Tony’s Town Square Review
Tony’s Town Square is a table service restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom serving Italian cuisine in a Lady and the Tramp-inspired setting. This review features photos of food, our thoughts on the ambiance, and whether it’s worth dining here.
In terms of basics, Tony’s Town Square is a Disney Dining Plan participant as a one-credit table service restaurant for both lunch and dinner. Thanks to a couple of pricey entrees, it’s also close to making our list for the best values on the Disney Dining Plan. If you’re not using the Disney Dining Plan, Tony’s Town Square offers a 20% discount for Tables in Wonderland cardholders.
In most Walt Disney World fan circles, Tony’s Town Square has a reputation that precedes it. In this regard, it’s a bit like Le Cellier, a restaurant that still is popular from goodwill built up over a decade ago. Except, in this case, it’s bad-will. Basically, Tony’s is the “Reverse Le Cellier.” Despite spending a ton of time in Magic Kingdom, we had avoided eating here for years, hearing almost unanimously bad things from people we trust…
Recently, we had started hearing from regular readers via the comments and a couple of Florida friends that Tony’s Town Square had gotten better. We were still pretty reticent about giving it a chance since the long-term consensus on Tony’s is basically a chorus of negative reviews.
Nevertheless, we decided to give it a chance one day while doing our “experiment” with the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan. At least this way, we figured, we weren’t directly paying out of pocket, so if the cuisine at Tony’s Town Square were still a culinary crime, it wouldn’t sting quite as much.
Before we dig into the food we tried, let’s start with the theme and ambiance of Tony’s Town Square. In terms of ambiance, Tony’s is incredibly loud. The lobby is loud, the main dining room is loud, and the outside dining room is loud.
This is partially to be expected. Tony’s serves crowd-pleasing fare in Magic Kingdom, making it a strong draw for families. We did not expect an adult meal in a refined setting here, and to be upset about the loud atmosphere here would be ludicrous given the circumstances. It is, however, something to keep in mind if you’re new to Walt Disney World dining.
Thematically, Tony’s opts for an environment that’s decorated with paintings of the film’s characters rather than re-creating the iconic Tony’s Restaurant from Lady and the Tramp. While I’d prefer the latter approach, I understand why Disney went this route.
Evoking Lady and the Tramp without directly referencing the characters would not have been easy. Perhaps the Imagineers felt the more blatant approach was necessary since Lady and the Tramp is an older film, and most people wouldn’t pick up on the theme if it weren’t obvious.
Regardless, I think the interior dining room more or less works. It’s a fun setting that reminds patrons of the spirit of the film even if it’s not all that themed. Kids are sure to love it, and adults will too if they aren’t overly-critical bloggers. Even though it’s loud and chaotic, it attempts an intimate setting.
In terms of cuisine, Tony’s Town Square is one of the most brilliantly themed restaurants at Walt Disney World. Think about it: what other restaurant serves food the characters it’s based around would eat? If Lady and Tramp are anything like our dog, they eat just about anything–including objects that aren’t food. Tony’s Town Square is actually very fine dining…for dogs!
Relax Tony’s fans, I’m kidding. I know calling this ‘food for dogs’ is harsh, but I couldn’t resist making the joke. In actuality, Tony’s Town Square was not quite as atrocious as we feared. I can see how its crowd-pleasing style of Italian cuisine can be appealing on vacation.
The food at Tony’s is not even remotely ambitious, but it’s comfortable and the style is approachable. Even if the execution leaves a lot to be desired, Tony’s popularity is understandable. With that said, this is a definite one and done for us.
With one exception, our food was over-salted yet bland. It takes some doing to make such over-salted dishes this bland, so perhaps Tony’s deserves some praise there.
One of the best things we had was actually the bread service, which was nice buttery denseness to it. Here are photos and more specific thoughts on what we ate:
Here’s the Calamari with Marinara.
I’ve said countless times that I’m a sucker for calamari, and that’s true. I enjoyed this more than I should have, but I’ve made better frozen calamari at home.
