Time for a visit to a great little table service stop in the heart of all the magic — Tony’s Town Square in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!
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This spot has it all — Disney history, beautiful themeing, and if you play your cards right, some of the best views in the entire resort!
But while I love the restaurant itself, the food hasn’t always been the main draw in the past.
We’re checking in today for lunch to see what’s new, and if my love affair with that the patio seating remains firmly intact!
Tony’s is located right on the Town Square (natch) of Magic Kingdom — as soon as you pass below the train station and enter Main Street USA. You can’t miss it.
Pass by the Town Square Theater where you can meet Mickey, and you’re there!
Inside, you’ll check in at the hostess stand and await your table. While a walk up spot isn’t unheard of, it’s best to make an advance dining reservation here — especially if you’d like to take advantage of Tony’s biggest draw. We’ll get to that in a few minutes.
The waiting area was given a bit of a refresh last year, when the Town Square Theater opened as the new spot for Mickey’s meet-and-greet.
The space retains its turn-of-the-century charm, but the finishes are newer. You’ll also get your first dose of the restaurant’s star characters and theme! The animated classic Lady and the Tramp plays continually on the flat screen television.
Once your table is ready, you’ll be shown to one of three main seating areas. The restaurant is comfortable and elegant, with this beautiful statue and fountain depicting those famous Disney pooches as a centerpiece.
There is also a fun piece of trivia regarding the picture of Lady and the Tramp on the window, and the hatbox sign for Le Chapeau across the street.
Check out this fun and enlightening post from SamLand’s Disney Adventures for the story behind the placement of Lady on this window. It’s a glimpse into Disney history, movie lore, and the minds of Imagineers simultaneously!
This is awesome Disney detail from one of my favorite fellow bloggers, and it reminds me to slow down and see all of the incredible detail throughout Walt Disney World.
OK, back inside for some more decor discussion! Seating in the checkerboard-floor room (that’s what I call it anyway) is mixed, with a combination of booths and padded chairs.
And while the indoor area has its charms, I really love the sunroom. Flooded during the day with natural light, it has all the charm of outdoor seating, but with one added benefit — air conditioning!
Just about perfect!
But Tony’s real claim to fame is this beautiful outdoor patio.
Sure, it can get pretty warm here during Florida summer days. But it’s shaded and there are ceiling fans to move the air around.
But here is why those patio spots are so coveted: if you time your visit just right, you’ll have a perfect spot for watching a parade!
Some parades are better than others, mind you! If you dine during a parade that goes all the way around the central hub of Town Square, you’ll have a spectacular view!! This mostly occurs with the Boo To You Parade during Mickey’s Halloween Party, and the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!
On the day we visited, the parade simply turned the corner at the Emporium and went backstage. Still, it’s a decent view for a dining spot!
Here’s a Tip: When you’re planning your dining time, be sure to find out which direction the parade will be coming from so that you’re seated around 30 minutes to an hour before the parade passes by Tony’s. If the parade begins in Frontierland, you’ll have longer to wait than if the parade begins on Main Street.
If you’d like to try for a patio table — and with a little luck and patience, it’s totally do-able most of the time — be sure to let the hostess know when you check in. You may have to wait for a bit, but I think it’s work it. Be sure to time your reservation so that you have time to wait for that table.
As we looked over the menu to make our selections, we found lots of changes since our last visit in the apps and sandwiches, salads, and flatbreads sections of the menu.
For some reason, Antipasti Platters, which seemed to be all the rage at Disney’s Italian-leaning spots a while back, are disappearing from menus. Gone from Tony’s is the Flavors of Italy. We also noticed during a visit to Mama Melrose’s around the same time that the platter (one of my favorites) was off the menu there, too. At least it’s still available at Tutto Gusto in Epcot!
But almost all of the main entrees were the same, with the exception of one new addition — and I was super-excited about that!
I decided to begin with a bowl of Butternut Squash Soup. I really liked the presentation here, complete with a little lid on the bowl.
Disney really, really loves this stuff, and so do I! I find that when I visit in the Fall, it’s on many menus, and I order it almost every time.
