A tired Disney mom’s review of the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground!

The following blog will include affiliate links. Please see my affiliate disclosure page to understand what that means. I am not paid to write this blog, say these things, and all opinions and statements are my own and any vital questions should be directed to the hotel. Their front desk number is 714-776-6120. All photos are mine unless otherwise stated.

My stay at the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground was undeniably the best Disneyland Resort good neighbor hotel experience I’ve ever had. Bold way to start a review right? That’s exactly how I feel about this hotel and in this blog I’ll tell you why I’ll never stay anywhere else again!

Photo: @adam_claudia_photography on instagram

Upon entering the lobby, you walk into this beautiful oceanic tiled mosaic floor that fits perfectly with their pirate theme. Andy loved looking at the fish. They also offer “If I Am Lost” temporary tattoos and candy at the front desk, free to all guests! They sometimes even have balloon pirate swords, and also have signs offering free face painting for guests on Saturday mornings!

On top of our gorgeous surroundings, we were greeted with warm customer service at the desk while checking in. Once all of the necessary financials and paperwork were taken care of, they handed me a convenient little folder full of all of our documents we would need for our stay, along with room keys, a parking pass (FREE parking within walking distance! $$ saver!), and one wristband per guest for Castaway Cove, their on-site water playground!

We stayed in Building 1, which contains the premium level rooms, some which have a beautiful park view! Imagine waking up every morning to the Matterhorn right outside your window! This picture doesn’t even do the view justice. When you’re there, it’s SO much closer. You also get a view of the monorail as it goes by, a fantastic firework view at night, and you can hear the whistle of the Disneyland Railroad as it pulls into Tomorrowland station.

Howard Johnson Anaheim’s premium rooms are not only the cleanest hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in, they’re absolutely beautiful inside. Between their famous blue wallpaper and orange headboards, mid century modern decor, Mickey Mouse artwork, and their top floor skylights – I can’t tell you enough how fancy we felt staying here! It honestly felt more “Disney” to me than an actual on site hotel! Some honorable mentions about the room – There’s an Amazon Alexa in all of the premium rooms that allow you to not only play music, but you can order towels and amenities just by asking Alexa! There’s also a mini fridge, microwave, Keurig coffee maker, and valuables safe in every premium room. A key feature of our room that I loved was that it came with a collectible Howard Johnson Anaheim rubber ducky in the bathroom! It gave us a little souvenir to remember our stay here. There’s also a little market on the bottom floor of building 1 that has /literally/ everything you could want, on top of having Hojo Anaheim t-shirts, mugs, and other little Disney trinkets for purchase. Check out their website for more details on what amenities each room has!

Let’s talk beds. For those of you who expect to be completely relaxed and comfortable on your stay, look no further. The beds at Hojo Anaheim are the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in – INCLUDING my own. Angelo and I constantly joke with each other that we want to call into the front desk and ask how much it would cost to take one of the beds home. Our room had two queens so Angelo and I could both stretch out and have our own bed because the last thing you want to do after a long, sweaty, sore day in Disneyland is snuggle up to your sweaty husband LOL. It was fantastic! Andy could decide every night of our stay who he wanted to crash with and there was still plenty of room in each bed. The beds face a large tv that is set up with cable, Netflix, Hulu, and more! You know how much I enjoyed laying there after a long day in Disneyland, getting to rest my feet and watch the Office at 1 am? That was probably one of the highlights of my entire trip! LOL. I laid there and felt like I was staying in my own studio apartment, rather than a hotel. I feel like that’s what pushed me over the edge of never wanting to stay somewhere else. I’ve never felt like I was “home” while staying at a hotel, and at Howard Johnson Anaheim, I felt home.

Photos taken from the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground facebook page.

I feel like before I stayed at the Howard Johnson Anaheim, I already knew they were the coolest hotel in the area for the sole fact that they have an on site water playground, free to all guests. This area includes a shallow kiddie pool, a dump bucket, slides, and a hot tub for parents to relax in while their kiddos run wild. I know SO many parents who’s kids have asked to play here instead of Disneyland, and I can’t really blame them. Castaway Cove is the name, and pirate mischief is their game. With water cannons and pirate ship slides, I can almost guarantee that your kids will love this area. Just remember your orange wristbands and your room key! You’ll need them to have access to this gated area.

Photo taken from the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground facebook page.

Waterslides aren’t your thing? There’s a full sized regular pool over in the garden area out in front of building 2! Please take note that between November 1, 2019 – April 15, 2020, the garden pool and Building 2 (seen pictured in the background) will be closed for a complete modernization! This is super exciting since the remodel of building 1 has been such a hit! I’m excited to see how everything looks come mid-April! If you’ll be visiting in September, make sure to pencil in that Talk Like A Pirate Day will be happening on September 19th, 2019! There will be a fun event from 4-7 PM at Castaway Cove featuring facepainting, ice cream, and a ton of fun surprises! This is open to guests only, so use the information below to book now!

I hope this review has given you a little more insight to what’s its like staying just 8 minutes walking distance from the happiest place on earth. This quiet and beautiful hotel has become a second home to me, and I’d love to spread that joy to you! If you click this link and use either of the corporate promo codes below, you’ll get a discount on your rate! Thanks for reading!

  • Corp code: 1000022077 for 15% off!
  • Corp code: 1000025935 for 20% off if you have an Annual Passholder in your party!

2 thoughts on “A tired Disney mom’s review of the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground!

    1. Yes! I know some people are weary because it’s right up against the freeway, but even outside it’s not loud at all! Love it! Thanks for reading!


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