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Ok. So I found a way to make it a little better.
Settings > Call Settings > Voicemail Settings
With keyboard close tap the text box which opens the on-screen keyboard. If you click the far lower-left "* # (" you'll notice there is also "Wait" which turns out to be ";" and "Pause" which is ",".
So if you change the number to "*86;XXXX#" when you dial your voicemail it will immediately popup with a confirm window asking when to send the tone XXXX#
If you make it "*86,,,XXXX#" it will send the tone XXXX# on it's own. I believe each comma is a second and I remember I used to use 3 on my palm treo (windows mobile) with verizon wireless. This seems to work best.
The only thing I don't like is that it shows the password on the screen.. but I suppose it would do that when typing it manually as well.
Let me know if this helps anyone or has a better way or suggestions.
P.s. In case it wasn't obvious the XXXX is your voicemail password.