Here’s the Italian Cheese Dip; creamy ricotta with roasted garlic topped with tomato jam served with crostini.
We appreciated the choice of ricotta here for what could otherwise be a really dense and unhealthy dish, but this was particularly bland. The tomato topping didn’t seem like jam so much as it did canned tomatoes. We didn’t finish it, instead opting for the complimentary bread service.
For my entree, I ordered the Italian Trio: Chicken Parmigiana, Baked Rigatoni, and Fettuccine Alfredo.
In recent memory, I don’t think I’ve had a worse entree at any Walt Disney World restaurant. The quality was low and the flavor was basically just salt and sauce. I can’t think of a single positive thing to say about this dish. Pick any random entree at Olive Garden–or even the freezer from Trader Joe’s–and it will be better.
I’m not normally one to ever count calories, but I stopped eating this about halfway through because I figured it just wasn’t “worth it.”
Sarah ordered the Braised Short Ribs with mascarpone polenta and broccolini for her entree.
Out of everything we had, this was the standout. The meat was tender, and the polenta was a nice accompaniment. The meat was a bit over-salted, but not terribly so. We think the dish is overpriced if you’re paying out of pocket, but if you’re doing Tony’s Town Square on the Disney Dining Plan, this would be our recommendation.
This was a pleasant surprise, and we’re not even grading on a curve when we make the recommendation to order the Braised Short Ribs.
For dessert, we ordered the Cannoli, ricotta cream-filled shells dusted with powdered sugar.
This was fairly average. There definitely wasn’t any nuance and it didn’t taste freshly-prepared, but it wasn’t terrible, either. While I wouldn’t order it again, it’s a decent choice if nothing else on the dessert menu appeals to you.
We also ordered the TiramisÃ¹; KahlÃºa espresso-soaked lady fingers and whipped mascarpone topped with mocha cream.
I actually liked this! It struck me as an ambitious twist on a classic Italian dessert, and one that had more subtlety, texture, and quality than anything else. If we somehow find ourselves at Tony’s in the future, I’d order this.
With all of that said, I’ll end this review on a positive note, with a couple of amusing vignettes that we observed during our meal. I’ve come up with an incredibly original name for these vignettes: Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.
Two women are seated on the terrace, each order two drinks (you could say it was a bottle of red, bottle of white…but actually, it was beer), slowly drink them over the course of about 30 minutes, and leave. A great hack for a busy day in an otherwise alcohol-free park. Pair this with a mid afternoon showing of Festival of Fantasy, and that’s about the ultimate Tony’s experience.
A small child jumps up from his seat, grabs a ball from his stroller, chucks it directly above him at the ceiling, it bounces back and hits the table, and he starts crying. This may not be all that funny to read, but I had to turn my head so the family didn’t see me laughing and I was almost in tears. It was inexplicably hilarious. This kid was expressing how we felt about dining at Tony’s.
Overall, Tony’s Town Square is not a restaurant we recommend. It was not as bad as we feared, but it was by no means good. If it has improved in the last couple of years (and I truly question whether that’s the case), I can only imagine how bad it must’ve been before. I don’t think it’s the absolute worst table service restaurant at Walt Disney World–but I would put it in the bottom 10. There are counter service restaurants in Magic Kingdom that are better than Tony’s, and I have a tough time envisioning any scenario that has us returning to give Tony’s a second chance.
Planning other aspects of a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help.
What do you think of Tony’s Town Square? Agree or disagree with our review? Are we being too hard on Magic Kingdom’s Italian restaurant? Do you enjoy the comfort food here? Would you rather do dinner elsewhere in Magic Kingdom, or is this a good option? Any questions? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
My family ate at this restaurant in Oct 2017 as part of our Disney Dinning Plan. I feel the quality of the food was similar to the Olive Garden. It was a wet evening and so I enjoyed the food, very much like comfort food. I did find the restaurant to be very cold (maybe due to the rain?). The service we received was excellent, our waiter was friendly and made an effort to entertain our tired 5 year old. I think the service elevates my opinion of the restaurant.
