I’m so excited to talk about this experience. While Tony’s Town Square Restaurant‘s Italian fare is far from 5-star cuisine, the memories you can make there — if you’re savvy and just a little bit lucky — are second to none.
The restaurant is located in the Exposition Hall right next to Disney World’s Train Station. You’ll remember from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp the restaurant upon which Tony’s is styled — in the alley behind it was where Lady and the Tramp shared their famous spaghetti dinner! And you’ll find several Lady and the Tramp references throughout the restaurant. (Check out this post from SamLand’s Disney Adventures for one very special tie-in!)
The restaurant includes a plush lobby and three main dining areas: an indoor room with booths and tables, a “sunroom” that floods with light during the day, and an outdoor porch seating area.
And it’s that porch that makes all the difference…
My Favorite Time to Visit
So here’s the dining tip — the porch at Tony’s Town Square has one of the best views of the Disney World Main Street parades anywhere. No joke. You’re relaxing with your family, cutting up your kid’s meatball, and ohmigosh — there’s Mickey right there in front of you! And while everyone else is jockeying for position on the curb, you’re digging into your dessert as the floats go by.
It’s a lovely experience on any given day, but my favorite time to visit Tony’s is during the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party (MNSSHP). The “Boo to You” parade is one of the top Disney parades of all time, and watching it from the porch at Tony’s is a magical experience. Additionally, I love watching the anticipation and pure joy on the faces of the kids — all dressed up in their Halloween costumes for MNSSHP — coming under the arches into the Magic Kingdom for the first time!
Pulling off this stunt isn’t easy, though. In the same way that trying to get a patio table at Rose and Crown for Illuminations is often a flight of fancy, getting a porch table at Tony’s during a parade can be…difficult. My best advice for seeking out an experience like this is to book your reservation for an hour prior to the parade’s start time. When you arrive at the podium, let the cast member know that you’d like to wait for a porch table to open up. But just remember, this is only a request and they likely won’t let you wait forever. Usually, after an hour or so, they may ask you to take the next available seating. You’ll still have a decent view from the sunroom section. 🙂
As I said earlier, Tony’s has never been the best Italian dining experience for me. My meals there have been average to satisfactory, but it’s not for the food that I return. That said, I’ve heard many positive reviews about the food, and the restaurant is well-known for its signature dish — Lady and the Tramp favorite: Spaghetti and Meatballs. There are other standard Italian favorites on the menu as well, and it’s definitely a location where everyone — even the fussy ones — in your party will find something they’ll enjoy eating.
On the night we went, we chose some of our favorite “Disney-Italian-Food-Restaurant” dishes — Spaghetti and Meatballs (of course) and Chicken Parmigiana (though, in retrospect, I wish I’d ordered steak! It looked delicious when I saw it brought to another table!). To start, we ordered a caesar salad and a bowl of minestrone soup. Bread rolls with olive oil were also brought out prior to the meal.
Again, the food was fine, but unmemorable. I hope we’re just ordering the wrong things and that other dishes are stellar at Tony’s. Those of you who have had great meals should type up a comment below and let us know about ’em! Give me some ordering suggestions for next time.
We ended the meal by sharing the signature seasonal dessert — a pumpkin cheesecake! This, I thought, was innovative, interesting, and quite good!
I will absolutely keep returning to Tony’s for the atmosphere and the *fingers crossed* chance to sit on the patio while watching a parade — or even just watching the faces of the people walking into the Magic Kingdom for the first time! It’s a magical dining location that has been created and styled by top-notch imagineers to bring an animated Disney classic film to life in the parks. Definitely worth a try!
For more on Tony’s, including links to full menus, see our Tony’s Town Square info page.