Beyond the Berm: Yesterday’s Tomorrow Today at HoJo Anaheim

In 65-plus years of Disneyland history, there have been many attractions that have come and gone. And let’s be honest, some of them are more missed than others. Now, one of the more iconic hotels on Harbor Boulevard near the park is taking some inspiration from one of these attractions for a brand new suite experience.

Please note: Some of the photos included in this article were taken before HoJo's House of the Future suite was complete

Please note: Some of the photos included in this article were taken before HoJo's House of the Future suite was complete

In the annals of these remembered attractions, you’ll find the Adventure Thru Inner Space, the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland and so many others. One that is sure to bring a nostalgic smile to any Disneyland fan’s face though is Monsanto’s House of the Future.

Originally opened in 1957, the Monsanto House of the Future was a much needed addition to Tomorrowland at the new park. Guests would be able to head inside and see a full home built out of a new material that was destined to be the future of residential construction… plastic! Guests were able to go through the home, room by room, and see what 1957 grasped the future of living to be. After about a decade, the house closed its doors as it wasn’t so much a house of the future as the future was catching up to it. Today, the attraction is fondly remembered for its iconic look and appeal, especially as trends circle back to the same kind of aesthetic in modern, new ways. The attraction even inspired future exhibits and experiences, including House of the Future-style walk-throughs at Innoventions at Disneyland and EPCOT at Walt Disney World.

Now, in 2022, the House of the Future continues to inspire, though this time, beyond the berm (hey!) of Disneyland. The Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground across Harbor Blvd. is introducing their newest suite experience this summer, based on the House of the Future. Appropriate, since the resort is within walking distance of the park (about 8 minutes or so), and (as the crow flies) is only a few hundred yards away from the original location of the House of the Future.

Known for their larger rooms that are roomy enough for a family of 5, the HoJo Anaheim is already a popular spot for Disneyland travelers. They already have a water playground, full of slides, water cannons, wading pools and hot tubs, as well as a newer garden pool that is more secluded and quiet, perfect for relaxing after the parks (or that other pool). All of this spread across 7 acres of grounds, offering a chance to pull back from the hustle and bustle of Disneyland and Harbor Blvd.

Now, with the addition of the new “House of the Retro Future” suite, the resort has only become MORE appealing to families and Disney fans. While other rooms include touches and art from attractions next door, this new suite is floor-to-ceiling immersion into the retro-futuristic aesthetic.

The suite includes 2 large beds in a spacious room, with views overlooking one of the resort pools. A separate living area also provides couches and chairs with a big picture window. Too quiet? Play some tunes on the vinyl record player beneath the flat-screen television hung upon the wall harkening back to the original bubble-style TV featured in the attraction. Hungry? Sit at the dining table just past the entryway to the suite and grab a bite while still spending time with the family. Despite the retro-futuristic look, there are numerous modern conveniences as well. Take for example, the Alexa-enabled voice mirrors in the bathroom.

The suite even has its own soundtrack! On Apple music – “Howard Johnson Jet Set”, the playlist features 60’s inspired music that will put guests in a space-age mindset with touches of bossa nova, jazz, and ultra-lounge melodies. Plus, the resort designers went so far as to have special art created for the suite, including a recreation of a piece that once adorned the actual House of the Future at the park, masterfully replicated by artist Sam Carter.

Another piece the resort was excited to share was a piece done by the artist Shag, a southern California based illustrator, painter, and designer who has a very distinct style with vivid colors in his sharp renderings. Known to Disney fans for much of his work for the parks, including the Wonderground Gallery, HoJo Anaheim brought him over to do an exclusive piece for the new room. While Shag’s art is on display in the room, with there being only one House of the Retro Future suite on the property, only those staying in the room will be able to see the piece right? Wrong! Conveniently enough, all guests will be able to purchase their own print of the rendering while at the HoJo Anaheim in the gift shop.  

I’m sure at this point, you might be ready to head back to the retro future yourself. To kick off the opening of the new suite, you can enter for your chance to win a stay in the new suite at the official site here! The suite will be available for guests to book this summer.

To learn more about the original Monsanto House of the Future attraction at Disneyland Park, as well as later exhibits, be sure to check out Cole’s article here.

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Tony Betti
Originally from California where he studied a dying artform (hand-drawn animation), Tony has spent most of his adult life in the theme parks of Orlando. When he’s not writing for LP, he’s usually watching and studying something animated or arguing about “the good ole’ days” at the parks.