Curious. Most automatics I've driven can be pulled from R to D without pressing the button (console) or pulling the shifter forward (column.) They'll stop at D unless you have the button pushed. (Similarly, you can usually go to N from D or any of the lower gears without pushing the button.)
When I get into a car I'm not familiar with that has a traditional automatic, it's always the same: Push button, one click to go from P to R. Release button. All the way down for D.
Of course, I still check to make sure it's not doing something weird, but that almost never fails. Though not as relevant these days as a lot of cars these days are ditching the traditional PRNDL for dials, push buttons and sequential selectors.