Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, Back to Howard Johnson Disneyland We Go

Back in 2010, I planned a 30th Birthday trip for my wife and I to the California Coast. Shortly after snagging some excellent airfares over spring break week, I convinced both my parents and sister and husband to join us on the adventure. The initial portion of the vacation was in San Fransisco and wine country (Sonoma/Napa). However, I quickly built into the trip a diversion down to Los Angeles/Anaheim, and of course our first trip to Disneyland. Unfortunately, my family had no desire to join us at the Mouse House, even though it was Bug’s (then just shy of 1-year old) first time. So with some valiant persuasion, I was able to encourage my in-laws to join us for the Disney portion, all while my wife had no idea all this planning was going on.

2010 Disneyland Castle

2010 Disneyland Castle

Long story short, while my family enjoyed a “splendid” time with nature, our family and the in-laws had our first incredible experience at Disneyland. From the ease of being able to stay right across the street from the Parks and Downtown Disney, to the bounty of various rides and attractions that do not exist or are completely different at Disney World, we had a splendid time watching Bug take it all in.

My planning of our California trip involves lots and lots of research, carefully watching the prices on all aspects from flights, cars, and hotels. After weighing all the options and price points, we landed in the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Anaheim Resort located across the street from Disneyland. While at the time I had no experience with a HoJo, and my initial skepticism was sketchy, I was delighted to read great, positive reviews from various sources. On top of it, one of my favorite, and reliable resources for Disney discounts is Mousesavers, and she is partnered to offer a discount on rates. At the time, Mousesavers saved us the most amount of money on our rooms with a refundable rate.

When it comes to reservations on hotel rooms, I really prefer to reserve rooms that I know can be refunded. The reason is not because our trip plans might change. Rather, I am really diligent about watching the prices and various promotions. So if I find a better refundable rate, I will take it until something better comes along.

The HoJo was more than enough for what we needed while visiting the Disneyland Parks. The location was perfect. The rooms were more than accommodating for the little bit of time we actually spent in them. There is a large pool and kids outdoor area, but we did not take advantage of it on this trip because it was rather chilly still. Parking was free, and the rates were excellent.

In 2010, I reserved a standard room (we do not care about premium views, etc. because we are never in the rooms) for three weeknights over spring break for $118.15 per night using the Mousesavers discount. Over a holiday week, I would have expected to spend more, but enjoyed the savings.

So looking towards our Summer 2012 trip, I again looked to the HoJo and Mousesavers to see what was offered. Here is where I was surprised.

I reserved another standard room for 3 nights over a weekend this time, and still secured the same $118.15/night rate. Besides the taxes being slightly higher now, we are in essence paying the same rate as two years ago.

I find that impressive from the standpoint that Disney has not faltered in raising their prices in a horrible economy, but that the guys outside the gate have remained relatively consistent. For that alone, I am willing to give my return business to the HoJo Disneyland property.

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2 thoughts on “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, Back to Howard Johnson Disneyland We Go

  1. The HoJo has a dedicated following, and I guess I understand why. Price and location. After staying off site last month, I can’t imagine going back and spending the money for a Disneyland resort…

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