Tony’s Town Square Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom and I have a strange relationship. In my early years of visiting, my family would regularly go to Tony’s. It was a different time, where most table service restaurants in the park weren’t very good, but neither were the counter service options. It was a landscape filled with uncreative, uninspired dishes that were only there to fulfill the human need for sustenance. If you wanted good food at Disney World, you didn’t go to the Magic Kingdom. Now, we live in a world where there are actually a few good options in this park, from Skipper Canteen to Pecos Bill’s. In this day and age, Tony’s looks even worse than it used to. It is American-Italian cuisine on par with or possibly worse than an Olive Garden (cue the hate mail from the Olive Garden annual passholders). Our last few reviews of Tony’s are ROUGH, and rightfully so. That being said, people love to read about how bad Tony’s is. With that known, it was a no-brainer to book the new Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party being offered as part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. For those unaware of what this is, here is Disney’s description:
At this new and special experience beginning at 9:30PM, guests can pop in and out at your leisure and indulge in hors d’oeuvres including a selection of artisanal meats and cheeses as well as Tony’s famous meatballs, mini hand-tossed pizzas, boursin-stuffed artichoke and more. For that sweet tooth, you can snack on pumpkin tartlets, Yule Logs, cannoli, Christmas cookies, and red velvet cupcakes. To go along with this festive array of dishes, raise a glass to the spirit of the season with a selection of complementary beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. While you eat, enjoy a holiday atmosphere and views of Town Square and Main Street, U.S.A.
The party doesn’t stop there. At 11:00PM, you’ll have access to a special reserved viewing area for the truly enchanting Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade as it makes its way down Main Street, U.S.A. The festive procession includes dancing gingerbread men, marching toy soldiers and beloved Disney characters in their holiday finery. And the party continues until 12:30AM, ever longer than Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party is available for $99 per person (plus tax) every Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party event night at Magic Kingdom Park. Admission to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is required to attend.
With all that said, let’s get into it.
With your reservation booked, you can check in as early as 2pm to get your wristband for the evening’s festivities. With your wristband, you are invited to return at 9:30pm for the start of the party (they may also open a few minutes early if you want a head start on other guests). You can then come and go as you please until 12:30am.
The setting is festive enough, with a number of decorations hastily purchased from a nearby HomeGoods. The Nutcracker on our table had a price tag in his beard, which is how we figured that out.
Luckily, the interior of Tony’s with its usual seasonal decor is charming enough of a setting to begin with.
As far as food service, guests will find the antipasto (a selection of artisanal meats and cheeses) beautifully spread underneath the statue of Lady and the Tramp in the center of the restaurant’s largest room.
Cheeses included Parmesan, Brie, Blue, Cheddar and Pepper Jack as best I could tell. Meats were Salami, Prosciutto, and Capocollo. Nearby, you’ll find breads, breadsticks, grapes, olives, and strawberries. All of this was of good enough quality and a nice way to start things off.
Where the wheels come off is the hot food stations. Options include meatballs, calamari, beef empanadas, mini-pizza slices, smoked chicken and leek in puff pastry, Boursin cheese stuffed artichoke. No, you aren’t crazy, beef empanadas aren’t Italian. Mama mia, here we go again…
This brown and beige mess tastes how it looks, lousy. The calamari was like chewing rubber, the pizza was cold and flavorless, the artichokes and chicken & leek pastries tasted rancid, but the empanadas and meatballs were only just OK for being from your grocer’s freezer. This was slop, and at $99 I’d expect the food to at least be mostly edible. I’ve had large-batch food from Disney Parks’ dessert parties before, and it’s usually at least chewable. This was below my wildest expectations.
Moving on to dessert, the presentation and look of the food was back to where I expected.
Desserts include Yule Log, Mini Cannolis, Pumpkin Tartlets, Tiramisu, and Red Velvet Cupcakes. It’s not the largest selection (at least compared to the Magic Kingdom desserts parties), but it will do the trick.
Overall, they were all good enough and some even quite enjoyable. The Tiramisu was surprisingly good and the Cannolis better than I would have thought for being previously frozen. The Red Velvet Cupcake and the Yule Log were my personal favorites though.
As far as beverages are concerned, there is a non-alcoholic drink station and two bars. At the family friendly table, you’ll find hot chocolate and coffee.
The bars offer canned soft drinks (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite) and alcoholic drinks, as you might have guessed.
Several wines are available, as are beers in the Peroni and Moretti La Rossa. The wines are noting special, with some as cheap as $8 a bottle. The beers are serviceable. It is worth noting that this event is pretty historic as it is the first to offer alcohol in Magic Kingdom park history, and all-you-care-to-enjoy at that. You can’t leave the restaurant with any alcohol, but you are free to en joy as much as you like while inside.
Among the drinks is also a specialty beverage made from warm Angry Orchard Apple Cider, Cinnamon, and Apple Juice. It was as horrendous as you might think.
I stuck to the wine, and despite not being the most luxurious offerings, they were relatively good. I managed to drink seven (yeah, seven). The somewhat comical part of all of this was that the bartenders were just the usual cast from Tony’s who clearly had never worked a bar in their lives. They tried their best, and with nothing to actually mix at the station, it really wasn’t a big problem. But boy, was it entertaining…
The highlight for me was the surprise appearance of Tony from Walt Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, the storyline proprietor of Tony’s Town Square Restaurant.
This character hasn’t been seen in some time, at least since the retirement of the breakfast service here many years ago. He traveled from table to table, singing, making jokes, taking pictures, and partaking in various other antics. As bad as I felt about most of the food is how happy I was to have this character present. It created a special atmosphere and the performer provided memories that will likely stick with guests for many, many years. Kudos to whoever thought of this and the cast who bring Tony to life so wonderfully.
The main event of this Most Merriest Town Square Party is parade viewing for Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. Disney has given those attending the event the absolute best viewing spot in the entire park for the 11:00pm performance, taking up roughly 75% of the center island of Town Square, including the often fought over shot down Main Street behind the Christmas tree.
The event was clearly not sold out as many tables in Tony’s were empty throughout the night, which provided parade viewing with plenty of elbow room. The combination of this premiere spot and not having to deal with possible obstructions or annoyances from nearby guests is wonderful. I know this sound elitist, but you undoubtedly have some experience where you’ve dealt with other less-than-favorable park guests while waiting for a parade or show. No matter how nice you are, a fight over viewing space at an American Disney Park is unavoidable, apparently unless you pay $99 for this.
For the best idea of our parade view, check out our video below of
the entire spectacle shot from our reserved spot:
So, is it worth it? Is it worth $99 a person on top of a party ticket to have 3-hours of access to food, drink, a rare character, and reserved viewing space for the parade? If you want to be spoiled and not think about fighting crowds during your party experience, then yes.
I certainly didn’t have a bad time. I enjoyed having endless beverages and snacks, even staying away from the hot food station. I LOVED the Tony character and the parade spot is, as you see above, unparalleled. If you can afford it and want to do it, do it. Don’t expect the best food you’ve ever had at the Magic Kingdom, but expect lots of access to some enjoyable snacks, drinks, and a climate-controlled environment with plenty of seating.
Holiday Wishes fireworks aren’t super popular, so I can’t imagine finding a better value in the fireworks dessert party than in this. Members of our party walked outside with 2 minutes to spare and found fireworks viewing that was more than acceptable. Parade viewing doesn’t come so easily at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
So yes, I am recommending Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party if you think it makes sense for you and your party, even if the some food is really terrible. There is a value here, certainly not for everyone, but probably for enough to fill this event up at future Christmas parties.