by Lissa Poirot
Built in 1965, just 10 years after Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California, the Howard Johnson is an iconic hotel with views of Disneyland’s monorail, Matterhorn and evening fireworks. Just an eight-minute walk to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, as well as Downtown Disney, the hotel is one of the closest hotels outside of the Disneyland Resorts. Designed by William L. Pereira, the designer of the dome at Los Angeles International Airport, the Disneyland Hotel and the TransAmerica Pyramid building in San Francisco, the hotel’s architecture is historic and iconic.
The 7-acre resort provides six buildings with walkways and gardens. It features a secluded, heated Garden Pool and Castaway Cove, a water playground with a pirate theme. The budget-friendly hotel provides free parking, free Wi-Fi and features Kids’ Suites with bunk beds and a pirate theme, making it a great choice for families looking to visit Disneyland without having to spend on its resort prices. It’s also a mere 15 minutes from Knott’s Berry Farm.
Our Editor Loves
- Directly across the street from Disneyland Resort
- Rooms with views of Disney fireworks and monorail
- Water playground for kids
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The resort's 303 rooms provide a selection of one king bed, two double beds, two queen beds, and bunk beds. All rooms feature mini-fridges, coffeemakers, free Wi-Fi and 37-inch, flat-screen TVs. Most rooms also provide double sinks and a balcony. Cribs and rollaway beds are available, making rooms available for up to five family members. Rollaway beds are $15 per night. Cribs are free.
Rooms with two double beds also have room for one rollaway bed and can sleep up to five guests.
Queen Rooms and Suites
Rooms with queen beds come in a variety of configurations. Families can book a room with one queen bed and on junior bunk bed, or a room with two queen beds with room for a rollaway bed. Queen rooms sleep between four and five guests. Premium queen rooms face Disneyland, and have views of the fireworks. Top-floor rooms feature skylights and provide microwaves, too. Queen suites have two queen beds and one sofa bed, allowing for up to six guests.
King Rooms and Suites
Standard or deluxe king rooms offer one king bed and room for one rollaway bed, sleeping up to three guests. King suites sleep up to five guests with one king bed, one sofa bed and room for one rollaway bed. King suites face Disneyland and offer views of the fireworks. Top-floor rooms feature skylights and provide microwaves, too.
Fourteen Kids' Suites are pirate-themed, two-bedroom suites. The adults' room has a king bed (sans pirate theme) and a separate bathroom. The connected kids' side features a bunk bed and sofa bed with its own kid-friendly bathroom. The suites can accommodate up to six guests.
We had our own private master suite while the kids got a bunk bed, no sharing beds! There were two bathrooms as well which made everything easier. We didn't get a chance to stay at the water park because we spent all the time at Disneyland. It was a quick 8 minute walk to the park. My 7 year old lasted all day on his feet and didn't complain about the walk back.
Great location at a great price. Conveniently located close to Disneyland.
Staff extremely friendly and helpful
Room clean and nicely decorated
Short stay but we plan on returning soon. Hopefully this summer
Castaway Cove and Garden Pool
The main attraction for families staying at the Howard Johnson Anaheim is a visit to the Disney theme parks, but when taking a breather at the hotel, it's Castaway Cove in which the kids will want to play. The water playground features a toddler pool, waterslides, a dump bucket, water sprays and more. Nearby, the secluded Garden Pool provides a haven for older kids who just want to swim.
A game room with arcade games is located on the first floor, near the lobby and adjacent to the gift shop.
The hotel's onsite restaurant is Mimi's CafÃƒÂ©, a French/New Orleans-inspired restaurant with four themed dining rooms. The cafÃƒÂ© is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kids' menus offer smaller plates for little ones.
Area Dining Options
Many area restaurants are within walking distance, including the restaurants at Downtown Disney, such as Bubba Gump's, the Rainforest CafÃƒÂ©, Cheesecake Factory and PF Chang's.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Free Wi-Fi and Parking
The resort offers free Wi-Fi and free parking, a big savings for families who want to visit the Disneyland theme parks.
Kids Stay Free
Kids 17 and younger also stay free when sharing the same room as a parent or guardian.
iMac Internet kiosks are available for guest use, at no charge.
Two coin-operated laundry facilities are located on the property.
Main Street Market
The onsite gift shop, Main Street Market, sells souvenirs, laundry detergent and other essentials, as well as snacks and beverages.
The Art of Smart Timing
Disneyland is a year-round destination, but the peak season for families visiting the Howard Johnson is during school breaks and summer vacation. The resort is entirely family-friendly and rarely receives convention or business travelers, so the hotel has the most availability when kids are in school. If you are traveling with preschool-aged children and can visit during the fall or January through February, you may find less crowds and better deals.
The hotel is located on Harbor Boulevard, across the street from Disneyland Resort. Guests can access Anaheim via car off of I-5, and its location is between Los Angeles International Airport and John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
Anaheim is located within Orange County and is not near beaches. Guests visiting Disneyland and the area hotels may prefer to rent a car in order to visit neighboring communities and attractions. The Anaheim Resort Transportation trolley system provides service between all Anaheim Resort-area hotels, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and the beaches for families who do not wish to rent a car. One-way fares are $3 for adults and $1 for children, and multi-day passes are available.