Just some tips for 1st timers to Fantasy Fest 2018

Post by The Travel Slut »

Hi there....I am sorry that incident happened to your wife, and like my situation, spoiled a potentially great evening and your point is well taken and I will add it to the tip sheet.

And yes, the woman/girl that pinched me was in her early 20's and like yours, thought nothing was wrong. Drunk or not, it is totally uncalled for and totally inappropriate. And this was my 2nd incident in 5 years at Kelly's--the 1st being a woman that bit my nipple.

Anyway, I appreciate the info and tip and will make the changes.

Thank you and have a Happy FF and beyond!

Ann
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Re: Just some tips for 1st timers to Fantasy Fest 2018

Post by The Travel Slut »

And Friar/Bob's reply is spot on with regards to in/out of the Fantasy Zone whatever day it is. Having a cover up may save some hassles and delays and both interpretation/enforcement varies year-to-year, day-to-day, and law enforcement officer-to-law enforcement officer. The law is the law.

I recall several years ago being stopped on a Monday or Tuesday night by the Bull and Whistle by a LEO who told me my boa was not in place properly and not covering my nipples. I apologized, strategically placed my boa----and then he asked if he could have a photo with me! It was so cool and was on my way to Capt. Tony's with a smile.

I also recall being inside Capt. Tony's at the gift shop area and needing to use the restroom and the bar area and dance area were just jammed packed with people and I was afraid to walk thru the crowd with new bodypaint so I simply went out the northside/gift bar door to walk to the southside/billiards room/dungeon side and a female officer stopped me in that 20 feet between doors and read me the riot act because my nipple paint was not opaque. It was not a good feeling and she did not care that I was 10 feet away from being inside Capt. Tony's again.

So, I always side with caution now on the streets and am prepared for anything and have not had a situation or issue the past 5 FF's. My two cents and worth what you paid......LOL
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