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Guest Review: Casey’s Corner

A special thanks to Chef BigFatPanda for taking us into the Magic Kingdom with him for a meal at Casey’s Corner, a restaurant inspired by Ernest L. Thayer poem and Disney animated short, “Casey at the Bat!” Take it away, Chef!

Casey's Corner

Hello again, Chef BigFatPanda here with a review of Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom! Facing Cinderella’s castle, Casey’s occupies the end left corner of Main Street. It’s fast food that can be summed up in one word “Hot Dogs”. Well, maybe that’s two words.

Casey's Window

Atmosphere
Casey’s is reminiscent of a bygone era full of that “take me out to ballgame” feeling, which goes hand in hand with our American obsession with Hot Dogs (the word Frankfurter seems to be used less and less). The inside is decorated with baseball memorabilia on shelves, and a statue of a Baseball player outside is simply identified as “Casey”. (Editor’s Note: Great history/theme post over at Designing Disney).

Mudville Down By Two...

Mudville Down By Two...

Casey's Corner Statue

Casey's Corner Statue

Cast members are dressed as baseball players and umpires, and it is not uncommon for servers to throw wrapped Hot Dogs around to one another, completing the theme.

Cast Members Hustle Behind the Counter

Cast Members Hustle Behind the Counter

Casey's Corner Queue Lines

Casey's Corner Queue Lines

There is some seating inside the establishment on the right end of the restaurant — a few tables and also two large bleachers/stands. A large movie projection screen continually shows Disney sports cartoons. This part of the restaurant is connected to the Main Street Emporium.

Indoor Seating -- Tables

Indoor Seating -- Tables

Casey's Corner Big Screen Cartoons

Casey's Corner Big Screen Cartoons

But most of the seating is located on the large outside patio area under red and white Umbrellas. The view of the gardens and Cinderella Castle is nothing short of breathtaking. It can get quite busy during meal hours, so be sure to have someone in your party scope out a seat while someone else retrieves the food.

Outdoor Tables

Outdoor Tables

View from Outdoor Tables

View from Outdoor Tables

You may be visited by real live ducks while eating outside. They are professionals at grabbing fallen french fries. Although posted signs ask you not to feed them, many people share a few fries and the ducks know it. There is also a musician who comes out every hour or so and plays Disney favorites on an old fashioned ragtime piano.

Ragtime Piano

Ragtime Piano

Eats
The food might be what you expect. Hot Dogs, French Fries, Corn Dogs, Chili and Cracker Jacks, of course. Casey’s is definitely more about convenience and ambiance rather than the food. That being said, the food is quite good for what it is.

The hot dogs are thick and juicy. Forget about what might be in them. I too, am a victim of some well-meaning folks throughout my life who felt the need to tell me about the horrors of what goes into a hot dog. Ignore them and enjoy. The French fries are some of the best I have found on property. They are thin, flavorful and have some of the skin left on the edges, which makes all the difference for me. They remind me of Ranch 1 Chicken fries if you remember that chain. I would literally stop here just to order a side of fries.

Casey's Corner Hot Dog, Fries, and Fixins

Casey's Corner Hot Dog, Fries, and Fixins

Hot dogs come pre-wrapped in foil with only a bun. It’s up to you to dress them up. The fixins bar has Sauerkraut, relish and fresh chopped raw onions as well as the standard ketchup and mustard.

Fixins Bar

Fixins Bar

The real star here, as indicated by everyone trying to get to it, is the melted cheese sauce dispensed from a pump. Say it slowly with me — Melted Cheeeeese sauce :) It’s really good. Dipping the already wonderful fries in it, or pouring it on top of your Hot Dog, is really fun and delicious. The fact that it is readily available (and unlimited) from a pump feels sinful. After I was done, I felt I needed a confessional and a shower. :)

Caution...

Caution...

I returned to Casey’s later on in the night and just ordered their side of Chili. While I was on line, which was much longer than lunchtime, an official-looking cast member made an announcement. He apologized to the 60 or so people waiting — they had run out of cooked Hot Dogs. This was no joke. They were crowded, and therefore backed up. He led the crowd in a song of “Take me out the Ballgame” for a few minutes. Every hungry person sang, and within 2 minutes, Hot Dogs were being thrown and served again.

