The brand-new 2020 edition of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland is hitting store shelves now, and one of the most exciting changes to the new volume is a top-to-bottom revamp of our hotel and motel reviews. To celebrate, we’ll be sharing some of our new hotels reviews—complete with video tours of the properties—starting with the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground.
In the years since we began publishing the Unofficial Guides, the internet has utterly upended the art of researching hotel rooms, with websites such as TripAdvisor now providing crowd-sourced ratings of hundreds more properties than our team could possibly properly investigate. Instead of attempting to appear comprehensive by filling pages with superficial statistics, we are now focused on crafting a curated collection of properties across a range of price points, and we have supplied succinct details on what sets each one apart from its competition. Our recommendations take into consideration not only room quality but also location, services, recreation, and amenities.
Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel Review
The Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel—or HoJo to its friends—has been across the street from Disneyland for a long time, and it’s leaning into mid-century-modern nostalgia with its terrazzo-tiled lobby and retro-mod Shag artwork on the walls.
The two main selling points of Howard Johnson Anaheim are its close location to Disneyland Resort (just over a 10-minute walk), and the hotel’s elaborate water playground and pool area, which is slightly smaller than the one at the Courtyard across the street. A laundry room and convenience store are also available on-site, and the sprawling grounds are well kept.
We like the spacious rooms and bathrooms, but, on the downside, the buildings are dated and have a few quirks, such as balconies that are only accessible through the closet.
Another negative is the lack of a free breakfast, or any on-site restaurant, although Mimi’s Cafe is a short walk away. On the plus side, WiFi and parking are both free. Be sure to check the hotel’s website, and look for its frequently offered discounts.
Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel Video Tour and Summary
Overall, we give the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground
3 1/2 stars out of 5, while the pool complex scores a 4 out of 5. Check out the HoJo Anaheim for yourself in this video tour, featuring the lobby, rooms, and water playground: