A big deal when it opened in 1965, Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge was the the first HoJo property on the west coast. The hotel opened on July 16, 1965 — 10 years and one day off Disneyland’s grand opening and is still owned and operated by the original family that bought the initial 7-acre parcel. Today, the HoJo Anaheim property covers 10 acres, including a Mimi’s Cafe and the site of a new hotel under construction now, set to open 50 years after the HoJo on July 15, 2015.

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The original hotel was designed by famed architect William L. Pereira who was a friend of Roy and Walt Disney and known for his fantastic futuristic designs. His style can still be seen in the HoJo Anaheim’s unique vaulted ceilings, barrel arch roofline and charmingly futuristic lobby building. Pereira also designed the Disneyland Hotel, the Theme Building at LAX, the TransAmerica Pyramid in San Francisco and other iconic buildings around the world.

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At opening, HoJo Anaheim featured one tower and four two-story pavilions, referred to as “casitas,” surrounding a fountain feature. Upon opening, the hotel won an architectural award for “Best Public Space.” The beautifully landscaped grounds feature Canary Island pine trees, which were planted as saplings by the owner in 1964. Today, the pine trees rise alongside the main HoJo tower.

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HoJo had the very first trolly shuttle to Disneyland which quickly became an icon for 1960s and 1970s-era Disneyland visitors. Well regarded by the community and travelers alike, the HoJo was the first hotel to be part of Disneyland’s Good Neighbor Hotel program. That long history of high standards is why, nearly 50 years later, the HoJo is still the leader in occupancy among its competitors. Consistent and good management through the ages has grown and kept a very loyal following throughout the world, earning it the title of “the other Disney property” by travel agents in many countries.

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Enjoy more of Andy’s Disneyland updates and articles here

Are you visiting Disneyland and want the perfect family hotel that’s closer to the theme parks than TWO of Disney’s own hotels? Look no further than the TripAdvisor fan favorite, the Howard Johnson Hotel and Water Playground! FIVE time award winner in the category “Top 25 Hotels for Families in the United States“, and Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “Most Comfortable Hotel Beds in the U.S.”!



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