Casey's Chili

Casey's Chili

I was initially disappointed in my Chili. It was loose and soupy. The flavor was good and completely reminded me of French’s Chili. You can get the French’s packet at most grocery stores and make it yourself with some diced tomatoes and ground beef. As I got to the bottom, I could see evidence that “Thick n Hearty” once lived in this Chili. I think that part of the Chili was served earlier in the day and I was left with, well, what was left.

Overall
When you are in the Magic Kingdom and want a quick lunch that won’t break the bank, Casey’s Corner is a delightful experience. Try to go during off-peak meal hours. At 3PM it was not crowded at all, and there was ample available seating. At 7PM it was very busy, especially because people were making their way back towards Main Street for the nightly entertainment.

BigFatPandaLogowhiteAs usual, keep wishing on those stars and look for more recipes from me in April, right here on The Disney Food Blog.

Chef BigFatPanda

Again, thanks to Chef BigFatPanda for this awesome trip to one of my favorite counter-service spots ever! You can also find the Chef at DisneyBoy.com. For more information about Casey’s Corner, click here: Casey’s Corner Info Page.

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22 Comments

  1. Has someone tried them since they went from 100% beef to a beef/chicken mixture? I haven’t had a chance to try them since the change.

  2. Sarah says:

    I haven’t had a dog on property since they stopped serving all-beef and switched to a mix with chicken. At least they have fries and cheese sauce!

  3. Chris says:

    I have not tried them since they went from beef to chicken, however, I do remember the fries being better than most other places in the Magic Kingdom.

    Speaking of beef, I don’t approve of people getting seats while others wait in line. This is the reason there are no seats to begin with! There are people floating around with trays full of food trying to find a seat, and one or two people sitting at 4+ people tables eating nothing reserving the seats.

  4. Brandi says:

    I love Casey’s Corner! During my last two trips to the Magic Kingdom, we enjoyed hot dogs there. The hot dogs are pretty good and it is a very nice view if you eat outside. The ducks visited us last time we ate there. I have a picture of my boyfriend (now husband) feeding a duck a french fry. Pretty cute!

  5. Eeyore says:

    I had exactly the same question about the hot dogs switching to chicken! Anyone out there have an answer??? Heck, change them anywhere else in the World if they want, but leave Casey’s alone – it’s a HOT DOG place for crying out loud!!! It’s always and I mean ALWAYS the first thing we do when we get to Disney. They dare not mess with the dogs at Casey’s!!!

  6. AJ says:

    Matt, Sarah, and Eeyore: The dogs still taste pretty good to me, but I was really concerned about the change, too. Also, I don’t eat a lot of hot dogs, so when I do, they taste so great that I’m not sure I could tell the difference in the way a hot dog gourmand might be able to. Plus, mine are pretty swathed in cheese and ketchup…so… ;-)

    Chris — Did you see that Disney recently tried out a system where you were made to get all of your food, then wait to be seated by a cast member at Pecos Bill’s? I’m interested to see if this becomes a full-time policy.

    Brandi — Congrats on your wedding! Agreed that the view is wonderful!

  7. This review was done just a few days ago and I had no idea about the change from Beef to a mixture. It sounds like it could reduce the fat content. I did not notice a taste that made me feel I was eating anything other than an all beef hot dog.

    Chris – I never thought of it that way but certainly a valid point. When it was busier at night, I would love to see any system implemented that would cut down on people with hot food aimlessly walking around without a place to sit.

  8. Allisonwonderland says:

    I haven’t had a hot there in ages. Not for any reason other than I’m busy with 4 kids. But Casey’s aroma just adds to the wonderful smells of Main Street.

  9. “AllisonWonderland” – Best name of the year!

  10. Update:
    Wow, I have been doing some investigating and read a lot of negative posts and tweets about Disney’s change from All Beef Hot Dogs to a Beef/Chicken mixture.
    Here are my thoughts:

    1. I can’t find any official announcement from Disney. I am not sure if anyone knows that it really happened or what the percentages of beef to chicken are.

    2. A lot of posts said that Jewish people would be angry. I don’t see Pork mentioned anywhere so I have no idea where these comments stem from.

    3. More posts said “I am staying away from that processed crap”.
    A Beef Hot Dog is highly processed to begin with. So that argument is really not valid.

    4. I’ve read “Disney is just trying to save money”. While this may be the case, I am inclined to believe that most chicken products cost the same or more than most beef products.

    I would like to find out if this lowered the fat content. It does appear that the bun is either 100% whole wheat or a higher wheat blend other than white bread.

