disney parks Alex Stromski
Walt Disney World is paying tribute to one of their own.
Ahead of Armed Forces Day this weekend, the park is highlighting cast member Alex Stromski, a U.S. Navy veteran who has worked at Pinocchio's Village Haus in Magic Kingdom Park since 2013.
"Hi, my name is Alex," Stromski, who spent 21 years in the Navy, said in a sweet TikTok video posted by Disney Parks on Friday, while giving viewers a little tour of his place of work.
"I was a naval aviator and I had a call sign but now that I'm here at Magic Kingdom I have a call sign 'Geppetto,' " he added.
As the video continued, Stromski shared that he was recently honored at Magic Kingdom with an early morning flag-raising ceremony in recognition of his service. The event was also attended by his friends and family. Together with the Magic Kingdom flag detail, he helped raise the American flag over Town Square on Main Street U.S.A.
"I was humbled by them and I was also greatly honored by it," he said of the gesture. "I'm just glad to be here."
Alongside the heartwarming clip, Disney Parks wrote, "we are so honored to have amazing cast members like Alex."
Stromski enlisted in the Navy at the end of WWII when he was just 17 years old — and was classmates with future NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong during flight school, according to a Disney Parks press release.
Throughout his career, Stromski traveled around the world before retiring in 1967 as a Lieutenant Commander.
His love for Disney World also goes way back.
After the park opened in 1971, Stromski became an annual pass holder, frequently making visits with his family over the years.
"I loved how Walt had great respect for the military," he said in the press release, before opening up about why he decided he wanted to work for the park. "I realized that this was something I wanted to be a part of, so I applied and got a full-time job at Pinocchio's Village Haus in 2013."
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Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
Stromski, who is one of thousands of veterans who are a part of The Walt Disney Company, also said that his decades of service have helped him at Disney World.
"I love helping create the experiences that families will remember for years," he said. "I especially enjoy meeting the military families and veterans who visit us."
Disney World reopened in July 2020 after closing in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This week the park announced that it would be easing some of the protocol put in place during the pandemic, including reducing social distancing and phasing out temperature checks for guests.