Corn Dog Castle is a Disney California institution. Even during the dark days of Disney’s California Adventure 1.0, Corn Dog Castle was a beacon, demonstrating all that was right with the park. Legends still swirl that no less than 73.3% of first year Disney’s California Adventure visitors came solely to experience the delicious corn dogs, deemed by many to be a 21st century “fountain of youth.” Guests came on pilgrimages from around the world–one was rumored to have walked barefoot from Finland all the way to Corn Dog Castle–to bask in the youthful glow of Corn Dog Castle. One prominent swimmer even trained for the Olympics on a strict diet of Corn Dog Castle cuisine. Many described consuming one of their corn dogs as a spiritual experience.
Okay, so none of that is true. At least none of it is true to my knowledge. (I suppose there could be some folks out there who love Corn Dog Castle so much that they’d do those things.) But, this place is essentially just a corn dog stand and this review would be really short if I didn’t spice it up with some superfluous nonsense. In actuality, Corn Dog Castle does have its legion of fans, many of whom were quite frightened back when Corn Dog Castle went behind construction walls in 2009 as Disney’s California Adventure transitioned into Disney California Adventure. To the rejoicing of millions (or perhaps just thousands), it reopened in 2011.
I’ve had the chance to eat at Corn Dog Castle a few times (Sarah, being a bit of a health nut, calls corn dogs “disgusting” and opts for Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta instead) and have been impressed with it. I’ll admit that I don’t have quite the same affinity for it as many people, but it’s still very good. It’s quite possibly the best corn dog I’ve ever had, actually. The thing is, that isn’t really saying much; most of the corn dogs I eat come from the freezer and I microwave myself. I’m not really a corn dog connoisseur, and the difference between the worst corn dog I’ve ever had and the best one I’ve ever had probably isn’t extremely significant. Still, I recognize Corn Dog Castle as having some very good ones.
The true strength of Corn Dog Castle is that it’s truly grab and go food. Paradise Pier is one of the best places to stroll and enjoy the ambiance at Disneyland Resort, and it’s easy to grab a corn dog and wander around the pier. The menu fits this grab and go mentality, with only three items: a corn dog, a hot-link corn dog, and a cheddar cheese stick. It would be nice for a few other side/dessert choices to go along with the corn dogs, but if all you want is a freshly made corn dog, Corn Dog Castle is perfect.
You can get either apples or potato chips with your corn dog. To my knowledge, only communists get the apple slices. If you’re already eating a corn dog, what difference are the apple slices going to make? It’s sort of like ordering 2 Big Macs and then getting Diet Coke instead of Coke because you’re trying to “eat healthy.” Just get the chips. You’re on vacation!
The corn dog is the “classic” menu item in that it’s the one with the huge following. Between the regular corn dog and the hot-link corn dog, the regular corn dog is definitely the winner. Not that the hot-link corn dog is bad, it’s just doesn’t “work” quite as well. Those are your options if you want something of greater substance that will be filling. If you want a delicious snack to split with someone else, try the cheddar cheese stick. Personally, I don’t split it, but it is a bit rich and probably not the ideal “meal” food. I am of the “I’m on vacation” mentality, though, so I treat it as a meal (then again, I eat about 5 meals a day on vacation, including cupcakes and ice cream for breakfast…so I may not be the best role model here).
Overall, Corn Dog Castle is a Disney California Adventure institution. Unless you are staunchly opposed to corn dogs, you really ought to try one when you’re at Disney California Adventure, as it is “part of the experience.” No, it doesn’t have a complex menu, there aren’t healthy options, and it’s really just a glorified food stand, but it’s a great and fun place to grab a quick bite to eat. Not every restaurant is going to be Napa Rose or Carthay Circle Restaurant. For what Corn Dog Castle is, it’s excellent.
Are you a Corn Dog Castle fanatic, or are you vehemently opposed to corn dogs and all their patriotic glory? 😉 Share your thoughts in the comments!
To read other Disneyland restaurant reviews, check out our Disney Dining Reviews Index.
Overall Score: 8.5/10