Casey’s Corner is a counter service restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom specializing in hot dogs, frankfurters, and perro calientes. This review features food photos and my thoughts on the menu, among other things. Casey’s Corner is a very basic restaurant that’s really ideal for grab and go eating, with its hot dog-centric menu reflecting that. In terms of money-saving info, it participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a 1-credit counter service restaurant (but is a poor value on the Dining Plan), but does not accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount.
If a Walt Disney World vacation is an American rite of passage, dining at Casey’s Corner is probably as close as you can get to a Walt Disney World culinary rite of passage. I have to say that I think this is unfortunate. It’s not that Casey’s Corner serves awful hot dogs, it’s that you can do so much better than this in terms of unique and quality dining that it’s a real shame this is probably the place where the largest percentage of guests have dined.
More than anything else, the popularity of Casey’s Corner is probably predicated upon its location. At the end of Main Street, it lures unsuspecting guests inside, where they see long lines. The natural assumption at Walt Disney World is that anything with long lines must be good…and then guests look at the menu. Oh.
“Well, already inside and in line, might as well get a hot dog. They must be good if the restaurant is this popular.” More guests stumble inside, seeing the long lines, making the same assumption, and Casey’s Corner’s popularity becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Statisticians estimate that this is how Casey’s Corner does 83% of its business.
With that said, does Casey’s Corner live up to the “hype” of these inflated lines? Let’s take a look…
This is the statue of the baseball player outside Casey’s Corner. This sort of perplexes me. The name of the restaurant is “Casey’s Corner,” which references Casey at the Bat, but this statue is most definitely of a pitcher. Casey is the batter in the story, not the pitcher. Is this statue supposed to be Casey, or the pitcher? IS IT REALLY UNNAMED PITCHER’S CORNER?!
The inside has various nods to the history of baseball and Coca-Cola. It’s a cute little restaurant and one of the best examples of corporate sponsorship actually enhancing a Walt Disney World experience.
Part of the appeal of the various Casey’s and Refreshment Corners is probably that, like Disneyland and Walt Disney World, they encapsulate definitive elements of the American experience: Coca-Cola, baseball, and hot dogs.
Casey’s Corner has a few different dressed-up variations of the hot dog on the menu, but I usually default to the plain style when I do dine here.
I love hot dogs. (You can pretty much assume that any food that is awful for your health is a food I love.) I do not love Casey’s Corner hot dogs. They’re fine and fairly large as far as hot dogs go, but they aren’t all beef (they’re a chicken/beef mix) and don’t really have a distinct flavor. They’re just sorta ‘meh.’
The reason for this is that Casey’s has a toppings bar with all of the necessities (oh yes, hot cheese is a necessity!), so I’d rather save the $1 or so and just load it up on the toppings bar. Plus, I’ve never been all that impressed with the “gourmet” options.
Really, though, the only time I get a hot dog here is after a long night of photographing when I’m really hungry (read: I got caught up doing other things and forgot to eat dinner) and my go-to at Casey’s Corner won’t be enough.
Boom! Corn dog nuggets. These are my Casey’s Corner jam. I find these to be more filling than a regular hot dog, and they don’t come with a side, so they’re even cheaper.
To paraphrase one of the greatest movies all time, “leave the hot dogs, take the nuggets.”
My highly scientific research has concluded that these corn dog nuggets are best enjoyed dipped into hot cheese (with onions in it), while sitting outside after the Magic Kingdom closes, with a view of Cinderella Castle. Not only are these the dinner of champions for tourists after a long day in the park, but I think it’s safe to say that these are the standard diet of most MLB players.
This alone isn’t enough to make Casey’s Corner a restaurant I’d recommend, but what I just described above is certainly one of my favorite (and frequently recurring) “moments” in Walt Disney World dining.
Since there’s not a lot of substance to this review, and since I’m not particularly inclined to do separate reviews for hot dog joints around the world (spoiler alert: every park’s version of Casey’s serves consistently mediocre and overpriced hot dogs), I figured I’d share some fun facts about the other Casey’s Corners around the world. Woo hoo!!!
Up first is the Casey’s Corner at Disneyland Paris, pictured above. Those of you who view Parisians as snobby foodies might feel a sense of superiority upon learning that this is probably the most popular restaurant in the park. Doesn’t hurt that so many of the others are closed.
The ‘original flavor’ hot dog joint at Disneyland is known as Refreshment Corner a/k/a Corner Cafe a/k/a Coke Corner. It’s sorta like Puff Daddy in terms of names. While you can get the original flavor of Coca-Cola here, you can also get a delicious flavor shot in your Coke. Think of this as the pre-cursor to Coke Freestyle.
Tokyo Disneyland takes a page out of the Disneyland playbook and has a hot dog joint named Refreshment Corner in the same location at the end of World Bazaar. The dog above may look like its higher quality, but I can assure you, it is not. I only purchased it because it was a special item for Natsu Matsuri, and came in a pretty cool box (as you can see in my Natsu Matsuri at Tokyo Disneyland post).
Hong Kong Disneyland does not have its own version of Casey’s Corner. It does have a Corner Cafe, but that’s on the other side of the street and isn’t the same. No wonder so many critics complained that it was an “incomplete” park when it opened. For shame, Hong Kong, for shame.
Overall, Casey’s Corner is one of those places that sort of is what it is. It’s almost as much of a staple in the Disneyland-style parks as the castles themselves…but instead of being a stunning, grandiose castle, it’s a restaurant that sells mediocre, overpriced hot dogs. There’s nothing altogether bad with the hot dogs served here in the Magic Kingdom, there are just such better options elsewhere in the park, both in terms of taste, quality, and value for money. Still, there is something to be said for the sublime experience of closing out the park, grabbing a thing of corn dog nuggets from Casey’s and collapsing at a table outside, gazing at Cinderella Castle while the Kiss Goodnight wishes the last guests filing out of the Magic Kingdom a safe trip home with a satisfied look on your face. LIKE A CHAMP.
If you have dined at any ‘version’ of Casey’s Corner, what was your experience? Is there a comparable Walt Disney World restaurant that you prefer? Any other menu recommendations? Do you agree or disagree with my assessment? Any other tips? Share your thoughts in the comments!