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The HoJo Anaheim: aka the Coolest Family-Friendly Hotel Near Disneyland

“Mama, I wanna go back to the hotel noooooooooooooooow,” whined my 4-year-old daughter loudly while standing in line to meet a Disney princess a mere 30 minutes after we entered Disneyland.

Part of me rolled my eyes (okay, I actually rolled my eyes, because tickets to Disneyland are not cheap, and had I known she would’ve rather just stayed at our awesome hotel the whole time, then we could’ve saved a lot of money).

Special thanks to HoJo for giving us a discounted rate for this stay!

But she had a point: we were staying at the HoJo (Howard Johnson Anaheim, to be more specific) just outside of Disneyland, and it was pretty darn awesome.

The hotel boasts that they’re steps away from Disneyland (less than ten minutes to walk there, actually), family-friendly (totally agree), and fun (seriously fun…keep reading!), and I totally agree.

Something just for you at the HoJo!

Already know you want to stay here? I’ve got a special deal just for my readers!

HoJo Anaheim: a family-friendly hotel

We travel with our kids as much as we can, and usually when a place says “family-friendly,” they mean they provide a crib for little ones. Big whoop, right?

But HoJo Anaheim takes “family-friendly to a whole new level. At the HoJo, kids get balloon animals and pirate booty (aka chocolate coins) at check-in.

(Shout out to Chris for not even batting an eye when I said I had three kids. Even though there were a couple of people behind me in line, the staff totally took over while he jumped to the side and enthusiastically made some!)

The rooms come with amenities specifically for kids (like the kid’s suite with two bathrooms and a rubber ducky that they get to take home), and the TV’s have access to Netflix and Pandora so your kids can settle down at night or watch their favorite shows while getting ready in the morning.

The kids’ bathroom had a bathtub in it, and then the second bathroom had a fabulous shower stall.

And there’s even a store where you can get everything from snacks and drinks to souvenirs and swim diapers. They’ve got you covered (literally)!

shout out to Twinkle, Twirl, and Sass for the fabulous clothes!

One of my favorite things is that the HoJo recognizes that kids need naps, so they have an option where they’ll clean your room and have it up and ready for you by 1 pm so littles can come back and rest.

Speaking of resting, their room—yes, the kids had their “own” room—had a bunk bed, and it was almost the highlight of their trip. This room sleeps up to six since it has a pull-out sofa, and a king bed in the next room.

If you don’t need that many beds, have no fear: they have smaller rooms that are just as fantastic, and they all sleep at least five people.

And if you’re traveling with kids who think bunk beds would be awesome (they are), but you don’t want them in a separate room, check out their Queen Bunk rooms.

HoJo Anaheim: Super close to Disneyland

It took us less than 10 minutes from the time we left our HoJo to the time we got to the Disneyland entrance! How’s that for close?

I love that you can actually see Disney from the property.

The first time we went to Disneyland we stayed somewhere that wasn’t as fun and was a far walk from the park.

After spending a long day on my feet, the last thing I wanted to do was walk so far back to my hotel—not all of us can be pushed around in a stroller…must be nice, kids. I was thankful the Hojo was so close.

And if you want a quick breakfast on your way, you’ll pass several places on your stroll to Disney. We saw McDonald’s, Panera, I-Hop, and Denny’s, just to name a few.

Pro tip: Save time, and order your breakfast from McDonald’s ahead of time on their app so you don’t have to wait in a crazy line.

HoJo Anaheim: The Water Park

Y’all, the HoJo Anaheim also has a waterpark on the property that totally stole the show.

Even though it was a “freezing” 55 degrees outside (freezing by SoCal standards, of course), Castaway Cove was literally the only place the kids wanted to be during our time at Disneyland.

As a mom, I was over the moon that Castaway Cove didn’t have an actual pool.

Two out of three of my kids don’t know how to fully swim yet, so instead of stressing the whole time, they just waded around and played in the fabulous 1-foot pool.

It was perfect.

There’s a hot tub at the other end of Castaway Cove, but I don’t think my kids noticed it. But if you have older kids who want to play and/or relax in a genuine pool, have no fear: there’s s one on the other side of the property. The HoJo’s got you covered!

HoJo Anaheim for your next Disneyland Stay

If you’re headed to Disney, forget about the princesses, the fun Disney food, the magic, and the mouse. All my kids wanted to do was to play at the hotel…go figure.

It’s little details that truly make this place family-friendly, and the next time we head back, I’ll for sure make sure we plan in some special time just for them to play and enjoy the hotel more.

Have you stayed at the HoJo before? Would you stay here?


  1. OMG! I grew up in Anaheim. I had no idea the Howard Johnson had all this to offer!! I smell a staycation coming on! Thank you for this post. 🙂

    1. YES! I so wish we lived a little bit closer so we could go and devote more time just for the HoJo. My kids seriously keep asking if we can go back!

  2. Wow that really does sound like an awesome hotel! We always stay with family when we visit but I’ll remember this for next time!

  3. Love this post! I see so many articles about things to do and see at Disneyworld and Disneyland but never much about where to stay or why! This is a great review of this hotel, great job!

  4. I think this is definately one of the best places to stay during a vacation. I like the environment. Thanks for sharing.

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