I’m no food critic, so I’ll leave that part to the experts. Although, I have to say that our meal at Tony’s was a great end to the perfect day. Food aside, the wait staff/service we received at Tony’s when we visited was second to none. The service was prompt, the waiter gave great suggestions and included everybody at the table in the conversation (even the younger guests). I’m surprised to hear the input that Tony’s wasn’t a great stop for some visitors.
i agree, food is bland, not tasteful. Mama Melrose is much, much better. sucks because Lady and the Tramp is a great classic Disney movie, but this restaurant is lacking in all phases will not be going there again.
Mama Meleose is fine if you are in Hollywood Studios. But when in Magic Kingdom it is not a logical choice. If you go to a park just for Italian food, Tuttu Italia or Via Napoli or the little wine bar in World Showcase Italy are better options.
This review is prettt accurate IMO. We ate there last minute on our last night in the parks on our Disneymoon. The only meal we had that was worse was Coral Reef at EPCOT.
Review is imho pretty much spot on. You can find some decent dishes at Tony’s but given the other options why bother?
We last ate there 4 years ago. I thought at the time that my chicken parmigiana was some horrible mistake, like the chef had really screwed it up or I’d accidentally been given something from a couple days ago. But nope, that’s just their regular food.
And Tom, in the past I’ve seen unverified comments on other forums from people saying they worked there and that a lot of dishes are fully prepared from frozen. Which sounds appalling to me but would explain a lot. Could that really be true?
We went in February of last year for our honeymoon. Being newlyweds we decided to go here and do the whole same piece of spaghetti thing. Word of advice, don’t do that. Here or anywhere.
The food itself is fine, but definitely among the worst that we had at the parks. (Though to be fair we had the Deluxe Dining plan and mostly followed your advice, so we avoided most mediocre places.)
The kiss with the spaghetti was also gross, because it is hard to cut spaghetti in your mouth, so you end up slurping some from your wife’s mouth. Do. Not. Attempt.
That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard!!
We ate at Tony’s during our visit last December. Grabbed an early dinner before the MVSCP. It was delightful. The wauter was efficient but had a continental sense of humor that bode well for a good time. We sat outside overlooking the plaza with a wonderful view of the decorated tree and blowing snow. With the carols playing and happy families taking memory- making photos, it was charming. And the food was good. Not great but it is not billed as great either. We would do it again.
We love Tony’s Town Square. It’s a tradition that we all look forward to. From the fried Calamari to the Eggplantto the wonderful Tiramisu. I will tell you one thing I have learned from reading your opinions to actually going there and trying the food for myself. Is your opinion is ALWAYS wrong. Thank you.
Opinions can never be wrong.
Why anyone ever feels the need or permission to troll a writer who has committed love, time, and significant effort into writing a blog that others get to voluntarily read and enjoy for free is completely beyond comprehension. Take the hate elsewhere, Evelyn.
Whoa! Tom needs to plan my every step on my next trip to Disney World. Or maybe speak to me in a Bluetooth while I’m there. Reading it makes it feel like a Bourne Identity Journey!
Thank you for the information. We have been there and we did enjoy it. When we were there a parade was happening and we happen to be close to the window. We enjoyed watching the parade as we were eating. I am curious what do you think of the Sci-Fi Dine In restaurant. We actually think this is the worst restaurant in Disney.
Thank you very much for your detailed reply. The last time we were there for the Christmas party was in 2008 and things were much different then. The family we are meeting up with go every year, so they are veterans. However, they are only going for the party so we will be meeting up with them when they get there, after 4:00. I wish we had the flexibility in our travels plan to do MK on a different day, but we don’t. I should mention that we have the dining plan so we were going to try to get ADR for breakfast at Be Our Guest, since we’ve never been there and dinner isn’t a great option anymore. Trying to get the most bang for our buck. That said, is Liberty tree Tavern still the best choice for a big mid day meal? Love reading your posts!
We liked the food there. The service was very good, also. Having said that, we ate there on the Deluxe Dining Plan in 2010 so things may have changed since then.
