I just read in Bob Weber's column in the Chicago tribune on line of a guy that had a 1999 Windstar with that problem and he took the glove box out, cut a hole on the left side and used WD-40 to loose it up. Then used duct tape to patch the hole piece back in. Saved him big $ over the alternative.
They're not that bad. Done a lot of them. No way I know of to not pull the dash. As dashes go they are gravy to R&I. You just need to pull it back enough to get the blend door actuator out(top center of the case). Remove the two actuator screws you can see, lift the actuator up until the hidden retaining tab against the firewall breaks. Loosen the remaining screw a couple turns, remove the remains of the broken tab. Clip the end of the tab from the new actuator, slot it under the front screw, and reassemble.