We’ve had a fun but busy summer that is winding down to a close! While attention was focused on our big trip to Europe, we also got to spend a lot of time at Disneyland – our happy place – and do a few quick trips to the local hotels for some “staycation” fun! We had a great experience at Howard Johnson’s Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground, affectionately known as Anaheim HoJo. This hotel was of course made famous in the 60’s, but they’ve done a great job at keeping up clean rooms and friendly service! We got an incredible deal on a room that was absolutely huge, with a full dining area, free rollaway bed, lots of storage, fridge, and microwave. We were only there for 2 nights, but it would have been ideal for longer Disney stays and quick meals on the go or snacks/light dinner fare to save money throughout the day. The huge skylights made the room bright and airy – unfortunately they definitely impacted our sleep and woke us early, but many Guests seem to love them. The front desk was extremely accommodating, allowing us early housekeeping (helps with nap/rest times!) and going above and beyond to assist in any way that we could. For the price you pay, this hotel is a great value!
The HoJo room was spacious and great for families!
Of course, the highlight – and where we spent most of our time – was the Water Playground! My kids were in heaven running around the splash pad, and going down the small but speedy slides. The lifeguards were extremely kind and my kids raved about how nice they were. While we did enjoy going into the parks in the mornings, we spent all afternoon and well into the evening at the pool and slides. It was a great way to run the kids ragged and expend summer energy, and ended up being a great break for me as well! A nice bonus was the view of the fireworks at night! While my kids passed out exhausted from their fun at the pool, I loved the up-close view from our balcony! Howard Johnson is one of my favorite Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels for families, and one of the best values that you can find!
The Water Playground is the highlight!
Right across the street from Howard Johnson is a slightly pricier and more upscale but still a good option for families at the Anaheim Courtyard by Marriott Theme Park Entrance. This hotel offers rooms that all will sleep up to 6 people (2 Queens plus bunk beds) – a HUGE plus for larger families or groups and big savings when booking a hotel room. While the room itself isn’t much larger than a standard room, it does have a nice seating area with table (great for quick in-room meals), a fridge, wet bar area and microwave. Another great perk is both a shower in with the toilet and a separate bathtub, making for more efficient family hygiene before or after a Disney day! We were upgraded to a water park view, which also included fantastic firework views, even more direct to the park than HoJo! We were able to pipe in the music on a cell phone and coordinate it, which made it even more fun.
Big rooms with bunk beds and table seating, so fun!
The waterpark at Courtyard is truly a park in itself, complete with not only a splashpad and mini-slides like Ho Jo, but also 2 larger slides (that do have a height requirement and exclude tiny riders, but my smaller 5yo passed muster) that provide hours of entertainment. We didn’t even enter the parks during our stay, and my kids were still upset we didn’t get more time on the slides and in the pools. This is truly a great option for families that have longer stays and time built in for some pool days, as the pool amenities here may compete with beach or theme park time for some kiddos.
Such a spectacular waterpark!
All in all, both our stay at HoJo and Courtyard opened our eyes to the many family-friendly options available near Disney property, both of which have large rooms, kitchen appliances, convenient quick dining nearby, and are literally across the street from the parks! I would highly recommend either option for your Disney vacation. Contact me to plan your stay! J