Hmm, I've heard stories about Universal making exceptions on a per-case basis. Try calling them directly to see if their policy has changed, or whether or not they can make an exception for your specific case.
Hi Bob! When the California Neighbor pass is purchased you must choose a first visit date. This date is the start of your pass validity. You may choose to come on a different date by stopping by any ticket booth upon your arrival, however your pass will still expire 9 months from 12/1/16. I hope this helps! If you have any further questions please let us know.