I would rather eat at Tony’s then Chef Mickey’s. The only decent meal there is breakfast. The lunch and dinner is horrendous. Chef Mickey’s should be voted the worst restaurant in Disney. I know you are paying to see characters but at the price you should get SOMETHING decent to eat.
The appetizers weren’t that great, but my husband and I really enjoyed the chicken fettuccine Alfredo. Also, it’s the only place to get Lady and Tramp’s autograph.
Tony’s was our very first meal in MK on our WDW dream holiday last Nov. So it will ever hold that special place in our hearts A table on the deck, good food, gorgeous weather and a fun parade to watch. People, it’s just a meal. Lighten up.
Tom, I believe I mentioned it on a previous post, but it bears repeating….the calamari at Tutto Gusto is among the best I have ever had. I was with 4 other people and we ordered it, along with 4-5 other small plates/appetizers and as soon as I took my first bite I knew we would need another order. On the next trip, it was just the two of us and we sat down around 2:15 before realizing it was part of the dinner menu, which didn’t start until 4pm. We decided it was worth the wait, so we sat and drank some prosecco and relaxed until we could finally order it, and we were not disappointed.
I could not disagree more. I hate Olive Garden but like Tony’s quite a bit. I look forward to dining there. I do not find the service poor nor the food. While I agree it is not a 5 star experience it is fun and the food fine, I find the portions acceptable as well. When on vacation I do not count calories, I try to enjoy my break from home life watching out for healthier choices and small portions. I go for a complete break and relaxation. Since I’m away a short time I don’t tend to worry about all that.
I have a the old menu from there framed on my wall with the Lady and the Tramp signature (footprints) on it as well. It has been nice and fun to go there and my family and I have positive experiences there and hope to continue to in the future.
We ate here because a savvy travel agent convinced my mom we would be able to watch the Fantasy parade. The seating was late due to overcrowding, the restaurant was miserably hot, the waiters tried to stuff us in the back of the restaurant instead of the patio, and then we couldn’t see anything anyway because the restaurant let indoor patrons crowd onto the balcony and stand in front of us. Needless to say, this was not the experience we “paid” for.
Our opinions on the food were about the same as yours- it wasn’t awful, but it definitely wasn’t impressionable. The only real positive to the meal was a chance to sit down (we were there over the dreaded New Years holiday) and enjoy some cool(er) air.
I wouldn’t spend the money for a table service restaurant here again.
I actually like Tony’ but admittedly I am not very adventurous when it comes to meal choices. In fact, it seems like many of the restaurants have menus where half of the entrees or more have mushrooms, goat cheese, or shrimp in them, which I don’t like. So having a restaurant with basic, simple fare is welcomed to me. My biggest complaint with this restaurant is that even if you have a reservation, you seem to wait a long Time Tom actually be seated. The only restaurant with a consistently longer wait is Rose and Crown, which I also found to be way over rated in terms of value.
We hardly ever eat at a table service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom anymore. Our last visit to Tony’s involved a parade dining package in 2016. We swore off of Tony’s prior to that in 1998. We should have stayed away again in 2016! So sick it almost ruined a Halloween Party. Calling Tony’s dog food is overly generous. This past January we had friends in from the left coast. We took them to Liberty Tree, and they loved it. Especially the Ooeey Gooey Toffee cake. Even though we got lucky that day, we still think guests should leave the MK for their major meals. Although we do consume our share of sweets and snacks when we are there. Have you had the warm Cheshire Cat Tail?
I have a question in regard to what you said about leaving MK for major meals. We’re going in Dec and due to time constraints and meeting up with family who live down there, we have to do MK and Mickey’s Christmas party in the same day. We are considering leaving and doing dinner at 1900 Park Fare around 4:00. Would you recommend doing this on a party night? Will it be a bigger hassle trying to get back in and go thru security again or is it worth it to leave the madness and let the kids decompress for a bit?
Not sure how many days you are going to be in Disney but I would not do MK and XMas party on same day. Do a late lunch and go to party at four. A couple of reasons.
