Little Red Wagon Review
Little Red Wagon is the world’s first food truck, bringing delicious street food to guests of Main Street USA in Disneyland since Walt Disney first conceived of this revolutionary concept while sitting at a pub in Griffith Park and yearning for a place where kids and adults could enjoy corn dogs together. He then came up with the idea of a “theme park” as an afterthought, because he didn’t want to pay permit fees and other expenses of operating his Little Red Wagon corn dog food truck on public streets. Or something like that. While that history is absolutely inaccurate, Little Red Wagon is basically the greatest thing ever.
In actuality, Little Red Wagon was not conceived of by Walt Disney (it’s a far more recent addition to Disneyland than that), but I think it embodies his vision for Disneyland. (As everyone on the internet says in an attempt to add validity to their own opinion, “it’s what Walt would have wanted.”) His dream for Disneyland being a place for the young and young-at-heart is realized for me personally to a slight extent with Little Red Wagon. I would never even consider eating a corn dog in the real world, but in Disneyland some sort of carefree, youthful attitude takes hold of me, and I often find myself running to Little Red Wagon with glee.
So, how are the corn dogs at Little Red Wagon? Well, I think I’ve pretty much already answered that by calling Little Red Wagon “basically the greatest thing ever,” but since I try to write reviews that are more than 250 words, I’ll throw in some fluff and ridiculousness to beef up the word count here. Continue reading to find out more, but don’t say you haven’t been warned.
In a word, Little Red Wagon’s corn dogs are awesome. Little Red Wagon does the corn dog so well there’s literally no need for any other entrees on the menu.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Disneyland and are having a difficult time parsing the sarcasm above, I’m completely serious about the corn dogs here being awesome. I know corn dogs aren’t exactly a glamorous food, but if you’ve never had a Little Red Wagon corn dog–even if you’re not a huge corn dog fan–you should give one a try. They’re excellent.
Truthfully, I don’t know what separates Disneyland corn dogs from ordinary ones, but I think it’s the hand dipped batter that gives the corn dog “layers.” It has a layer of crunch on top of a layer of moist and airy batter. It has a layer of semi-sweet taste from the batter on top of the salty, delicious taste of the dog itself. Corn dogs aren’t exactly a complex food, but these have a fresh taste and are substantially better than corn dogs you’re likely to find elsewhere.
This isn’t just me. Disneyland corn dogs have a cult following among fans. Disneyland itself takes great pride in its corn dogs, and even points to foodies and food critics as loving them. The Little Red Wagon corn dog is so popular that Disney opened Corn Dog Castle in Disney California Adventure, so people wouldn’t have to purchase Park Hopper tickets just to get their corn dog fix. If you ask me, Disneyland missed out on a golden opportunity to have some sort of “corndogorail” between the parks forcing guests to purchase Park Hoppers. (Move over Hogwarts Express!)
If you ask many fans to weigh in on Corn Dog Castle v. Little Red Wagon, most will have an opinion as to which is superior, just as most have a favorite churro cart that they think is “the best.” For what it’s worth, I think Little Red Wagon is better for regular corn dogs, but my theory is not because they do something different, but because this location is more popular, so the corn dogs here are usually fresher.
While lines at Little Red Wagon can be long, and seating minimal, the corn dogs are worth it. I highly recommend grabbing your corn dog and taking it to a bench in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, which is the DisneyTouristBlog.com-Approved Corn Dog Consumption Methodâ„¢. Also, corn dogs come with chips by default, but you don’t have to order it with chips–and it’s cheaper without them. So even if you’re not keen on a corn dog for a full meal, without chips it’s a nice grab and go savory snack, both in terms of price and size.
Another glorious (dare I say PATRIOTIC) idea: have a dinner of fried chicken at the Plaza Inn, then go to Little Red Wagon for a corn dog dessert, then take a food coma-induced nap in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Gorging yourself on unhealthy foods and then falling asleep in something historically and culturally significant? ‘Murica.
