I am very glad that this worked out! It looks like you have already helped at least one other user and I am sure others to come!
We were discussing this internally while you were working. Updates to the ready-loaded data on cloud instances will be getting a make-over in the near term (this has been in planning for a while). Ease of data install for locals is included in the larger project goals. Technical implementation details are being sorted out to ensure the most robust solution, but data services that meet our project's three core goals of "accessible, reproducible, and transparent" are without question the central design criteria for success.
Thank you again! We very much value the patience, tenacity, and time you took to not only see this through for yourself, but to post your experience & methods back to the list so clearly to share with others. Our community, most definitely including you, are so important. We are all "Galaxy team" :)
Jen Galaxy team
Hope this can help somebody.
Lei Yan Center for Integrative and Translational Genomics The University of Tennessee Health Science Center