My question is about Jets/planes performing acrobatic formations to stay well-aligned with the other jets/planes in formation. I could see a laser-distance meter coming in handy.
No they don't. They rely on visual cues. Basically each pilot aligns features. For example, it could be the wingtip of the plane next to him/her to a letter or feature on another plane.
(YouTube) POV; the drawn circle is merely an illustration.
And they all follow the lead's commands via radio. As when to turn, when to pull, for how long (based on the tone of the voice), etc.
As a team gains experience, they start to bring the distance closer. Not usually noticeable by the crowd.
Source: Blue Angels: A Year in the Life