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!
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.