AJ... we finally tore into this job. The panel came off just as you described...pops out at the bottom and then slides up.
NOW for the bad news: the prolem is that on one side, the plastic boss that the hinge pin for the ice door pivots on...is broken! And the parts list shows that whole inner piece to be "not serviced". It looks like we would have to replace the whole door for $600
It is pretty disappointing that you would have to replace a $600 door because it was built with a flimsy plastic part in a crucial spot! I am considering the superglue repair possibility, but assume that would not be reliable or long lasting.
Anyway , I greatly appreciate the help. Think I will give Kitchenaid a piece of my mind!