When I uncovered my bowl, it was filled to the brim and garnished with some savory cream. Not too shabby!
The soup was thick and rich, with a full squash flavor. The crostini on the side didn’t bring much to the party, but I suppose if you would like croutons, they would be good for breaking up or dipping into the soup.
Also, even though the section title still read “Flatbreads,” now they’re called Pizza. We were definitely interested in seeing what shape they’d take.
We decided to order Joe’s Artisanal Pizza, which seemed pretty similar to Tony’s Flatbread of days gone by.
And while they’re calling it pizza these days, it definitely looks more flatbread-y to me. It’s rectangular and the crust is crisp and thin.
This was one of the best parts of the meal. It had a good amount of topping, and the the crust and cheese were nicely brown. It was delicious. And since there are several pizzas on the menu with a fairly good choice of toppings, these are great options for less adventurous eaters or guests who would like to share.
While we didn’t order them this time, I also wanted to show you pictures of one of my favorite menu items from our last visit to Tony’s — the Zucchini Fries.
What an awesome way to get your serving of veggies! 😉
I definitely recommend this item. Fresh and crisp tender, they’re served with a mayonnaise-based Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing for dipping, which is equally delicious. It kinda-sorta reminds me of the Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites Dipping Sauce in Disneyland! Soooo good.
Soon, it was time to move onto our entrees. I went with the lone new entree menu item — the Cannelloni.
Now, I’m a pretty big fan of this dish, and I’d recently had the BEST VERSION EVAR at Tutto Gusto. So I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I have to say — it was pretty tasty! The pasta tubes are filled with a mixture of seasoned ground beef and sausage. The stuffing could have used some cheese — ricotta maybe? — but it was still quite good.
The real brilliance was the combination of two sauces — a creamy Alfredo like sauce surrounding the pasta, and a chunky, fresh-tasting Marinara over the top. Nice! I love a good amount of sauce with some serious flavor. And this delivered.
My husband went with one of his tried-and-true favorites, Chicken Parmigiana.
As previously, the dish was well executed, with all of the components clearly assembled to order, so the pasta wasn’t soupy and the chicken wasn’t soggy. That said, I wish there’d been a bit more flavor punch here.
Whew!! Full, yet? So were we, but when you run the Disney Food Blog, dessert is NOT OPTIONAL! ;-D
Now, Italian restaurants are pretty well-known for having crappy desserts. No? You disagree? Well, we’ll have to take it up in the comments. Luckily, Tony’s has some decent options even if you’re a dessert snob like me!
The pistachio creme brulee truly is delicious, and we’ve had it a few times before.
We decided to share a couple of desserts, including the Tony’s specialty — Tiramisu. I’m usually not a huge Tiramisu fan. I don’t like the flavors all that much, so I rarely order it.
This was incredible!!!!! I was amazed!!!!
It was served in scoop fashion, which was interesting. But there were overwhelming flavors of rich, fresh cream. Out of this world! It was like diving into a vat of freshly whipped heavy cream. Whew!
And we couldn’t NOT get that signature Tony’s cheesecake.
This is almost exactly the same as it was the last time we had it — same silk-screened plate, same dome shape. The flavor was just as great as I remembered, too…creamy, which just the right touch of those warm spices. One fun difference is the garnish, however. This time, it came with a piece of Nut Brittle.
This dessert is pretty standard, and paled in comparison to the tiramisu! I know what I’m getting on my next Tony’s visit. 😉
And with full tummies, we were ready to enjoy the rest of our day!
In the past, I’ve been very clear: you don’t go to Tony’s for the food. I mean, it’s always been fine. But the food has never been anything to write home about if you’re looking for an authentic Italian menu.
Now, if you’re looking for an American interpretation of Italian that appeals to a broad audience, Tony’s does that really well. In fact, I’d say that the food has improved over our last visit there.
I’ll continue to stop at Tony’s about once a year or so. It’s worth it to see what’s new, and definitely worth it for the parade view! Since the reviews of this place are often mixed, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Is Tony’s a favorite stop for you because of the parade views, the food, or both? Leave a comment and tell us your story!