Aug 2010

Disneyland: Home of the World's Best Corndog

Disneyland Summer 2010

Banh mi has been synonymous with Disneyland for me for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my mom always purchased a couple of sandwiches from the local deli for my brother and me to eat while visiting the park. Bringing our own lunches was not only economical, but also perfectly delicious for our Vietnamese-trained taste buds.

I’ve continued this tradition as an adult because a parade of junk food can’t compare with a taste of home. Or so I thought… All was well in my brown bagging world up until a few months ago when I heard rumblings that Disneyland was a noteworthy dining destination. From the freshly made corndogs on Main Street U.S.A. to the deep-fried Monte Cristo sandwiches in New Orleans Square, the food at Disneyland suddenly piqued my interest.  A full investigation was in order.

Disneyland Summer 2010

It saddened me a little walking into the park without my usual bag of banh mi sandwiches, but one whiff of the Little Red Wagon corndog cart and the matter was completely forgotten. Located just beyond Main Street toward Tomorrow Land, the Little Red Wagon dishes out battered and fried wieners from morning until night. The Astronomer and I made a bee line for the cart as soon as we entered the park.

Disneyland Summer 2010

After enduring a fifteen minute long wait, we were rewarded with the world’s best corndog ($5.79). The exterior was deep-fried to a delectable golden brown, while the hot dog was juicy like you wouldn’t believe. What set this corndog apart was the thick layer of breading hugging the dog that somehow managed to crisp up nicely and yet remain fluffy too. It also had very distinct cornmeal notes that I really liked. Truly, Disney’s creation was  heads and shoulders above every corndog I’ve ever eaten. Even the  grease dribbling down the stick and onto my fingers didn’t detract from the awesomeness.

Disneyland Summer 2010

After working off the hefty corndog by circumnavigating the River of Americas via canoe, The Astronomer and I were ready for lunch. Cafe Orleans is one of two full-service restaurants in the park that serves Disney’s famous Monte Cristo sandwiches (the other one is Blue Bayou). Without advanced reservations, we had to wait fifteen minutes for a table to open up.

Disneyland Summer 2010

Adapted from the classic French croque-monsieur, the Monte Cristo ($15.99) is a turkey, ham, and Swiss sandwich that is  battered, fried, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. A berry puree is served on the side for dipping. The weighty concoction, which resembles a doughnut more than a sandwich, has been served at the park since 1966.

There was a lot to like about the Monte Cristo. For starters, the interplay between sweet (powdered sugar), savory (ham and cheese), and tart (berry puree) was really fabulous. I also appreciated the light and crisp egg batter coating. Each gut-busting triangle was a little guilt-inducing and a lot tasty.

I liked the sandwich very much, but I’d be hesitant to order it again. I would be more enthusiastic about indulging on a return visit if the Monte Cristo were available at a casual, grab-and-go type of eatery. I didn’t like wasting an hour or so with a sit-down meal. Also, it would be nice if the portion was halved along with the price.

Disneyland Summer 2010

The Astronomer ordered a chicken and gumbo crepe ($15.99), which was served with asparagus spears. The gumbo’s savory spiciness was just the thing to balance out the wickedly sweet Monte Cristo.

Disneyland Summer 2010

I was nowhere near hungry after downing a corndog and a Monte Cristo in the span of a few hours, but managed to make some space for a Dole Whip for “research” purposes.

Disneyland Summer 2010

Dole Whips are sold outside of the Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland. I was initially planning on a plain Dole Whip, but settled on a Whip Float ($4.69) because it sounded mighty tempting. The sweet and creamy pineapple-flavored soft serve paired tremendously with the tangy and tart juice. The Whip Float was well-balanced and refreshing.

Disneyland Summer 2010

My final stop on the Disney junk food express was at the pretzel stand in Fantasyland.

Disneyland Summer 2010

In addition to slightly disturbing, Mickey-shaped pretzels, the stand also sold cream cheese-filled pretzels ($3.75).

