There is a release for the key in the column. Should have checked the manual first.
A post online suggested enlarging a hole in the plastic frame around the shifter assembly. Then you might be able to fix the problem piece without having to disconnect the shift cable. Turns out my luck isn't terrible. The actuator rod linked to the shift button didn't actually break. It just popped out of position. With the gear in neutral, I was able to just flip it back down, and all was right again. Counting the time with the dremal, it took less than a minute. Wrestling the covers on and off took at least a half hour.