To anyone still interested in this, it is not so hard to get the door panel off with the door closed. Here's how you remove the door panel from the inside with the door closed, without breaking anything.
1. Remove the interior door handle (one torx screw). It will just hang by its connecting cable,
2. Pry the top of the door from the window opening. Easy to do, does not require much force.
3. Pry off the cover of the handrest with a small flat head screw driver. Underneath are two hex head bolts. If you cannot get a socket on them to remove them, don't worry. The opening around each bolt will accommodate only a very thin wall socket. It's nice to remove these bolts, but as you will see, it is not essential.
4. Undo the two torx head screws along the bottom of the door.
5. All you have remaining are two screws, one on the front of the door panel, another on the rear. You cannot turn these because they are not accessible. So here's what you do. Grab the door panel and give it a very sharp tup. The screws will pull out of the plastic pieces they are set in. Same thing for the two bolts in the armrest. If you were not able to remove them, tug hard and they will pop right out.
Now the door panel can be removed. Easy as that.
Maybe you're thinking that next I will tell you how to open the door. Think again. The important things in life are never free.