1. The party opens at 4:00. Do not waste park entrance for AM visit. Hit another park or Disney Springs in AM. Do lunch then Party. Unless, you want to rides over and over again. We went at four stayed till closing. We were able to ride everything we wanted.
2. Lots of free treats and beverages to keep your hunger at bay. Again, plan on eating at two or three and hitting MK at 4.
1. DO NOT leave the MK for a 4 p.m. meal at 1900 Park Fare.
2. There is so much information missing in your post, that it is hard to make an exact plan for your fifteen hour day and night in the MK and at the Christmas Party.
3. Based on your post (question) I will assume you have a young children with you on that day.
4. I will assume that you are staying on Disney property and will be able to make dining reservations 180 days in advance.
5. That you will link your Florida family members on your Disney “my disney experience account in order to get fast passes for all.
6. That you and your family members will all arrive at the Magic Kingdom together at least 45 minutes prior to the scheduled opening of the park.
7. That your family and your Florida family members have never been to a Christmas Party.
8. That the MK will probably open at 8 a.m. or 7 a.m. On a party day.
Here is the plan:
Step 1. Make late lunch reservations for 1 p.m. at the Liberty Tree Tavern for your party as soon as you can.
Step 2. Get 3 fast passes at sixty days out for your entire party. Use the fast passes for the major MK rides that usually have long wait times. Do not bother with a Splash Mountain fast pass in December unless we are having unusually hot weather on your visit. If your children measure up to the height requirements for the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, get a fast pass for around 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Step 3. Get a fast pass for Peter Pan at around 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Step 4. Get fast pass for Big Thunder Mountain around 12 noon to 12: 30 p.m
On the actual day: Arrive 45 minutes early to the scheduled park opening. DO NOT line up in front of the castle for the opening show. Instead, get in line to the right of the castle on the way to Tomorrowland. Upon hearing or seeing the opening fireworks, move SAFELY and as quickly as possible (hugging left) to the line for the 7DMT. Do not worry if it is not open yet or the line looks very long. Even if you are near storybook circus, you will probably be on and done with the ride in 45 minutes. This should be your only major wait for an attraction. After exiting the &DMT, go right around the ride past Gaston’s and ride Voyage of the Little Mermaid. At this point, you can get a cinnamon roll or something at Gaston’s if anyone is hungry. Remember, you should have a one hour window for your FP for Peter Pan. After Peter Pan, either ride Small World if less than 15 minutes, or proceed to the Haunted Mansion. Upon exiting the Haunted Mansion, proceed to the Jungle Cruise, then back to Pirates of the Caribbean. Remember your one hour window for your second ride on the 7DMT. After that possibly Winnie the Pooh (if less than 15 minutes). Walk to and possibly ride the Carousel. Then proceed to your Big thunder Mountain FP. Whatever you can fit in that does not have an over fifteen minute wait after that. Then arrive ten minutes early for your 1 p.m. lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern. Eat and don’t forget to buy glow lights drinks for the kids. Step out of LTT around 2 p.m. pick a spot for the group in Fronteirland on the shaded porch across from the churros and pretzels to the right of the Country Bear Jamboree.. One person holds the spot and the rest get to see the Country Bear Jamboree. Then come back and enjoy the FOFP. When the FOFP end banner passes you, get up and follow the crowd behind the parade. When the parade turns right to go over the bridge towards the castle, you should go left past Colombia House restaurant all the way around past Peter Pan and line up at Fantasy Faire to get your Christmas Party wrist band. They are usually issued right at 4 p.m. At this point it is up to you as to whom is going to be the place holder for those special pictures with the Seven Dwarves or Jack and Sally etc. They are probably going to be scheduled for 7 p.m. but will probably show up earlier. the rest of the party is probably safe to ride some more rides until about 5: 30 p.m. Then they probably should go back to their chosen picture spot. I suggest that you read Tom’s (Bricker’s) Christmas Party post if you have never been to a party. If you need more help, just ask another question. Don’t waste time riding rides during the party. See the parade, see the shows, go to the dance parties. With young children, you will probably want to see the first parade. Get your spot early. Eat popcorn under the lights and in the snow.