Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground


Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground in Anaheim, across the street from Disneyland, consistently shows up as a fan favorite on every survey or website we’ve ever seen. The accolades are deserved, because this hotel offers great value and has a terrific location within walking distance of Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.

This particular hotel is probably the nicest in the entire Howard Johnson chain. It was designed by world-renowned architect William L. Pereira (who also designed the famous Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco and the “Space Age” themed building at LAX), so while it was built in the 1960s, the hotel’s mid-century design is unusually interesting. Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground is well-maintained and is continuously updated to keep things fresh.

There are 296 rooms spread over several buildings, which are located on a pleasant and attractively landscaped 7-acre property, giving it a feeling of spaciousness that you won’t find at most of the other hotels along Harbor Boulevard. Also, unlike most of the accommodations within walking distance of Disneyland, the Howard Johnson has interior corridors. This is advantageous both in terms of safety and noise reduction.

Standard rooms at the Howard Johnson are undergoing a $12 million renovation. Currently, Building 1 Tower rooms have been completely updated with contemporary retro-inspired decor including new furniture, soothing resort blue wall coverings and vintage Disney themed art. Renovation of all rooms is expected to be completed in 2019. The older rooms are nicely decorated in golden tones, with oak-colored furnishings. Rooms are equipped with two double beds, two queen beds or a King bed, or you can request a room with 1 queen bed and junior bunk beds. All rooms include a small refrigerator, a microwave oven, coffeemaker, hairdryer, iron and ironing board. Most rooms have double sinks and balconies. All rooms have 32 or 37″ flatscreen LCD televisions and expanded channel selections, including Netflix and Hulu –so you can keep watching your favorite show or have a movie night right in your room!

Many rooms will give you at least a glimpse of the Monorail. Some rooms on the top floor of certain buildings offer views of the fireworks and the Matterhorn; there is an extra charge for these rooms.

Another value feature: all rooms at the Howard Johnson have FREE Wi-Fi (wireless) Internet access! This hotel also charges no “resort fees” or “energy fees.”

Castaway Cove, a water playground located on the grounds of the hotel, includes:

Castaway Cove has something for adults, kids and toddlers so the entire family can play together. Except for the themed pools at some of the Disneyland Resort hotels, the only other hotel that has anything like Castaway Cove is the new Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance, next door to Howard Johnson and owned by the same family.

There is also a heated pool called the Garden Pool in another area of the hotel grounds with newly refurbished and expanded decking providing lots of space for sunbathing, a 5-foot deep end and two outdoor showers. There’s also a video game room for kids.

While the hotel does not have a restaurant or room service, you can just stroll about 100 feet from the Howard Johnson’s lobby to Mimi’s Cafe, a terrific, value-priced restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mimi’s is a regional chain and we’ve eaten there many times. It has attractive theming (each room of the restaurant is slightly different) and excellent food. If you get tired of Mimi’s — which will be difficult, because it has a huge menu — you’re only about a 3- to 5-minute walk from other dining options, including McDonald’s, Denny’s and IHOB.

If you want some quick snacks or cold breakfast items, you can pick those up in the hotel’s convenience store, which charges reasonable prices for items like milk, cereal and bread. Remember, each room has a small fridge and a microwave, so this is very handy if you just want to feed the kids some Cheerios or oatmeal before you head off to Disneyland. The convenience store also sells Disney theme park tickets and souvenirs.

It is an easy walk from Howard Johnson to the main gate into the theme parks. It should take you about 7-10 minutes. (Believe it or not, this hotel is almost exactly the same distance from the Disneyland entrance plaza as the furthest tower of the Disneyland Hotel!) If you prefer not to walk, the hotel participates in the Anaheim Resort Transportation system, which will take you to and from the Disney parks all day for a small fee.

If you’re bringing a car, parking is FREE!

We have enjoyed several stays at Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground.

My wife and I took our 3 year old to Disneyland and tried your tip on staying at Howard Johnson’s – what a great savings and a nice place to stay! We appreciate your tip. One suggestion – if traveling with a toddler that you would like to have nap in the afternoon, request a ground floor room.

The upper rooms have attractive arch windows on the front and back of the room with no curtains – so sunlight comes in and doesn’t allow for the room to get dark in the afternoons. Otherwise, I would give our stay at Howard Johnson’s a HUGE thumbs up! We’ll be going back!

– Chris C from Chula Vista, CA

EXCLUSIVE 20% Off Rates at the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground

For a limited time MouseSavers Readers can get 20% off rates for 2 or more night stays most nights November 4, 2018 through February 28, 2019!* Or get MouseSavers regular 15% off rates offer for any other dates! These discounts apply to all available room types, including the newly refurbished rooms! To get the 20% off rate special you must book by September 24, 2018. But HURRY! Rooms sell out very quickly at this popular hotel. The 20% off rates offer is a pre-pay, non-refundable offer.

Right now you can take advantage of this EXCLUSIVE MouseSavers offer at Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground!

Save 20% off best available rates (these rates are non-refundable) for stays of 2 or more nights:

  • November 4 – December 20, 2018 (rates start at $153/night)
  • January 2 – 22, 2019 (rates start at $135/night)
  • January 28 – February 28, 2019 (rates start at $175/night)

Hurry! You must book by September 24, 2018, but there are limited available rooms for this offer!

Not traveling during those dates? For all other available dates you can still save 15% off regular nightly rates with MouseSavers regular discount which fully refundable. Pay when you arrive and have up to 2 days to change or cancel.

*Rate offer of 20% off best available non-refundable/non-changeable room rate for 2 or more night stays must by booked by 9/24/18 and applies to stay dates listed above. In order to receive MouseSavers special discounted rates, you must sign up for Wyndham Rewards. This offer is subject to availability. Rate shown when using the link will already include rate reduction. Rates vary during peak periods.

Rate offer of 15% off best available rates for dates not included above is fully refundable/changeable up until 48 hours prior to 4:00 pm day of arrival to avoid 1 night charge plus tax. Readers Get Special Discounted Rates at Howard Johnson Anaheim!

Save 15% everyday off nightly rates! This rate is fully changeable and can be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to your stay.

Note: In order to receive MouseSavers special discounted rates, you must sign up for Wyndham Rewards. It’s easy and free, and you can cancel anytime after you check-out. If you book your stay and do not sign up, you will need to enroll at check-in in order to receive MouseSavers discounted rates. Enter Promo Code LKMS to see MouseSavers rates.

Not able to book the dates you want online? There is occasionally an issue with the online booking system. Call the hotel directly at (800) 422-4228 and ask for the MouseSavers rates.