At this point you’re probably wondering just how many corn dog photos I’m going to show to drag this review out. Or, maybe you’re hoping that I’ll show more photos and you’ll get to see a cross-section showing the hot dog inside of the corn dog. That’s not going to happen–this is a family site, let’s keep things PG. It looks like any other bare hot dog. There’s plenty of that online, go to Google and get your fix that way if you need it…
OKAY, JUST ONE.
That’s enough ridiculousness for one post, so let’s put this review to rest. For what Little Red Wagon is, it’s pretty much flawless. We knock it down a point for it only having one menu item (versus a few variations at Corn Dog Castle) and limited seating. The corn dogs here do absolutely live up to the hype.
I’m sorry if you read this entire post. If you’re new to the site, I swear not every review is this bad. If you’re not new to the site, well…you know I’m lying about that.
Overall Score: 9/10
To read other Disney restaurant reviews from Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland, organized by location, check out our Disney Dining Reviews Index.
Are you a Disneyland corn dog fan? Little Red Wagon or Corn Dog Castle? If you aren’t a fan, why not? If you have any questions or thoughts to share, please post them in the comments. We love hearing from readers!
The Litle Red Wagon was the brainchild of Scooter (Warren) Simmons Jr whose father built Pier 39 in San Francisco. Scooter commisioned me in 1986 to build 2 of these replica trucks originally as Model A Fords. Scooter later sold them to Disney to focus on his Chevvies restaurant chain.
Disney changed the fronts to Model T which is more in keeping with the time period of the Disney theme park.
I kept all the photos of the build process and the team that were involved in the build. See http://www.muston.com for more info
I have dire news. The Disneyland website has removed the Little Red Wagon as a dining option. Has anyone been lately? Is it still in the Park?
I think this review is absolutely hilarious. You did, however, leave me wanting more. Corn dogs, that is. 🙂
Can you get corndogs in Disneyland Paris ???
Great review Tom. Don’t forget about The Stage Door Cafe where you can get the same hand dipped corndog as the two aforementioned locations and usually with a much shorter line. And while you’re there, you could grab some off-menu mozzarella sticks.
Corndogorail? Yes!!! LOL – we love the corn dogs there, and we laugh when friends argue about those at the cart vs those at the castle. You can also get them at the Stage Door Cafe in Frontierland with french fries. We usually get apples slices because we don’t want the chips, but I never knew you skip getting a side. Good to know!
When I’m cracking up in the first paragraph I know its going to be a good read.
Tom, your 100% correct they are the best corn dog. I will not eat a corn dog anywhere else. I wait for my trips to disneyland to eat corn dogs. But I enjoy my corn dogs from the Stage Door Cafe
Hello, I love reading your reviews from the various places you’ve been throughout the disney empire. Side to note corndogs in Disneyland and CA adventure: Back in 2009 reports started to pop up, Disney changed the Dog from a 8in all beef to a 6in Chicken/mix wiener. (the store comes from Chowhound and the OC weekly) Personally, they do not taste was good as before. The dog is overly salty. Over at the Corndog Castle, they have a sausage corndog that’s pretty tasty…
That wouldn’t surprise me–I think Disney switched meats for all hot dogs a few years ago. I still love the corn dogs, though!
Tom, you’re freaking hilarious. Love those corn dogs! Speaking of food-induced comas and NOT going to see Great Moments with Lincoln afterwards…a buddy of mine and I once got three of our favorites: the corn dog, a turkey leg and a cinnamon roll and sat our behinds down at those tables behind the corn dog truck. 30 minutes later a cast member came by to wake us up and asked if we were OK (obviously looking at the remains of our feast and thinking we had the worst belly aches of all time)…
That is an awesome story. If there were ‘in real life’ theme park badges for achievements unlocked, you’d definitely get one for that.
This is one of the best/funniest things I have read in a while. 😀
I take it you don’t read much. 😉
Well done, sir – well done. Even thought the corn dog was invented right here in historic Springfield, IL (along with probably a dozen other places that lay claim to it) I’m glad it is being represented so well out West.
I am one of the people who think this post is quite humorous, but at the same time think it is unfunny and I am mortified and offended. And a bit melancholy. But that’s probably just the schizophrenia talking.
Anyway, keep up the good work. “Corn dog dessert”? Classic Bricker!
I am very sorry for offending you with laughter. Won’t happen again.
