Disney’s Animal Kingdom Sitar Player Stephan Mikés Passes Away

Shannen Ace

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Sitar Player Stephan Mikés Passes Away

Stephan Mikés, known for his sitar performances at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, has sadly passed away, his wife shared on Facebook.


On October 22, Bonnie Pedicord Mikés posted photos of Stephan playing the sitar, writing, “My husband, Stephan Mikes, 1954-2023, has left this world — my sadness knows no boundaries — this is how I want to remember him”.

Mikés suffered a medical emergency requiring quintuple bypass surgery earlier this year and his family created a GoFundMe fundraiser at the time to cover medical expenses and lost income. It seems his passing was related to the medical emergency, although his wife did not share details.

Bonnie also shared a video clip of her husband performing “five gates,” a piece from his unfinished album.

Mikés performed as Chakranadi in the Anandapur village of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. On the Walt Disney World website, Chakranadi performances were described as “mesmerizing” tunes that would make guests feel “as if you’re transported to a new place through the sounds of charming Indian instruments.”


Mikés’ musical ability ranged from performing classical Indian ragas and meditation or relaxation music to rock and reggae classics. His original compositions include pieces he created specifically for his live performances at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Chakranadi 1 16x9 1

After live performances were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stephan Mikés returned to Disney’s Animal Kingdom as Chakranadi in October 2021 and performed there until March 2023. Watch a Chakranadi performance below.

Our thoughts are with the Mikés family.

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  • Shannen Ace

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at shannen@wdwnt.com.