    If anyone has any solid news, I would love to hear it.
    THANK YOU

  11. Meg says:

    There is no better breakfast in the mk than a hot dog from casey’s. I wish they would open a little earlier, but other than that, perfection…….

    ps, If someone really needs to know the content of the hotdogs for dietary or whatever other purposes, Disney would surely answer the question, they are very accomodating to and aware of dietary restrictions.

  12. Meg,
    That’s an excellent idea. I have called some of my friends who work over at the Magic Kingdom and am awaiting a call back from a Casey’s Chef or staff member. I will post what I find out just as soon as I hear from them.
    See – Here at DisneyFoodBlog, we don’t just feed you the information, we get down to the ingredients!!! LOL

  13. AJ says:

    Allison — I agree! Walking down Main Street and smelling those hot dogs…mixed with the piped in fresh-baked-cookie and waffle-cone smells from across the street…is the ideal Main Street experience!

    Meg — I wish they’d open the Dole Whip stand before 11am, too! That’s TOO LATE for my breakfast dole whip! Also, great point on Disney answering the dietary questions.

    Anyone who’s interested can see all the info they need on special diets in Disney World — along with phone numbers and emails for Disney so that you can discuss the topic with the source — here on our Disney dining reference pages

    Chef — Thanks for checking out the info! Yep, Disney switched to the chicken/beef mixture last year. Lots of folks are upset, but I honestly can’t tell the difference with all that cheese on there! :-)

  14. Kelly says:

    I’m a little disappointed…a Casey’s post WITHOUT mention of the wonderful little Corn Dog Nuggets?! For shame! Easily my favorite guilty pleasure at WDW! They’re so much better than any other Corn Dog Nugget I’ve ever come across (I keep looking to satisfy my longing at home, but no such luck!)

    Also…re:seating. I always take my Corn Dog Nuggets across Main Street. There’s a section with YELLOW umbrellas down along the water. Great view of the castle and Tomorrowland. Part of it is a designated smoking area, but if you chose a table on the other side, you can’t smell it. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that area busy!

  15. AJ says:

    Hey Kelly!! Great to see you!! And you bear such fantastic tips, I’m even MORE happy to see you! :-) Thanks for the corn dog nugget pitch — the Corn Dog Council will thank you ;-) And, YES, great point on the seating section over by the Plaza. Every once in a while that’s roped off for Wishes reserve seating, but during the day it’s a great alternative to the red umbrellas… And — great parade viewing from there, too!

  16. Kelly – what? You want me to eat everything? LOL – Yes, Corn Dog nuggets!!!

  17. UPDATE! on the Hot Dog details and nutiritional information…

    I have yet to receive a callback. I called 2 more times and am sure I am in the PITA file now. I was told someone from guest communication will give me a callback. I will update you as soon as I have the information.
    Thank you!

  18. AJ says:

    Thanks Chef!

  19. I received a call back from a Food & Beverage manager this morning who confirmed, as we know, the All Beef hot dog has changed to a Beef / Chicken hot dog. This change began Sept 2009.
    I was told that although the hot dog is not kosher (and she did not believe the all beef one was either), kosher meals can be gotten at Cosmic Ray’s. There is no pork in the hot dog.
    Furthermore, I was told that yes, in fact, the fat content of the hot dog was reduced because of the chicken addition, although the manager did not have the exact values on hand. I asked if it was possible to get those and she said she would be happy to follow up with me.
    Had I not read it here, I would not have tasted a difference. If the fat content was substantially reduced, I will be happy about the change.
    If I get any more details, they will, of course, be posted here.

  20. AJ says:

    YES!! Chef BigFatPanda prevails!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Anne says:

    I was just there at Casey’s this past week and was amazed to learn AFTER I purchased my hot dog that they are not serving the spicy relish. This condiment has been around for years and one of the primary reasons that I eat there. I found out that they made the switch a few months ago. Does anyone know why they took it out after all these years? Also, where can I get a recipe for the spicy relish?

  22. Dan says:

    Just visited Disney World for the first time with my wife and kids back in June. We had a fantastic time and Casey’s Corner provided me with my favorite meal of the entire trip. I ordered a Barbecue Slaw Dog and it was easily the best hot dog I’ve ever had. I would recommend Casey’s Corner for anyone that visits Magic Kingdom. Not sure when the switch from all beef to beef/chicken took place but if it did prior to my visit then it was great.

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