Animal Kingdom Safari Small World Play

Close up of Mickey and Goofy enjoying their safari and watching the animals.

Having had a fabulous time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I decided to set up a small world version so that J could replicate the fun he had while on the Kilimanjaro Safari. Our Animal Kingdom safari small world provides hours of imaginative play fun for toddlers to school aged children.


J had an amazing holiday at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom where we bought a set of Mickey and friends safari figures. J loves to take these characters on a safari to see some of the animals he loved best.


Equipment I used for Animal Kingdom Safari Small World

  • Blue and green fabric off cuts
  • Red fabric off cut
  • Green placemats from Ikea
  • Green shredded tissue paper
  • Cable reels
  • Artificial grass
  • Large glittery wire leaves
  • Safari/Jungle animals
  • Mickey and friends safari characters (optional)
  • Black duct tape


safari small world overview. Animals and Disney characters on the tuff tray.



Making the Animal Kingdom Small World


To make the volcano I used an old cable reel and wrapped it in red material which I got as an off cut. I used black duct tape to stick the fabric to the reel underneath.


High Grasslands

The grasslands is a larger cable reel with artificial grass on top. I cut the artificial grass to size and then stuck it to the reel using black duct tape. I then wrapped shredded green paper around the base of the reel to look like long grass. There is a hole in the cable reel where I put the green glittery leaves to give the impression of tall trees.


Base Level

I used the green fabric off cuts and the green Ikea place mats to create grass lands on our tuff tray. I then cut the blue fabric into a meandering river shape and a lake but actually J insisted that they be joined together to make a big river.



I used the Mickey safari characters to make the small world into an Animal Kingdom safari. However, even without them this would be a great safari park/jungle small world for your children.


The animals are a combination of bath toys and animal figures from J’s small world collection.


Photo of the Giraffe stood on the high grasslands with the other animals on the grass below.


Animal Kingdom Small World Play

J loves creating little stories in his small world play which does wonders for his vocabulary and his imagination. He started off focusing in the animals and their interaction with each other. The crocodile was chasing animals to try and eat them! Then the baby giraffe fell into the long trees and the fire engine had to come and save him. Then he gathered the baby animals and they played with each other. They were running and jumping and being a little silly before their parents came to find them for tea time.


When we came back to the play later in the day, J focused more on Mickey and his friends. Goofy was taking photos of the animals when somehow (I missed what happened) he ended up in a box of toys and Mickey had to go to rescue him but then got stuck too, so Minnie and a Kangaroo came to save them.


Goofy photographing the big cats at safari small world


I love that different stories occur for each play session and that every time J interacts with a small world he can find a source of fresh creativity from it.




Why not have a go at creating a safari small world yourself?


What is your child’s favourite small world play? Let me know in the comments.


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