Side note: if I were in charge of a small town, I would lay claim to having been the birthplace of all sorts of things that people couldn’t attribute to other cities. What would you have to lose, right?!
I’ve always wondered what a corn dog was and when I saw the great cross section photo, I realised that it’s what we call a ‘Dagwood Dog’ in Australia. Coming to Disneyland and Disney World in September and now you have me very tempted to try one!
Dagwood dog?! What will you crazy Australians think of next?! 😉
If you try a corn dog, make sure to do it at Disneyland, not WDW. Unless you like frozen ones!
Prepare to be shocked! I’m from New Zealand, and we call a corn dog…. a hot dog. Strange but true. (What Americans call a hot dog, we call an American hot dog:).) Either way I will be trying one at Disneyland next February thanks to your review!
Wow, I’ve NEVER eaten a corn dog…maybe a hot dog only once for that matter, just not my thing (ex-pat from the UK!) but your review made even me want to try them! That’s how amazing your photography is! Loved this review, made me laugh hard!
i was really disappointed that you weren’t going to show a cross section (being South African, i’ve always wondered what’s in there)… and then there was one! yay! do they do corn dogs in Disney World Orlando? We’re booked for April 2015 and i hope we can try them then!
Whenever I want beautiful pictures of corn dog goodness, I know I can count on you, Tom!
But seriously, these look amazing. I would imagine they are far superior to the Casey’s Corner corn dog nuggets? I tried those for the first time last year, and must admit, I was not a fan. Something was just a little off to me…
Photographing corn dogs is my purpose on this planet. 😉
I’m not really a fan of anything at Casey’s Corner. I think that place is overrated and overpriced.
Funniest review of pretty much anything, ever.
You should do a post on food-photography tips. A lot of people take pictures of their meals these days, and most of the photos are pretty bad.
The people need your help!
Yeah, please. That is seriously the reason why I don’t read other disney blogs. They say great things about the food and then like show you this absolutely terrible photo of it that does NOT do a very good job of making it look appealing, let me tell you.
Btw, hilarious post. 🙂 that’s another reason your blog is my favorite. If I read a review of a restaurant, I want to read this sort of thing, not ratings that supposedly tell you how much every age group is supposed to like it. (Those things always make me feel bad for liking the stuff that gets 5 stars for young children and 1 for adults. Like meet and greets, um, hello, that’s kind of an essential experience of disneyland, at least IMHO.)
Now I could go on and on more about reasons your blog is better than all the others, but I don’t want them to go to your head 😉 so I’ll stop here.
One thing I should mention–I’m still hoping for more (equally entertaining) reviews of DLP food! 🙂
The problem with a review like this is that for every person who thinks it’s funny, 2 will find it unfunny, 2 will be mortified that I dare joke about Walt Disney, and 2 will somehow be so offended that they will never return to this blog. Humor on the internet–especially in Disney fandom where there seems to be a serious shortage of humor–is a dangerous thing. So I can understand why other blogs tend to avoid it.
As for Disneyland Paris, I’ll have to look back to see what else I might be able to review. I know I can review Blue Lagoon (it’s awful), but the problem is my photos from there are not good due to the terrible lighting. Otherwise, I don’t think I can review anything else until we go back.
I refused to eat another corn dog since I had a Disneyland corn dog (and the hot-link corn dog in California Adventure, it was a good trip).
Has anyone tried Disney World’s attempt at recreating the corn dog magic with the food truck in Downtown Disney?
Aren’t the food trucks all third parties, not operated by Disney? My experience with food trucks (in general) has been overwhelmingly positive, so I’d be inclined to give those corn dogs a try. I might see if there’s any info on Yelp and Urbanspoon before doing so, though.
This review……totally cracked me up! You do have some great food shots here! I love the one with the corn dog and pop on the table with the mobs of people (and the castle spires) in the background as if to say: ” Hey folks, you don’t know what you’re missing!”
The ‘behind the scenes’ shot here that would’ve been fun/humorous to see would be of me holding out the half eaten corn dog in one hand and trying to steady my DSLR and photograph the corn dog in the other hand. I’m sure passersby wondered what I was doing!