This is a very common question due to the fact that the dolls sell out very quickly and in some cases before they even appear on the website.
Also Disney have started changing the way that they release these dolls in order to try and make it fairer for people which can make it rather confusing for some.
Online releases usually occur the day after the dolls come out on sale in store. The website will always update on midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST). So what this mean is it Disney announces the date that the item will be released it will be on midnight (12am) that day. So many people get confused but think of it in 24 hours time it will be 0000hrs which means as soon as it clocks over to that the next day.
For example if a release is on October 2 that will mean that you will need to stay up on the night of October 1 so that in order to be ready for the release on October 2. Obviously with different timezones this can be tricky but to keep things simple you just need to ensure you convert your time to midnight PST time.
- Central time (UTC) it will be 2am on the same day
- Eastern Standard Time (EST) it will be 3am on the same day
- Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) it will be 8am on the same day
- Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) it will be 5pm on the same day
The site will update right on midnight however because there are many pages it will not appear right away therefore the fastest way to get to the desired page is with a direct link. Usually these can be found on certain websites and facebook pages by other collectors posting them up.
In Store releases:
In store releases will vary depending on the type of doll. Please note that this is general information based on the official release instructions by Disney but can vary from store to store so please confirm this with your local store.
Limited edition dolls are released for sale on store opening and are on a first come first serve basis. You must be 18 years or older in order to purchase the doll and you are only able to purcahse one of each type of doll.
Designer dolls are sold using a raffle system wherein people submit their names into a draw that will close at 12pm (local time), with the draw happening from 12pm ending by 1pm and the names being announced shortly afterwards. If your name is called you are eligible to purcahse the doll, you must also be present when your name is called is order to buy the doll or else it will be redrawn for someone else.
European releases are similar however the only difference is that they do not stagnate the release between online and in store. Dolls are still released online on the same day that they are released in store, this results in the the US Disney Store website being the last to release the item.
In store all dolls are just released on opening and are on a first come first serve basis.