Walt Disney World Legend Tragically Passes Away

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Credit: Disney

The recent death of a true Disney icon has rattled the theme park community.

Stephan Mikes, one of Disney’s talented performers, has sadly passed away. His contributions to the magical world of Disney will forever be cherished and remembered. With a heavy heart, we say goodbye to a remarkable individual who left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.


Credit: Disney

Remembering Stephan

Stephan Mikes was not just a name but a person who dedicated his life to bringing joy and enchantment to people of all ages. His passion for performance was unparalleled, and he strived to create unforgettable experiences for Guests at Walt Disney World and beyond.

Born in 1954, Stephan was a man with so much talent. If you have ever had the pleasure of roaming around Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there’s a chance that you may have caught a performance by Mikes. Mikes performed regularly at the Anandapur, Asia stage within the Park. A talented sitarist, Mikes’ dazzled and awed millions of tourists in his lifetime.

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Credit: Disney

Mikes’ performance, which was called Chakranadi, has been a staple piece of entertainment in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park for many years; this 20-minute-long show features;

“…the simmering sounds of traditional Indian melodies, performed by a talented musician playing the sitar.”

This exotic performance was incredibly unique, and it is a highlight for many visitors coming to the Park. One of the reasons that fans love Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is because of all the incredibly immersive entertainment offerings. It goes without saying that Mikes’ was one of the strongest performers in the theme park’s history.

In addition to his performing, Stephan Mikes was also a dedicated composer and teacher. He has numerous musical projects available for listening on CD, including his recent release, Serenity, Ragas for Meditation and Yoga. 

Tragedy Hits the Disney Community

Just last week, the news of Stephan Mikes’ death was announced by his wife, Bonnie Pedicord Mikes. She announced his passing to hundreds of heartbroken friends and fans on her Facebook the afternoon of October 22, 2023.

It was confirmed by Mikes’s obituary that he passed away on October 21, 2023. To honor his memory, the page is asking that friends, family, and friends consider purchasing a memorial tree to honor him. Other suggested options include making a donation to a charitable cause.

Disney's Expedition Everest

Credit: Disney

It is always tragic to hear of the death of someone so beloved, but it is equally important to remember just how much he contributed to the world while he was here. Because of Stephan’s music, millions of lucky fans were able to be inspired and entertained in such a unique way. While Disney has not made many announcements about what will become of the Chakranadi attraction at Walt Disney World Resort’s Animal Kingdom, many fans hope that Disney does something to honor such an incredible man.

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.



  2. My wife helped make that tree. She is bummed

  3. My first hubby help being the form products there from American Excelsior when it was being made. So sad