ORLANDO, Fla. - On National Armed Forces Day on Saturday, Walt Disney World celebrated one of its most treasured veterans: 92-year-old Alex Stromski, a Navy veteran who works inside Magic Kingdom.
"My name is Alex. I work here at Magic Kingdom. I'm a Navy Veteran and I love making magic for the guests," he said.
Alex is known as the ‘Gepetto’ of the Pinnochio Village Haus restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.
While Alex says he is working his dream job now, in the golden years of his life, he had a much different calling in his early days: he enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17.
"I became a Naval Aviator at Corpus Christi Texas and I flew aircraft in many parts of the world," Alex explained. His travels brought him to Pensacola, where he trained at the Naval Air Station for years.
Then, when Walt Disney World opened in 1971, he fell in love with the theme park.
"When my family and I first came to Florida, we got season passes that started the relationship we had with Disney," Alex said. It was then that he realized his new dream working as a cast member. "In 2008 to 2013, I applied to work for Disney and I was surprised that I got it."
Alex has worked in several restaurants around Magic Kingdom and is loved by his fellow cast members. The team honored him with a flag ceremony on Saturday, National Armed Forces Day.
"It not only honored me, but it humbled me," Alex said.
His favorite part of working at Walt Disney World is interacting with guests, so on your next visit to the Magic Kingdom, don't hesitate to say hello.
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