Today I updated the amplify CLI and my existing schema.graphql file created the expected schema in the Amplify Console automatically.
Granted, I also had to perform an "amplify remove api" and recreate the api via "amplify add api" because I had let the API key expire and all the other fixes seemed like cheap hacks (eyeroll emoji).
Not sure which of those two items fixed the behavior, but everything seems to be working as expected now. Hopefully this helps others!
See my reply to myself - I suspect a CLI update fixed the issue.
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