Disneyland Summer 2010

I was expecting the pretzel to taste similar to a bagel with cream cheese, but instead it tasted more like a cheese Danish.  The sweetness took me by surprise, and I never really recovered. Next time around, I’m swinging by Frontierland for a jalapeno and cheese-filled pretzel.

Disneyland Summer 2010

The Astronomer couldn’t leave Disneyland without a cinnamony churro in his belly.

I had a fantastic time eating my way through Disneyland, but I can’t see myself abandoning my beloved banh mi in the long run. There will definitely be more corndogs in the future, but the rest I can do without.

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24 thoughts on “Disneyland: Home of the World's Best Corndog

  1. Chuuurrrrroooos!! Next time I go to Didneyland (yes, that’s the spelling I’m using), I’m ordering a Whip Float!!

  2. you ate all my favorite things! i want to go to Disneyland right now and enjoy some corn dogs and pineapple whip and pretzels and churros! mmm mmm mm!

  3. I love corndogs and that one looks so yummy! I’m a new follower to your blog and I’m already hooked, I can’t wait to see your next post.

  4. When I was a little kid (60’s,70’s) food at Disneyland meant hamburgers, french fries at Tomorrowland, popcorn and chocolate covered frozen bananas.

  5. I always get a churro at Disneyland. That and a stop at Esmeralda for a fortune telling are my two traditions. I’ve never had a corn dog but I will have to try it next time! I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the jalapeno-cheese pretzel the last time I had it.

  6. You’ve really got to try the Bengal BBQ over in Adventureland. The Banyan Beef Skewer is un. real.

  7. haha, we ate the same things. you must have heard the same rumors that i did.

    anyways, that corn dog is lovely…i ate two while we were there. one for breakfast and one for dinner…the rest of the other stuff was squeezed in between.

    i think disneyland raised their admission prices 🙁

  8. Churros!!! The monte cristo looks really good, but the price is unforgivable, not too mention all the new pants I’d have to buy for my post-sandwich figure! I do want some pineapple now though.

  9. Isn’t Disneyland food the best? I gotta try the Monte Cristo next time I go… didn’t even know it existed!

  10. This is so funny … we will be leaving for LA tomorrow and Disneyland is one of the “must visit places” for my 6 year old son.

    We have been thinking about what to bring and banh mi is top on our list … though I’m not Vietnamese, this is one of the things we bring bcos we were too cheap to pay for the foods they serve there (plus after paying for the expensive ticket, can’t afford to eat/buy anything else).

    Will definately check-out the foods you’ve mentioned. Thanks for the tip(s).

  11. You know what one of the most vivid memories of childhood Disneyland trips is? My brother talking the whole car ride down about Bengal Barbecue. All I wanted to see the guy shoot the hippo on the jungle cruise (I would have been happy doing nothing but that all day) but my brother would demand that we immediately head to Bengal upon entering the park.

  12. i hear ya sister, the corndogs are soooo good at disneyland! and no matter the price, i just can’t leave the place without a fresh churro haha

  13. Okay so ima give a few hints. I have had my premium annual pass for about 20 years. Tip #1 if you buy coffee in the old time market with the old phones with the party line keep ur receipt u get free coffee refills all day just show ur receipt. Tip# 2 the big thunder bbq is amazing its all you can eat baby back ribs , bbq chicken ( breast,wings,legs and thighs) if u have dinner you get smoked sausage too, cornbread , cole slaw and beans its so good price is right and remember keep ordering even if you can’t eat it THEY GIVE U A TO GO BOX its awesome tip#3 if you break your shoes in the park Disneyland will replace them. Just go to city hall

  14. Latecomer here, but the corndog she tasted was a mere shadow of its former self. A few years ago they changed the size (made it smaller) and formula for the dog (from all beef, like Nathan’s, to a lower fat and much cheaper, turkey, pork, beef blend). They ruined the one culinary item they had that was truly noteworthy on a national level. All to increase the margin by a few cents. Shame.

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